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Man hands home keys to bank

A man whose home loan repayments shot up from €350/month to €900/month handed the keys of his home to the Bank of Cyprus today accusing the bank of abusing the terms of his loan agreement.

Man hands home keys to bankA DESPERATE home owner who could no longer afford to repay his loan walked into a branch of the Bank of Cyprus in Limassol earlier today and handed the keys of his house to bank employees.

The 35 year-old said that he was paying €350 a month for the repayment of his Swiss Franc loan but that the Bank had increased his monthly instalment to €900 abusing the terms of his loan agreement following the appreciation of the Swiss Franc against the Euro.

He added that he had decided to hand the keys of his apartment to the bank to avoid the proceedings and the hardship of repossession.

Around 100 people gathered outside the bank in solidarity with the man.

Green party MP George Perdikis who accompanied the man to the bank called for the write off of loan charges resulting from the inability of debtors to repay their loans.

Readers' comments

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  • Ynot Drof says:

    Steve R raised the point correctly, the debt is not forgiven even if you hand the keys back.

    “Death is not necessarily the end”!

  • Janine says:

    I have great sympathy with they guy handing the keys back – it represents a tragic loss for his whole family, hugely stressful too.

    Anyone stressed at the bank? Hardly – probably doesn’t affect anyone’s bank bonus either. The banks seem to be above any real criticism, no fines – nothing. If there was a similar problem in the early 1990’s then the banks have even less excuse now, as they should have learnt a lesson then. They should have ensured that a ‘bubble’ was not created by refraining from providing unrealistically low interest rates at the start by using some other currency. They should not have offered 95% mortgages, or allowed reduced payments with either ‘no interest’ (BOC 2yrs nothing to pay!); or capital grace period 5 years (interest only).

    They should only have used local currency, or perhaps currency of where the income is coming from. When it became clear their greed for commissions etc had resulted in so many inappropriate loans going pear shaped – following massive appreciation of foreign currency loans, they should not have arbitrarily and unilaterally tripled interest rate margins – especially in a recession. (when other countries were desperately reducing interest rates).

    It really is common economic sense, sadly it seems, totally lacking at the banks. It seems they care nothing for the public that they are suppose to be serving; they think we should pay for all their incompetence and arrogance too. The 50% NPL rate is nothing to do with ‘irresponsible’ borrower’s. Our only crime was to believe the lies and promises, and trust a supposedly reputable European bank to act fairly and with competence.

    I hope the guy eventually gets back all he lost. Despite all the above, I will forgive and forget providing an affordable solution is found. (To date, all my offers have been rejected by the bank, with no counter offers).

  • Adrian says:

    This is another case of the public who have depended on the advise of experts who have turned out to be not only greedy and incompetent but some absolutely corrupt. These “professional” people do not care because they have their money and leave a trail of misery behind them.

  • sue says:

    Poor man, not only his home but maybe his future gone!!
    Banks do not have hearts!!!

  • michael craig says:

    My wife argued with alpha bank via email in a nice manner and we got 55 thousand pounds knocked off our mortgage we then borrowed in the UK against our UK house and paid alpha bank off.

  • steve R says:

    Even if you hand back the keys they will still chase you for the money, sorry to say. Walking away is not an option with any financial agreement. I reduced the payment to suit my budget and have been paying this amount for over 2 years. I did inform them about it and they were fine with me.

    It has just to the committee for re-structuring and all I had to do was fill out a financial statement form. It shows that I can not pay any more money and because the builder is in liquidation and the site is no where near finished, it renders the property worthless. I do not have any assets in the UK because I sold everything to fund the Cyprus property.

    The ball is in your court Alpha Bank. I am prepared to live in and maintain the property paying what I class as an acceptable rent. Take me to court and make me bankrupt then you will get nothing.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Who could not have sympathy for the poor chap? However, his methodology (simply hand keys back) and attitude (it’s not my responsibility and by the way I want back what I have paid already) smacks of all that was naïve among British house buyers in the early 1990s when there was a recession and property crash. Thousands tried the same and came unstuck, as handing keys back to lenders is never a solution – it just accumulates further liabilities and debts for default.

    The liabilities live on with you regardless unless and until you discharge your debts. No one forced him to take out a bank loan but whether he was properly warned of the Swiss franc risks is at least an issue and one that has not been addressed at all by the banks or the authorities in Cyprus – as all those foreign buyers who were also caught out know only too well.

    I once had a potential buyer in 1998 who was earning 60k pounds p.a. but could not get a mortgage because he had handed his keys back on another mortgage and walked away in 1991. Debt records have long memories.

  • Sam Mabrouk says:

    I believe he did the right thing putting the ball in their court. If it happens on a large scale in a small country like Cyprus, it would leave the banks between a rock and a hard place.

  • spiros michele says:

    NEVER TRUST CYPRUS BANKS NEVER. Even their employees are very none trust-able including the managers, who often seem to exhibit honesty of themselves and their staff members they all go to extreme measures to swindle deposit accounts transfer fees and low term deposit account fees, etc. Even transferring through swift branch to branch can have extreme consequences, in transfer being sent by mistaking purposely to its country of origin whilst its account is floating to bank to bank records trying to locate its owner accumulating banking fees as it travels from overseas banks finally defaulting and it being sent back to be reprocessed with each bank having taken out its fee for searching the owner of the account. whereas at the beginning the account in mention was a request to have it sent to an account in the same town in Cyprus and it went by swift transfer to every country that used dollars as their currency I ask you would you trust a bank in Cyprus you got to be kidding me after it was brought back it was sent to a bank where I suggested it to be transferred which was succeeded but it was several thousand dollar minus now due to all its moving overseas search applied fees taken out was transacted also any interest on capital or any type of business always ends up in conflict and you are 100% losing either part or considerable loss to your capital, so be very beware of Cyprus banks business and its employees. your money I also have another complaint . in short went to change currency Cyprus pounds and was given $2.700,00 SHORTCHANGED working the figures in my head I felt a mistake went back and was told that the rate that was given in Nicosia was … %%%. but being now had closed that it was Saturday afternoon closing for the weekend and it closed min ago moments ago, my heart fell to the floor as I was to catch a plane the next day being Sunday by Monday working day I would be in another country finally the bank made up the difference. I’m still hoping it was the right amount this time but the teller she new I was leaving the country and just had to try a fast one. Thank god it was a blessing I smelt a rat mistake the Cyprus banks I don’t and wouldn’t trust them any more for any entitled services they offer they are incapable to follow honest guidelines needed to even transfer money in there own country on behalf of a customer and in some cases clerks are not able to transfer money or even have knowledge of exchange rate exchange knowledge. Incapable business types. How can you escape ignorance. Cyprus is full of it.

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