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Mortgaged property in Cyprus

I am in the process of buying an off-plan property in Cyprus and my lawyer has written advising me that: “The bank which has a mortgage on the project will issue a declaration confirming that the separate Title Deed issued for the property will not be burdened with the existing mortgage which is currently filed […]

Scam AlertI am in the process of buying an off-plan property in Cyprus and my lawyer has written advising me that:

“The bank which has a mortgage on the project will issue a declaration confirming that the separate Title Deed issued for the property will not be burdened with the existing mortgage which is currently filed on site.”

Is this OK? I have read accounts of people having their homes sold to pay back the bank and I’m concerned this may happen to me.

Answer

It’s a common practice for Cyprus property developers to mortgage the land on which they’re building to ‘kick start’ the development.

You need to proceed with caution.

As the bank will not issue a declaration until separate Title Deeds are issued, you are at risk if the developer goes bankrupt or if the bank calls in the loan in the meantime. Bear in mind that it can take many years to get your Title Deeds in Cyprus; I know of people who have been waiting more than 20!

There is also another problem inasmuch as you cannot force the developer to repay the mortgage. So you could end up in the situation of never being able to get Title to the property.

You need to instruct your lawyer to approach the developer and ask him to obtain a “release” from the financial institution that loaned the money stating that the part of the property you’re thinking of buying is free of a mortgage. In addition, you must ensure that the “release” is given when you sign of the Contract of Sale, or you may find it’s not issued.

If your lawyer is unable to obtain a “release”, do not proceed with the purchase. If you buy a mortgaged property, you risk losing everything!

(There’s a chap living a few miles from me who bought a mortgaged property and is currently facing the threat of losing it and his money).

Follow-up

I asked my lawyer to check things out and the whole of the building site is mortgaged to the Alpha bank. He spoke with the builder about getting a mortage release but the builder refused!

I’ve now pulled out and I’m looking for something else that does’nt have a mortgage. If you hear of anything, please let me know.

Thanks for your help.

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