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Saturday, June 6, 2020
Home Swiss Franc Bank starts action against developers and buyers

Bank starts action against developers and buyers

TODAY’S Cyprus Mail carried five notices advising that Alpha Bank Cyprus had started legal proceedings against three property developers and seven of their clients in matters involving the non-payment of Swiss Franc mortgages.

This first notice, No. 1499/10, names the defendants as:

  1. Bashir-Aboularhim Mochameo Mussa (Passport No. AB 110438), from Paphos
  2. Alpha Panareti Public Ltd of Paphos

The Paphos court orders that the defendant 1 files an appearance within 30 days from the publication date.

The second notice, No. 1565/10, names the defendants as:

  1. Martin Jeremy Rhodes (Passport No. GB304290956), from Paphos
  2. Raymond Maplethorpe (Passport No. GB650204983), from Paphos
  3. G & V Hadjidemosthenous Ltd

The Paphos court orders that the defendants 1 and 2 file an appearance within 30 days from the publication date.

The third notice, No 2692/10, names the defendants as:

  1. Benjamin Mark McGann (Passport No. 019373617), from Paphos
  2. Ruth Olivia Rachel McGann, from Paphos
  3. Alpha Panareti Public Ltd of Paphos

The Paphos court orders that the defendants 1 and 2 to file an appearance after the service of the writ of summons.

The fourth notice, No. 1671/10, names the defendants as:

  1. Christopher Manning (Passport No. GB800341271), from United Kingdom or Paphos
  2. Roseann Manning (Passport No. 800341270), from United Kingdom or Paphos
  3. J. Aristodemou Ideal Homes Ltd (Reg. No. 31893), from Paphos

The Paphos court orders that the defendants 1 and 2 file an appearance within 30 days from the publication date.

The fifth notice, No. 2883/10, names the defendants as:

  1. Raymond Maplethorpe (Passport No. 650204983), from Paphos
  2. Lisa Julie Maplethorpe (Passport No. 650638150), from Paphos

The Paphos court gives instructions that defendants 1 and 2 Respondents file an appearance within 30 days from the publication date.

In all the above notices, Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd is named as the plaintiff.

These are the first stages in legal proceedings that may result in those named losing their homes in Cyprus. There is a strong possibility that they may not have read the notices, which were published in today’s Cyprus Mail, particularly if they are presently living in the UK.

Can you help?

If anyone know the whereabouts of Bashir-Aboularhim Mochameo Mussa, Martin Jeremy Rhodes, Raymond Maplethorpe, Lisa Julie Maplethorpe, Benjamin Mark McGann, Ruth Olivia Rachel McGann, Christopher Manning or Roseann Manning, will you please advise them of the situation and get them to contact their lawyer in Cyprus without delay.

Should they fail to comply with the court order and the court subsequently rules in favour of the plaintiff, Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd, there is a risk that the Bank may seek to have that judgement enforced in the UK.

If a judgement is obtained in Cyprus it can be enforced in the UK automatically. I.e. there will be no opportunity to reconsider the merits of the case in the UK court; it will simply be enforced.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Not surprising, no Cypriots on the list of borrowers. It will be interesting to see if any Cypriot bank dares to try to foreclose on a Cypriot family and toss them out of their home…

  2. @Tojo. There’s another gem on the Alpha Panareti website:

    “Why Buy From Alpha Panareti?

    Title Deeds

    All our properties are sold as Freehold, even the apartments and are accompanied by their Title Deeds”

    Not sure whether they mean it literally. ‘Accompanied by their Title Deeds’ implies they are handed over when the buyer has paid up in full. If they mean something else, it’s deception.

  3. Thanks Denton, I suspect that they are interlinked and by sheer coincidence there is an employee at the bank that has exactly the same names as a senior “lady” at AP however when queried there were assurances provided that they were different people but who knows!

    The mortgage mentioned is presumably the same mortgage that many of us have been conned into and is NOT less than 3% as we were all led to believe.

  4. @Tojo. A bit more info from Apha Panareti’s website:

    “Alpha Panareti Public Ltd. has an exclusive arrangement with a local bank in Cyprus enabling us to offer mortgage loans at less than 3% interest repaid over 25 years. The Purchaser will pay 25% of the purchase price with the mortgage loan covering the remaining 75%. This offer is not available through any other developer or agent”.

    I understand that the bank referred to is Alpha Bank Cyprus, a subsidiary of Alpha Bank in Greece.

    I suspect that the recent legal action notices naming Alpha Panareti relate to such mortgages.

  5. @Tojo. There has been a widely circulating assumption that it is a subsidiary but on checking I have been unable to verify it. So, it may be incorrect to say that the bank is suing a subsidiary. Whether the Alpha inclusion in both company names is deliberate or coincidental is unclear. However, some kind of formal relationship is thought to exist between Panareti family members and the Bank e.g. employment. Any further clarification would be helpful.

  6. The Interior Minister has stated very clearly in several official public statements as well as a letter to an MEP and official responses to the European Commission that a buyer is absolutely protected once his contract of sale/purchase is deposited with the Land Registry. There is apparently a Supreme Court ruling which backs this up.

    The judge says ‘No’. So, is it a case of all the ministers, lawyers, Supreme Court etc making all their statements in error? Or, more sinisterly, did they know full well all along that it was cobblers and deliberately misled everyone?

    Surely Mr Sylikiotis in particular must now issue a public clarification.

  7. @ Denton. No bet. I think I will keep my few remaining euros.

    @ Nigel. This may be a bit hard and it will affect me but I think after all this time only a catastrophic event will actually help us in the long run. We can’t sell, we can’t move house we therefore don’t pay property transfer tax anyway.

    What else is there to do?

  8. AP in big trouble!

    There is a meeting of owners – Manchester – next weekend.

    We could do with meeting before then.

  9. Once again get onto your Euro MPs.

    If you have paid for the property and the developer has taken out a mortgage on your property with out your knowledge.

    Then the E U needs to know. Doing nothing is not an option.

  10. @Denton – It is indeed a very bad sign.

    I would have expected that in the first instance, the bank would pursue the buyers who failed to maintain their mortgage repayments.

    If the bank got nowhere in pursuing defaulting buyers, then it would chase the developer as he acted as the guarantor for the buyer’s mortgage.

    If the banks pursue the developers as they seem to be doing, it could force them into bankruptcy.

    This would be very bad news indeed for the buyers if the failing companies assets were sold to recover the debts.

    Buyers could find themselves being thrown out of their homes – even though they may have paid for them in full – and their homes auctioned off to recover the developer’s debts.

    This latest development is very worrying!

  11. Among those being chased are not only the individual buyers who raised the mortgages but also their developers – surely a reverse twist on the banks’ usual appalling practice of going after the buyer when the developer defaults on HIS mortgage! Either way, it’s a very bad sign. Nigel, any comment?

    @AndyP. I’m not sure all the cited developers are ‘small fry’. Hadjidemosthenos and Aristodemou are hardly small and Alpha Panareti is even a subsidiary of Alpha Bank (i.e. being sued by its owner)! It surely demonstrates the dire state of the banks – or at least Alpha Bank. Any bets on whether we will be seeing a lot more of such notices in the coming year from the banks? Still, it will help the newspapers’ advertising revenues. Every cloud…….

  12. @Jane – thanks for your comment.

    All these are public notices that are posted at the Paphos court and the Cyprus Mail – including passport numbers.

    Thanks to Denis O’Hare of CPAG and the Cyprus Mail, I have now included the full text of the five notices.

  13. Hi Nigel,

    I read these notices in yesterdays newspaper.

    Unfortunately the notices were a bit too technical and I would imagine the majority of ex-pats would skip over them.

    But what do the “it will never happen here” or the “what would the banks do with all these properties” brigades have to say now?

  14. Whilst at first this might seem a worrying development the situation is no different in UK.

    If you sign for a mortgage you have to pay your monthly agreed rate notwithstanding that you might have been duped by all and sundry in to buying in the first place and taking out a Swiss Franc mortgage to pay for it. Being duped or conned is a separate dispute and one which your Bank is likely to argue is nothing to do with them.

    Banks seldom lose in these mortgage cases.

    Interesting to note that only a few small fry Cypriot Developers are being taken on by The Bank for non payment

  15. Under the circumstances I would give the Alpha Bank officials the keys to the Cyprus properties in ?. Tell them to “get on with it”. (I imagine that these properties are further encumbered with a horrendous “hidden mortgage”, taken out by the developers, behind the buyers backs! So there is no chance or Title Deeds, therefore they are virtually worthless & unsellable for the foreseeable future.)

    Then fight like hell to safeguard their(ie:the Buyers) assets back in Britain,( or wherever) R.B.

  16. @paul – thanks for your comment.

    The Alpha Bank is acting no differently than a bank would in the UK. In some ways they are doing a better job.

    In the UK, such notices appear in the Daily Telegraph or some other broadsheet (and certainly not in the Greek language press).

    Incidentally the Paphos court specifically ordered that the notices were allowed to be published in “an English speaking daily or weekly newspaper”.

    Denis O’Hare of CPAG spotted these notices in today’s newspaper & gave me a call – otherwise I may have missed them as well!

  17. Surely Alpha Bank cannot just post notice of the proceedings in a Cyprus newspaper, particularly when they are aware that some of the defendants live in the UK. I would think that they are infringing these people’s human rights in not giving them a chance to defend themselves in court.

    I would have thought it was compulsory for them to be contacted directly, making them aware of the intended action. Alpha Bank are skating on thin ice !

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