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All-party MP group to help property buyers

MPs meeting in London last week with a group of property buyers from the North East of England who are facing legal action by a Cyprus bank have agreed to join an all-party group in efforts to help them.

The Houses of Parliament (photo by Adrian Pingstone)

The Houses of Parliament (photo by Adrian Pingstone)

A MEETING was organised in Parliament this week to discuss the plight of many hundreds of UK buyers who are facing legal action by banks in Cyprus and who are at risk of losing their homes.

It was attended by ten MPs or their representatives including Mark Lazarowicz, Paul Goggins, Simon Kirby, James Wharton, and representatives from the offices of Fiona Bruce, Bill Cash and Roberta Blackman-Woods. They were joined by a group around 25 people facing legal action by the banks in Cyprus.

In an interviews with The Northern Echo Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “The meeting was held to set up an all-party group with relevant MPs to try and pressurise the Cypriot government into looking at what’s happened to people who have got caught up in this scheme.

“The people who have come to me are extremely distressed because they haven’t got the house in Cyprus and their banks have issued writs against them.

“They are really, really worried.”

Stockton South MP James Wharton said: “We had a good discussion about what we can do.

“Obviously the role of MPs is limited when there’s a legal process on-going but we have agreed to set up an all-party group.”

Mr Wharton urged anyone affected to contact their local MP.

He added: “We want as many people as possible to engage with us so we can put pressure on the government of Cyprus and look to see what the Foreign Office can do.”

Hundreds of people who bought properties in Cyprus have been unable to keep up with rocketing payments on mortgages taken out in Swiss francs.

They are now being issued with writs by the banks which could ultimately mean they lose their UK homes.

Readers' comments

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  • @Steve – I certainly do remember the CPAG report – I helped write it!

  • Steve says:

    @Nigel

    Your list is depressing to say the least, but you could make it worse. Remember the CPAG report “Cyprus Property Pitfalls: a time for ACTION”? This was submitted in Jan 2008 at the request of the Cyprus Finance Minister. To date there has been no reply, as far as I know.

    Then there was “A Plan for All Reasons: How to resolve property purchase disputes in Cyprus without litigation and restore the credibility of its public, property and financial sectors” submitted by a Cypriot. Seems you don’t have be a non-Cypriot for the government to take no notice.

    The UK MP’s are great at building up treasure in heaven. They did it with the thousands of expat UK pensioners who don’t get annual increases that the rest get. The result of all the promises was… NOTHING.

    In this case, what have the MP’s promised to do for the poor unfortunates who may lose their homes? They will put pressure on the Cyprus government and see what the Foreign Office can do. Don’t make me laugh!!!

  • janner says:

    It’s great that some MP’s are coming on-board in such a public fashion. I have said many times that I believe the the UK government should not be allowing European Enforcement Orders from Cyprus against UK citizens. We have all heard stories of people having loans fraudulently obtained in their names when they haven’t even asked for one! If the banks are able to get a European Enforcement Order which is actioned in the UK without any redress then it flies in the face of justice. Where is David Cameron in all of this? Why isn’t he protecting British citizens! Taking this action would send a strong message to the Cyprus authorities. Cyprus should not be allowed to pick and chose which parts of EU legislation they wish to recognise.

    I am still not sure why Cyprus want their country run this way. Why do they want a property system that is in tatters, deeds not issued, hidden debts, court processes that last a decade, corruption etc….

    It must be exhausting always having to look over your shoulder. Why not just run things differently, and avoid all this grief. It’s not as if it has made the country rich. It’s broke and begging for money! Therefore, the Cypriot way of doing things clearly does not work. If the MP’s can raise this with David Cameron and ensure that UK citizens are entitled to legal action from Cyprus being reviewed in UK courts applying UK and EU standards then this will change things significantly!

    Go on the coalition….. show us why you should get a second term!

  • Adrian says:

    I wish these unfortunate people and their MP’s every success against the corrupt people who have instigated this terrible situation and I include the devious “financial advisors” in the UK.

    Everyone now knows that the banks in Europe despite so called regulation were unreliable, these people in the UK are about to find out that the whole of the society is riddled with corruption

    I hope that the property buyers are successful and wish I could help in some way. Hopefully this communist government will be out next year and some sort of sanity returns.

  • Mike says:

    Can I, for what it is worth, wish those involved in this abominable mess the very best of luck and best wishes in their fight for justice.

    Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that all statements issued by the government over the last few years on this subject were designed to maintain and encourage confidence in the market known to be anything but just. The developers lobby must be exceptionally mighty and interdependent on the legal profession which aided and abetted the fraud on such a grand scale. The unholy alliance must have thought itself to be invincible and so obviously above the law.

    Let’s hope justice prevails and that those who have been wronged achieve a right and just outcome.

  • Janet says:

    For those who truly believe that this is not a matter for MP’s they might consider the situation regarding PPI’s.

    Those who neither wanted or asked for the Personal Protection Insurance. There are many who have been given a mortgage on a property which they neither asked or wanted by Alpha Bank Cyprus. There will always be be those with the superior attitude that it would not happen to them. I wonder how many are now claiming their entitlement to compensation for the wrongful sale of PPI’s? This is another scam which has been set up by Alpha Bank. The Government advise all to contact their Independent Financial Advisor before making any investments. These are the people who followed this advise. Many were told to invest by their IFA and some who only now are finding that the IFA took out loans in their name without their knowledge. MP’s put their trust in these people, ordinary people who would have been happy paying more into their pensions, trusted these people, the person who wanted to retire abroad trusted these people. These people are not any different from you or I.

    I say good for the MP’s who are giving support for this campaign for justice for UK victims.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Good stuff Nigel, but the collusionists in Cyprus don’t expect you to recall any of these past promises, which, at the time, were clearly aimed at re-assuring the market and potential property buyers so that the property ball kept rolling as fast as possible to catch as many ‘ATM’s’ as possible before the facts got out to a wider audience, as they have now.

    This was only one small part that the collusive Government played in the deceptive property marketing game, along with their Developer, Banking and Legal chums or should I say, scums.

  • Fighting For Justice says:

    My best guess is nothing Nigel.

    Thank you for the ammunition. It will be on the desk of Bill Cash tomorrow morning at his surgery.

  • @Fighting For Justice – here’s some ammunition for you:

    IN OCTOBER 2005, the Cyprus Mail published an article ‘New Rights Planned for House Buyers’. This claimed that the Cyprus Government was going to plug loopholes in the law, introduce fines, and provide property buyers what it called ‘an arsenal of weapons against unscrupulous property developers’.

    What did the Government do to implement these eagerly anticipated ‘new rights’? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    IN OCTOBER 2006, I took part in a round table discussion on the subject of Title Deeds. The discussion was broadcast live on the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation’s second radio channel. During the discussion the MP for Limassol, Rikkos Erotokritou, stated that the “House of Representatives are worrying a lot about the situation”. (If you want to listen to the whole discussion, click here).

    The Government may have been ‘worrying a lot’, but what did it do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    IN SEPTEMBER 2007, the Cyprus Mail published another article ‘Law Reform Hopes to clear up Title Deeds Trap’. This claimed that the Government was looking to provide greater security to homebuyers by enabling their Contracts of Sale to take precedence over the developers mortgages.

    I’ll leave you to guess what the government did!

  • Fighting For Justice says:

    There will also be a bigger agenda in addition to this problem and the problems faced by thousand of British citizens will be investigated.

    If there had been a will by the Cyprus government 5 or 6 years ago to address the problems within their property industry many of these victims would have been prevented from becoming further prey.

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