The Legal Committee discussed and completed yesterday the examination of the bill that protects the vulnerable groups from the sales, while at the same time it will have jurisdiction for the holders of securities.
The bill is on its way to a vote, however warnings were heard from both the Central Bank and the president of DISY about any changes that would create problems. The bill, which was a precondition for the state budget to be passed, protects vulnerable groups and guarantors at risk of losing their home or property. Holders of securities will also be included in this category. The vulnerable groups include around 35 thousand people, although it is not clear how many are at risk of losing their property. According to the bill, special courts are set up to deal with cases with the aim of issuing decisions before the completion of the sale and in a short period of time.
The chairman of the Legal Committee, George Georgiou, stated that yesterday the Parliament completed the article-by-article discussion of the bill, the aim of which is the immediate protection of those in great need. He did not rule out the possibility of extending this measure to other groups of borrowers in the second stage. According to the provisions of the bill, the special jurisdiction Courts in the District Courts, which will be established by hiring a number of judges, will adjudicate disputes arising from or in relation to credit facilities of banks.
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In particular, according to Mr. Georgiou, disputes arising between the borrower and the creditor will be adjudicated regarding the credit facility debit balances that show arrears or overdrafts and any other disputes regarding the credit facility or the guarantees, as well as the guarantees concerning sale of mortgaged property, which mortgaged property relates to lending and credit facilities as secured, as well as disputes relating to securities acquired during the period from 2008 to 2013.
AKEL MP Andreas Passiourtidis said the revised bill does not protect thousands of borrowers who risk losing their first home or small business. MP Kostis Efstathiou stated that he will submit amendments that will provide for the issuance of decrees so that no sale will proceed before the trial of the case.
The Chairman of the Central Bank, Konstantinos Herodotou, was present at the Committee, who warned that if the bill is overturned as submitted by the Government, then we will be led to adventures. DISY President Averof Neophytou also appeared before the Commission, warning that “if the sales are suspended, Frankfurt and the European Central Bank will pull us out of the socket and we will sink”, as he characteristically said. “We must not kick the shekel and spill the milk, the Constitution must serve the State and not the State the Constitution and it will not matter whether someone is acquitted by the Court when his house is sold,” he added.