The Financial Commissioner Pavlos Ioannou, in a note informs about the suspension of three planned real estate sales, which were arranged by his Office and which would be attached within the current period.
Specifically, in the first case the suspension was made in collaboration with Themis Portfolio Management Holdings Ltd (“SPC”), which undertook the management of part of the non-performing loans of the Bank of Cyprus, as a Credit Redemption Company. This is, as mentioned, one of the very rare cases where a Credit Acquisition Company satisfies a request from my Office for a suspension of sale.
The second, it is also mentioned, was the result of close cooperation with the management and the staff of KEDIPES Ltd.
The same happened with the third case of suspension of sale, in order to save a main house, after accepting the proposed perspective solution of the problems in the specific loan submitted by the Commissioner to KEDIPES, which excluded the sale process. It is noted that the settlement of the cases under discussion took place after the adoption of the Commissioner's suggestions.
In the first case, which concerns the sale of the first residence planned for 16/9/2021 in the area of Psematismenou in Larnaca, a letter was received from the Office of the Commissioner from a representative of the interested parties, in which the position of intention was presented by them, to submit an application through Insolvency Plan.
On the basis of the data and after relevant processing of relevant information, the Office of the Commissioner proceeded to send a letter to the SPD. His request was to suspend the planned sale, in order to provide sufficient time for the interested parties to complete the initiated process, in which they had resorted, in order to find a rational and fair solution through the mechanism of debt restructuring.
In the second case, the interested borrower, in a letter to the Office of the Commissioner, through her lawyer, informed them of a flurry of warning letters from KEDIPES, regarding their intention to auction her first home, in the area of Agios Dometios .
The Commissioner then, taking into account the specificity of her situation, sent a letter to KEDIPES, with the fully justified request that “any proceedings for sale be suspended, in order to give time to the lawyer of the defendant who is in relation to forged signatures. It is noted that the subject in question is a widow aged 85 years, and the property in question is her only home “.
Regarding the third case, on 17/9/2021, the Office of the Commissioner received an electronic message from the lawyer of the interested party, in the form of urgent. According to its content, KEDIPES was to proceed within the next week to an electronic auction of the main residence of retired low-paid borrowers in Paphos and specifically in the area of Polis Chrysochous.
On 9/20/21, the Office of the Commissioner, at his request, received a letter with information from the lawyer of the interested parties, in which he assured them that the property to be sold was the main residence of the borrowers. In fact, the same letter stated the following:
“[…] It would be our warm request to your mediation for immediate action in order to freeze the upcoming auction that will have tragic consequences for our bidders. It should be noted that 5 apartments have been built in the above mentioned house. “There is a real intention to safeguard the principal residence of our principals to separate these apartments by issuing single titles and to offer part of them to the Bank in the context of out-of-court settlement of any of their debts in case there is no other margin for settling their debt.” .
According to the data and after careful processing of relevant information, the Financial Commissioner decided that he was justified in taking action against KEDIPES, with the suggestion that the planned sale be suspended. The aim was to avoid recourse to the sale process, as the borrowers had already accepted the Commissioner's plan for a settlement and restructuring of their credit facility. In addition, according to the content of the above letter, the interested parties agreed to take action to redistribute property.
The Commissioner states that his suggestions for all three cases were accepted and he received the relevant notifications yesterday and today.
The Commissioner once again calls on borrowers to act in a timely manner, taking advantage of the existing legal system and institutions, to effectively protect their interests. In this regard, he reminds, once again, the citizens who face problems of Non-Performing Loans, to take advantage of the specific institutions, long before the problem they face with the NIS is led to the sale process.