Swiss Franc Mortgage

Legal questions answered by Cyprus property lawyer Louise Zambartas

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Swiss Franc Mortgage

Post by Shauny79 »


My dad and his partner took out a Swiss Franc Mortgage in the early 2000s to buy a house in Paphos with Alpha Bank. Like many others who have faced a hike in the currency, the mortgage repayments have become unaffordable and the mortgage itself a 'bottomless pool'. About a year ago, they approached a UK based firm with links to lawyers in Cyprus, who effectively offered to negotiate a settlement deal on their behalf on a 'no win, no fee' basis. My dad was advised to stop paying the mortgage repayments, which they have done so (although they have been saving the money that would have otherwise been repaid).

The legal firm has now come back and said that the bank is willing to discount the loan by 5%, but not any more- the balance outstanding is c£86k. The legal firm is now advising that its Cypriot barristers undertake a 'legal assessment' to determine the legality of the mortgage, i.e., was it mis-sold by the bank. The cost of this is £750. If the outcome of the assessment is positive, then the barrister fees to take the matter to Court are c£10k. According to the legal firm, the bank will usually settle if faced with the prospect of formal legal proceedings.

Is anyone able to verify this to be the case, i.e., have you experienced the bank relent and offer a substantial settlement when faced with Court? I appreciate that it will vary case-to-case, but it still would be good to hear about your experiences. I'm slightly worried that this may be just a lure by the legal firm to extract more money from my dad and his partner.

Thans in advance...
Nigel Howarth
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus

Re: Swiss Franc Mortgage

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hi Shauny79 and welcome to the forum

I am somewhat concerned to hear that your dad has an agreement with a UK firm on a 'no win no fee' basis, but the firm has now come back asking for £750 to determine the legality of the mortgage plus a possible further c£10k for barrister fees if it goes to court.

A no win no fee agreement is just that. If you lose you don't pay, it you win you do pay. End of story.

I'll send you an email and perhaps we can discuss this confidentially rather than in an open forum.

Nigel Howarth
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