Homebuyers throughout Cyprus hit by mortgage scandal

Ken and Mary Hudson from Larnaca  look set to be evicted from their home in South Cyprus in a case that echoes the Kulaksiz 5 fiasco. The two pensioners bought a flat in 2002 and then found, just like Kulaksiz 5, there was a mortgage on the property which the former owner failed to pay. The bank has now decided to auction the property to recoup that money. However, unlike Kulaksiz 5’s case, the debt does not seem to have multiplied by nearly 30 times.

This Cyprus wide problem seems to be as a result of old laws not being changed by either government and unscrupulous property owners and complicit banks being lax in their money lending practices. The logic of allowing construction companies to mortgage property in order to complete projects does make some sense in the early stages of a build but to allow a mortgage to be retained after full payment has been received should be treated as fraud rather than “forgetfulness.”

In the north there has been a misguided tendency to blame Turkey for the mortgage scandal when the blame lies firmly in the hands of the Cypriot construction industry. A government with strong resolve and the ability to confront the construction industry would help but these seems to be absent on both sides of the island. If the EU are unable to make the South Cyprus government do something about this scandal then how on earth can Turkey be expected to do better?

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