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NCFP Publications | The Perils Of Pauline On Pirate Island

NCFP Publications | The Perils Of Pauline On Pirate Island

This is the everyday story of an ageing rebel who was swindled of her life’s savings and would not lie down and play dead.

In 2005, Pauline Read made the most expensive mistake of her life; she contracted to buy a property in north Cyprus. The advocate she employed assured her it was a perfectly safe place to buy and that she, as a UK trained lawyer, would safeguard her client’s interests. She would undertake a land search to make sure the purchase was free of impediments before any money was advanced to the vendor, who also happened to be the builder. The Contract was signed by the Contractor, Kulaksiz Construction Limited, the Director for himself and the landowner Yuksel Yilmaz and by Pauline Read the purchaser.

That single act of purchasing has resulted in untold misery for Pauline Read, the loss of the villa and all the money she spent not only purchasing it, but trying to legally hold on to that purchase.

On the 14th September 2005, Pauline Read signed a Contract to purchase which clearly stated that there were no impediments, liens, encumbrances on the property and that the vendors would keep it that way until transfer of title could take place.

On 6th May 2006, Pauline Read and her partner moved into their new home.

In June 2006, evidence of subsidence started to show in the form of cracks that you could put your fist into.

In November 2006, Pauline and her partner had to move out as the subsidence had become so bad the back two bedrooms and the back end of the villa had to be excavated down to several feet below ground level, then in-filled and rebuilt. This was completed for Christmas 2006 when they moved back in.

In March 2007, the whole rebuild of the back end of the villa had to be undertaken again but this time, because the builder was no longer flush with cash, the hapless pair had to live in half of the villa whilst this was being done. It became obvious by then that the builder may be many things, but a builder he was not. Still, Pauline believed that if the worst happened, at least she would own the land.

Because of the protracted procedure in obtaining Permission to Purchase in north Cyprus, at the beginning of 2008 a new law allowing foreigners to Register their Contract of Sale with the Tapu (Land Registry) came into force. This was intended to give foreign purchasers more security because, whilst waiting to transfer title, the property remains in the name of the vendor and north Cyprus law allows them to use the property as security for borrowing. This new law allowed Contracts pre-dating it to be registered retrospectively and therein lay the problem.

It was soon discovered that many builders, developers and landowners were one step ahead and had already mortgaged land they no longer morally owned and, with the existence of a Contract of Sale, some would say legally owned. Most rational people would say that but not, it seems, the legal system in north Cyprus where, it seems, it is acceptable to sell something and after selling, use it as security against a mortgage or loan without the consent or knowledge of the person whose money they took. It is here-say, of course, but the rumour is that some builders spent their clients’ life savings on gambling or visiting whore houses and not for building and securing the property as they had legally contracted to.

In March 2008, whilst registering her Contract of Sale, Pauline was told that there were two mortgages on her property, one dated before she signed and one after she signed her Contract of Sale. So much for the promise from her Advocate that she would undertake a land search before parting with Pauline’s money. Now the can was open, more and more worms escaped and the whole sordid picture began to emerge. It is estimated that at least 1400 people were in the same situation with mortgages on their property and even more purchasers found that creditors of the builder had court Memorandums applied to their property.

The bank who had the mortgage on Pauline’s house had used the whole site to secure the mortgage which started off at 100,000 Turkish Lira (TL), approximately £40,000, but the kicker being that the mortgage deed lodged with the Tapu contained an annual interest rate of 250%. The first mortgage being in March 2005 and the second in November 2005. You do not have to be Einstein to realise that by the time Pauline became aware of this mortgage in March 2008 the debt had grown considerably. These 1000 words are about 20,000 short of what it would take to tell the detail that goes into the last five years following the discovery of these mortgages.

Pauline has made well in excess of 150 court appearances trying to obtain something resembling justice. She has watched the legal system legally authorise the sale by Auction of her property and those of the other owners on the site. The bank’s debt had risen from 100,000TL to 2,077,000TL. The bank bought the villas trying to kid the press that they had to pay 2,077,000TL for them, when any halfway intelligent person could work out that as the buyer and the seller, the money came out of the front door of the bank and went back in through the back door. The capital outlay to the bank for 13 villas was just 100,000TL and Pauline refuses to believe they ever expected repayment of the loan from the borrowers, supposed business men signing up to pay an interest rate of 250%.

Bank personnel broke into and illegally repossessed Pauline’s villa and now live in it.

She has 5 Libel cases against her from the bank.

The bank called for her deportation through the Turkish language press.

Still she defies them and hangs on by a thread. She knows this has cost her dearly in health, wealth and wellbeing. She is 68 years young.

Pauline Ann Read
23rd August 2013

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