It has been the case for the past decade or so that the purchasers of immovable properties in Cyprus who had taken out a Loan with a Cyprus Bank in the Swiss Franc Currency (CHF) in order to fund their property purchase, and who – for whatever reason – have fallen into default of that Loan, continue to be “served” with legal actions (Writs of Summons) from their Cyprus Banks at their UK residences.
The receipt of these considerable bundles of legal papers can be a daunting and often frightening event, and one which the vast majority of individuals have no idea how to handle or have any understanding of what is legally now expected of them. This article is designed to offer some informed commentary on the legal process and how clients receiving these documents should be reacting.
For more information regarding the underlying issues related to mis sold Swiss Franc Mortgages in Cyprus see the link here - Swiss Franc Mortgages in Cyprus - Judicare (judicaregroup.com).
What constitutes service of a Writ of Summons from a Cyprus Court in the UK?
We are often asked about the way clients of Cyprus Banks can defend Actions brought against them and there is concern that people are likely to find themselves in serious financial trouble in the future if they ignore the Service of the Writ to them in the UK and/or make no efforts to file the required Notice of Appearance against the Writ in the Cyprus Court of issue.
We base the above on the premise that the jurisdiction of the Cyprus Bank to sue its client in a Cyprus Court can only be disputed in the Court in which the Action is initiated i.e., the Cyprus Court. If this is not challenged and the judicial process comes to its conclusion with a Judgment in favour of the Bank against its client, then this Judgment will be registered in the U.K with an Order of the U.K Court and will be executed in the U.K as a normal U.K Court Judgment.
How should you react when served with a Writ from Cyprus?
The Writs of Summons will task the recipient, typically within a period of between 10 and 30 days, to proceed and to file a Notice of Appearance in Court in Cyprus to acknowledge the service to them of the Writs. This effectively is an appearance by an advocate in Cyprus on a clients’ behalf.
Clients do not have to file any form of Defence to the allegations within the Writs of Summons at this preliminary stage. That will follow later.
What happens if you fail to deal with the Writs of Summons?
This is a very common question we are asked. If you do not understand what is required, it is very easy to get yourself into more trouble by saying or revealing something that seems innocent, but which is then later on used against you by the Bank.
Worse than saying the wrong thing however is sticking your head in the sand and hoping that the problem will go away. It won’t.
If the Writs are deemed to have been “served” upon a client correctly, and that individual fails to make the required Notice of Appearance in Cyprus, then the Court in Cyprus can proceed in the absence of the client, and issue in favour of the Bank in Cyprus a Judgement in default.
For more information on how a Judgement can be enforced in the UK see here - Have you been notified of a "Charging Order" on your UK property in favour of a foreign Bank? (judicaregroup.com)
Do you have to attend Court in Cyprus to file the Notice of Appearance personally?
At this preliminary stage, the recipient of a Writ can instruct an advocate in Cyprus to appear on his/her behalf. Once the filing is made, this will then allow for a period within which the client and his/her legal representatives can study the allegations within the Writs and proceed accordingly.
It’s important when looking for a firm to represent your interests and to negotiate with a foreign Bank on your behalf, that you look to engage a specialist, experienced and regulated firm of Solicitors. Here at Judicare we have decades of combined experience in dealing with Banks in foreign jurisdictions, and as a specialist firm of Solicitors, we have been able to negotiate over €40million of foreign Bank debt being successfully written off for our clients.
If you have been served with a Writ of Summons from Cyprus, or have fears you may soon receive a Writ from your Bank in Cyprus, or would simply like more information on our fixed fee approach a member of our team will be happy to take your call on a confidential basis at 01438 840258 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We can also arrange a free no obligation teleconference via Zoom/Skype.
Getting in touch will allow us to understand your individual circumstances and discuss with you your concerns and objectives. Working with you we can then decide upon the correct strategy to approach and find the solution which is right for you.