CYPRUS AND SWISS FRANC MORTGAGE ISSUES

2021-03-22

EU Property Solutions receive numerous enquiries from borrowers who purchased properties in Cyprus pre-2008 and were offered Swiss Franc Loans.  These mortgages were sold on the basis that the Swiss Franc was a stable currency. Unfortunately for mortgage holders, the Swiss Franc has been a very strong currency against the £ and the €.

Bizarrely pre-2008 Cyprus had the Cypriot Pound as their currency with the Euro then taking its place. At no point has the Swiss Franc ever been used other than for property purchases. Even more amazingly, Switzerland is not even an EU Country. Without doubt, these mortgages were mis-sold* and at best were deemed to be loose lending by the Cypriot Banks

Following the global financial crisis of 2008, Swiss Franc Loan balances grew due to the Swiss Franc appreciating against the Euro. Added to that there was a property crash worldwide and property prices in Cyprus plummeted. This created Negative Equity and left significant shortfalls for borrowers.

Add to this the issue of a lack of title deeds available and Land Registry issues for purchases in Cyprus, then you have a ‘heady mix’ of issues to overcome. This ‘heady mix’ manifests itself in sometimes huge Negative Equity positions.

Help is however at hand and settlements can be reached by us at EU Property Solutions ….. through our extensive knowledge, negotiating skills and together with our local legal teams, full technical understanding of all cases.

EU Property Solutions were appointed to assist a couple who purchased a holiday home in Paphos and their financial exposure position and our work saw:

  • A mortgage balance was SwFr414,000 which at the time of purchase equated to £182,000,
  • This ‘ballooned’ to £330,000 due to the currency fluctuation referred to above.
  • The property value was only £150,000.

EU Property Solutions negotiated the sale of the property with the lender and a lump sum payment of £35,000 to close the mortgage account. Savings of c£145,000 achieved.

 

Other routes borrowers’ take are through Class Actions through providers such as Judicare.

Furthermore, Cyprus is not the only country we have seen the use of Swiss Franc Mortgages. We have seen cases in Poland and Hungary with mortgages issued in Swiss Franc Mortgages.

If you are losing your Swiss Franc Mortgage battle and wish to discuss your options, please call EU Property Solutions today on +44 (0)330 124 1230.

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