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Cyprus government extends misselling deadline

The Cypriot government has extended the deadline to launch legal proceedings for those caught up in the mis-selling scandal . The 15,000 Britons that were mis-sold property now have until December 31st 2014 to lodge a claim against lenders and Cypriot property developers. This is 12 months longer than the initial deadline of December 31st this year.

Problems occurred when people bought property between 2003 and 2009, with many of these off-plan. Consequently, building work was still unfinished or hadn't even begun. Since then, huge currency fluctuations have left Britons in financial ruin, with mortgage repayments doubling or tripling in size. Of those affected, the majority were buy-to-let investors that planned to rent out their property to holidaymakers. Lawyers are now advising the victims to lodge a case first in the UK, then begin a second one in Cyprus to ensure protection.

Currently, Alpha Bank is offering a 20 per cent write down if borrowers forgo claims of mis-selling but law firms in the UK have now filed a major High Court action in London against the bank and 24 property developers. Speaking in August, George Kounis, the consultant leading on these matters at Maxwell Alves Solicitors, said: "Owners must unite and present a common front. This way, owners will not get conflicting advice and will know whether a 20 per cent offer by a bank is good enough."  

Mr Kounis claims this doesn't amount to disbanding either, which would threaten competition. "We have invited these groups to form a collaboration circle. This way, owners could choose through whom they would want to engage but they would know that they can tap into shared intelligence, the best legal advice and join in collective actions at a fraction of the cost," he said.

While the deadline to lodge a claim has been extended, Cypriot property owners should still act swiftly to ensure they get their defence in ample time to benefit from compensation. It will also be important to seek advice on the best route to take for a claim.
Article by +Steve Binge on behalf of