Across Cyprus there are people that haven't received the properties they paid for, or had the properties delivered with major deficiencies and without promised amenities. Others bought homes in Euros but as banks hike up interest rate margins have no way of refinancing. Some have even been able to maintain repayments, but a lack of rental income and a fall in property prices has caused issues.
No matter the cause of difficulty, Cypriot property owners are now being told that unless they act immediately any claim or defence they have could no longer be valid by the end of the year. Confusion has also emerged as to whether people should claim in Cyprus or in England.
Currently, Alpha Bank is offering a 20 per cent write down if borrowers forgo claims of mis-selling. However, law firms in the UK have now filed a major High Court action in London against the bank and 24 property developers.
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." This doesn't amount to disbanding either, he stressed, which would harm 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," Mr Kounis said.