In 2014 the Transfer and Mortgage of Properties Law was amended to introduce a streamlined foreclosure process aimed at helping banks to address the persistently high levels of non-performing loans and so-called 'strategic defaulters'. Several of the amendments were ambiguously drafted and borrowers were quick to oppose them, leading to numerous court appeals to suspend foreclosures that had already begun. In order to address this issue, Parliament recently decided on additional reforms.
The Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the long-established principle that when contracting parties agree to amend or replace an agreement, the new agreement will replace the old one and define all of their rights and obligations. Accordingly, in a case where a settlement agreement is agreed between the parties, but not fully complied with by one of them, the other party cannot reinstate any of its rights under the initial agreement.
In order to address the problem of non-performing loans following the 2013 financial crisis, the Transfer and Mortgage of Properties Law was amended in 2014 to speed up and streamline the foreclosure process which allows lenders to repossess and sell properties pledged as security for loans in arrears. With the lower courts unable to agree, significant uncertainties remain as to the application of the new procedure. It now falls on the Supreme Court to reach a decision that will provide guidance and set a binding precedent.
The full bench of the Supreme Court, exercising its jurisdiction to examine the constitutionality of laws, recently held by a majority of eight to four that Article 38(2) of the Relationships between Parents and Children Law, which provides for an automatic child support increase of 10% every two years, is not unconstitutional.
In a recent judgment, the Nicosia District Court decided that an affidavit was inadmissible due to the fact that the jurat was not in one of Cyprus's two official languages (ie, Greek or Turkish). Considering that it has been common practice among lawyers to ensure that a jurat is in the same language as the affidavit that it purports to validate, the decision is somewhat unexpected.