Cyprus Mail
Property

Memo upon a sale contract

documents

THE registration of a judgment over an immovable property belonging to the debtor is a way of execution and its aim is to secure the payment of the debt or part of it. This right is safeguarded by the law and it is effected with the deposition and registration of the judgement as a memo over the immovable property of the debtor through the Land Registry. The existence of a property registered in the name of the debtor is necessary for the registration of the judgment.

However, there are many debtors who own immovable properties which are not registered in their name either because the title deed was not transferred or there is no separate title deed and the debtor as a purchaser is secured, since he is protected having his sale contract deposited at the Land Registry. An issue is raised whether a creditor is entitled to be secured for the payment of the judgment debt by charging with a memo the property purchased.

The recent amendments of the law did not cover this issue despite the fact that many creditors are affected. In such a case, the memo will burden the purchased property and when the separate title deed is issued, it will be limited to that property, as well as any application for its forced sale.

The banks are entitled to the aforesaid right in connection with actions against debtors – purchasers and developers being their guarantors. When the judgment concerns a loan granted for the purchase of a property the judgment is registered as a memo over the land of the vendor, but it relates to the property sold and it will be limited to it when the separate title deed is issued. Otherwise the registration of a memo is not possible and the creditor does not have the right to secure payment of the judgment debt, since the debtor can alienate the property at any time. The amendment of the law is necessary since there are properties for which debtors are beneficiary interested and their sale contracts are deposited at the Land Registry.

The registration of the judgment will be over the land of the vendor, part of which constitutes the sold property, but it will relate only to the property of the purchaser and it will be limited to it with the issue of the separate title deed. The consent of the vendor as the registered owner of the land can be regulated with a relevant note on the registration by the Land Registry that the memo affects only the particular property of the purchaser and it does not affect the sale of the other units or the issue of the separate title deeds and their transfer to the other purchasers.

The registration of the judgment will constitute an encumbrance over the property of the debtor without a separate title deed and the creditor will have adequate protection. The form for the registration of the judgment is addressed to the Land Registry Officer and he is asked for the interest of the debtor to remain charged until the repayment of the debt as long as the defendant – debtor has interest over the described property and the judgment must be attached. The registration of the memo is valid for 10 years and it can be extended from time to time for another period not exceeding 10 years.

The relevant application for extension must be submitted to the court at least one month before the expiration of the memo, a true copy must be served to the Land Registry stating the time of the hearing of the application and the Court, after examining and hearing the application, can issue the order provided it is satisfied that the extension of the validity of the memo does not affect adversely the debtor or any other creditor. In the event the judgment is satisfied during the validity of the memo, the creditor is obliged to notify the Land Registry.

George Coucounis is a lawyer specialising in the Immovable Property Law, based in Larnaca, Tel: 24 818288, [email protected], www.coucounislaw.com

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