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Irish company ditches mortgages for occupied north Cyprus February 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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A company in Ireland that last month began offering mortgages to Irish and British citizens to buy property in the Turkish occupied north area of Cyprus, has withdrawn the service, Irish media have reported.

Global Mortgages Direct, which describes itself as Ireland’s first international mortgage brokerage specialist, began advertising the offers earlier this month. But according to the reports, the company had second thoughts and withdrew the service little more than a day later.

The Irish newspaper the Sunday Tribune reported that Global Mortgages Direct had taken the decision to withdraw after considering the implications and the Irish government’s stance on the issue. The company said the service had been withdrawn the day after its launch.

The decision was made following discussions with Cypriot officials in Ireland, and having taken account of the Irish government’s strong warnings about buying property in the Turkish military controlled and occupied northern areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

Director Mark Gannon told the Sunday Tribune the company had arranged a facility to source mortgages with a Turkish bank after “regular requests” from people interested in buying property in the occupied northern Cyprus. He said the reaction to the decision to offer mortgages on the occupied north of the island “took us from left field”. “We didn’t expect the fall-out. . . It was pretty full-on.”  Gannon said the decision to withdraw the facility immediately “relates to the Irish government’s stance”.

The Tribune said many Irish citizens had purchased property in the Turkish military controlled and occupied northern areas of Cyprus. However, like Britain, the Irish government issues a warning to prospective buyers on its website strongly advising them to seek qualified independent legal advice due to potential claims related to title and ownership from Cypriots displaced in 1974 after Turkey invaded Cyprus, “which may lead to serious financial and legal repercussions”.

It adds that potential buyers may face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, decisions of which can be executed elsewhere in the EU, including Ireland. Cypriot law was also recently amended making it a criminal offence, with penalties of up to seven years imprisonment, to purchase, sell, rent or promote or advertise the sale of property in Turkish military controlled and occupied northern areas of Cyprus owned by Greek Cypriots, the website says. “Any attempt to undertake such a transaction is also a criminal offence under Cypriot law. The law is not retrospective and took effect on October 20, 2006,” it advises.

When the advertisement first went out, Gannon said he had received some queries about the legal implications for buyers purchasing in the occupied north, but he said: “What we do is facilitate mortgages,” not sell or buy the properties. Gannon said that for the company it was an issue of “Buyer Beware”.