As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, Cyprus authorities adopted different measures in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to strengthen the economy. The measures affected, among others banking and other institutions active in the banking sector.
In light of the above, the Supreme Court of Cyprus, after a meeting held on Monday 16/03/2020 between members of the Supreme Court of Cyprus, the Justice Minister Mr. Giorgos Savvides, the Attorney General and the President of Cyprus Bar Association, decided that Cyprus Courts shall remain open handling urgent civil and criminal cases. The measures will remain in force until April 30.
Among these cases are the cases pertaining to appeals relating to foreclosures and interim orders. It shall be noted that not all the interim applications can be considered as urgent. Other cases related to the Banking sector cannot be considered, according to the criteria set by the Supreme Court, as urgent. Therefore the Courts shall proceed and set each case, irrespectively if it is set for hearing or directions, on a new date, informing the parties of the case. In principle Court’s Registrars are currently not accepting the submission of pleadings, the filing of court actions and other legal documents until April 30.
The members of Association of Cyprus Banks, the State’s management Company, KEDIPES and credit acquiring company Gordian Holdings Limited responding to the coronavirus crisis announced on 18/03/2020 that they shall suspend all planned foreclosures until June 2020, following the recommendation of the Central Bank of Cyprus that Banking and other institutions in Cyprus shall enact measures protecting the borrowers from the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
The suspension of the foreclosures is expected to affect pending Court proceedings related to these foreclosures which were set until June 2020. Most likely, borrowers seeking to set aside Notices IA and the upcoming auctions (set until June 2020) and have filed an application/appeal to the Court, will have to proceed and withdraw their applications/appeals, as the said foreclosures/auction are now suspended.
On 18/03/2020 the Cyprus Central Bank announced further measures to support the economy. Among others the Cyprus Central Bank decided to relax requirements for giving loans, to encourage banks to grant loans to businesses and households, which were affected by the coronavirus. The measures are expected to encourage local banking institutions to adopt a more flexible stance towards businesses and households.