Reply To: Post your thoughts
On 2009.06.16 at 1:09 pm Arthur wrote:
you didn’t realize you signed for so much money, but the bank lent it anyway, right? where did it go to? to the house/business? did you friend/business partner not notice he received a way bigger amount of money than agreed upon?[/quote:1kmkqrft]
It went like this. In 1994, my ex-business partner wanted to buy a huge property of land, including a bungalow and a bicycle shop. He then wanted to sell the bungalow, sell or exploit the bicycle shop and build 1 or more new houses on the land that was left. Then a profit of 200.000 – 300.000 seemed likely. For the total buy a mortgage was needed, initially for a short period of course, of 650.000 (or 675.000, by head). But the bank asked for extra guarantees besides the property, which he could not deliver on his own, so I helped him a little for 33.750. In this way I became partner in the whole deal for 5%. So the bank gave us 650.000-675.000 so the notary could pay the seller of this whole property. But when the deal was closed at the notary, there was another paper to be signed (amongst many others) that said that my risk/guarantee was 375.000, so when the bank didn’t get the mortgage back at some point, they could claim me for this amount!
So I left the company in 1997 to broaden my horizon in Amsterdam. We officially made reports about this at a Registered Accountant, we notified the bank, the Chamber of Commerce etc. Nobody ever spoke about this debt paper, that was only "hidden" in the files of the bank. Meanwhile the bungalow was sold, the bicycle shop was being exploited and my ex-business partner was waiting for permission to build on that land. That’s how I left him, and there was nothing special going on.
Without me knowing anything (I had already moved to Amsterdam) my ex-business partner stopped paying intrest in 1999 and went bankrupt in 2000. The permission to build on that land never came, by the way, and that’s why the land is still there with this mortgage on it. Between 1997 and 2000 I heard nothing from bank nor curator. Only in 2001 I received a standard bank letter about intrest rates, and that surprised me as I had nothing to do with that bank anymore. So I called and they promised to take my name away of their files. And they did untill late 2004, when this other guy called me, saying they had found a paper with my signature that stated that they could claim 375.000 from me. I was like huh? wtf? no way! I remember I was part of that deal in 1994-1997, but I left it completely to my ex-business partner!
And the rest is history… This stupid judge is on the hand of the bank obviously. And he doesn’t take into account that the land is still there for a value of roughly 300.000 Euro, so when it is sold for that amount at some point, and I paid 190.000 now, will I get the profits of 110.000 Euro then? Because the judge thinks I’m still partner in the business… But judge doesn’t want me to pay the unpaid intrest of the mortgage, because since he is bankrupt, my ex-business partner doesnt have to pay it either (deal between curator and bank). But the deal between curator and bank is ALSO that the bank will wait with the total claim untill the land is sold! And that part of the deal is forgotten in the verdict of 190.000!
Next to this, and I know it’s all boring legal bullshit for most of you maybe, but there is this aging thing of 5 years. In general, after 5 years of doing nothing, in Holland people loose the right to claim. So we need a startdate and an enddate for this. The judge says it starts in 2000, and it ends in 2004, so no 5 years have passed. We said from the start: 1997 is the start year, and 2008 is the end year (difference of 11 years), because then the claim was known in a legal document. In Holland, to stop aging of claims, it is needed that a clear letter is send, registered by post, from party 1 to party 2 with a clear statement about "stop aging", "this and this exact amount" and "according this and this contract". This letter, or anything that looked like it, was never send, and the bank cannot prove they did send it. The judge however, states that only by contacting me in 2004 about a certain contract that might lead to a future claim, it was enough to stop the aging of the claim. Every lawyer I spoke, was totally surprised about this fact in the verdict, and they don’t understand how the judge could verdict like this.
All in all, we have enough material to have high hopes for the appeal. Only, it is very costly to be involved in a lawsuit, and when the economy crisis strikes at the same time… hmm… you don’t want to be in my shoes, I’m sure…
I’ll stop ranting about this, but it’s kinda cool to set my mind typing this out… hope you don’t mind. Thanks for listening.