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Saturday 15th of May 2010

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May 5, 2010

Banks intent on recovering property loan losses

by Gill Montia

Story link: Banks intent on recovering property loan losses

Banks and other lenders are responsible for a “dramatic jump” in the number of professional negligence claims brought against surveyors and estate agents.

According to City law firm, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), there were 25 commercial and residential High Court cases against estate agents or surveyors in 2009, compared with just one case over the previous five years.

RPC partner, Alexandra Anderson, comments: “Losses of UK and Irish banks on loans in the UK property market run to the billions of pounds.”

She adds: “This has put a lot of pressure on banks and investors to pursue any option open to them to recover their losses, including launching a negligence claim against the surveyor who valued the collateral for the loan.”

The research reveals that the kinds of credit crunch related professional negligence claims faced by surveyors and estate agents include claims that:

They negligently overvalued commercial premises such as shopping centres that subsequently collapsed in value because tenants became insolvent in the recession.

They negligently overvalued residential property development sites which plunged in value because of falling house prices and the glut of similar new build that was erected in the housing boom, particularly in cities such as Manchester and Leeds.

They negligently underestimated the cost of putting a development project on hold.

They negligently valued a property that was subject to a fraud that has been exposed because of falling prices in the recession.

The writedowns that turned Lloyds TSB’s acquisition of HBOS into a disaster were largely fuelled by the exposure of HBOS’s residential and commercial property loan books to the credit crisis and recession.


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