Court stops Crane Bank from selling client’s city property

A Crane Bank branch. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

Reason. The bank wants to sell the properties to recover loan money.

Kampala. Court has stopped Crane Bank from selling property worth billions that was mortgaged by its client as security.
The property under controversy registered in the names of Miao Hua Xian is on Plot 47 Nabugabo Road worth Shs2b and Plot 53 Mackenzie Vale, Kololo worth Shs3.9b, both in Kampala District.
High Court Judge Christopher Madrama of the Commercial Division also directed the bank’s client, Ms Xian to deposit Shs4b to the bank by January 14 next year.

“Upon deposit of the sum of money by the applicant, the injunction shall last for 50 days from date of this order unless otherwise the period is extended by this court from time or by consent of the parties,” ordered Justice Madrama warning that failure to deposit the said money, the order shall lapse.
The court order arose from a row between Crane Bank and Ms Xian over the impending sale of mortgaged prime properties worth over Shs6b.
Ms Xian sued Crane Bank alleging that the credit sanctions and mortgages extended to her were in contravention of the laws and not enforceable.

Through her lawyers, Muwema and Company Advocates, Ms Xian wants a declaration that the punitive interest charged by the bank under the credit facilities is extortionate, unconscionable and illegal.
She wants court to declare that a notice of intended sale of her properties by Fit Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs dated November 15 is null and unenforceable.

According to Justice Madrama, any re-advertisement of the said property for sale would not take place before January 14 2016; “At this point there is no advertised date and place of sale and therefore there is no new date and place for conducting a public auction of the mortgaged property.”
But Crane Bank through its lawyers argued that the amount owed to it as of December 16, is $1.2m and Shs2.7b which total to Shs7b.

Background
Ms Xian’s woes arose from a July 2013 credit facility of Shs1.5b and $800,000 she acquired at an interest rate of 12 per cent per annum for the dollars and 24 per cent for the Shillings loans. It is alleged that the two facilities were secured by the mortgage of the complainant.

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