StanChart gets nod to sell assets in loan default


Standard Chartered Bank branch on Kenyatta Avenue. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The High Court has allowed Standard Chartered Bank to sell a businessman’s property in Kiambu and Nairobi saying courts cannot be a refuge for loan defaulters who refuse to repay the debt after being given a chance.

Justice Nixon Sifuna ruled that courts should not be a safe haven for unconscionable loanees who have critically defaulted on repayment, or a parking bay for cases filed by them, for purposes of buying time and as a delaying tactic.

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The judge said a borrower has the duty of paying periodic instalments as and when they fall due.

The judge made the ruling in a case filed by Tengeri Osoro, who sought to stop the lender from selling a property on Lotus Court in Kiambu County and a flat on Joseph Kangethe Road, in Nairobi.

The property on Lotus Court was already sold and Mr Osoro wanted to block the bank from transferring the apartment to the new buyer.

“Any chargor coming to court for an injunction while submerged in arrears or default does so with unclean hands. He will need to, as a sign of good faith, make some payments before the court can entertain his grievance,” the judge said.

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The judge said an application seeking an injunction to stop the sale while making no effort to pay the loan arrears is unconscionable. “To this lot, courts should provide neither refuge nor asylum,” he said.

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