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Runda woman to seize Housing Finance property over Sh726m claim

A Nairobi businesswoman has obtained court orders attaching mortgage lender Housing Finance’s property to recover a Sh722 million compensation that the High Court awarded her in 2009.

The orders, issued last week, have seen the businesswoman hit Housing Finance with a Sh726 million demand and a notice attaching equipment in four of the lender’s Nairobi branches.

Sharok Ali Hirji gave Housing Finance seven days beginning Tuesday last week to pay the sum that the late Justice Joyce Khaminwa awarded her after finding that the mortgage financier illegally sold her matrimonial home to recover a disputed Sh600,000 loan it had granted the businesswoman in 1985.

Ms Hirji issued the ultimatum through a warrant of attachment she obtained from the High Court, seeking to enforce the earlier decision.

The Sh726 million demand Ms Hirji has made to Housing Finance includes the judgment amount plus the auctioneers’ fees.

The warrant of attachment targets assets from the bank’s Rehani House head office, Gill House, Masera House and Epren Centre in Nairobi.

DISPUTED LOAN

Justice Khaminwa awarded Ms Hirji Sh20.4 million in November 2009 after finding that HF sold her Runda home for Sh6 million nine years earlier to recover the disputed loan.

The judge ruled that HF had raised interest rates on Ms Hirji’s loan from 13.5 per cent to 26 per cent without notice and was, therefore, foul of the law.

“You are hereby notified that the moveable property described in the schedule is attached hereto and left in your custody for seven days from June 8,” the warranty of attachment says.

“At the expiry of seven days, the property will be removed to Moran Auctioneers’ premises and sold by public auction unless the amount due together with costs of this attachment shall have been paid.”

Ms Hirji’s Sh20.4 million award has risen to Sh722 million on account of compounded interest rate set by the court at 26 per cent from the day the house was sold.

The amount continues growing until HF settles the sum in full. Among the assets targeted are office partitions worth Sh400 million and 2,000 complete computer sets valued at Sh200 million.

Also attached are 20 safes, office furniture used by employees across the corporate ladder and four lifts, all of which could hit the lender’s operations hard if sold. The auctioneer has set its bill at Sh48 million, which is also to be footed by HF.

Read the full story here.

SOURCE: Business Daily