Saturday, 14 December

Living in Fear of Eviction: Yerevan Family Struggles to Retain Home

The Arzumanyan family of Yerevan has been fighting for their property rights for 12 years. Despite their legal struggle, they now face eviction.

They found out years ago that their house had changed owners several times. The Arzumanyans say they never sold the house.

Levon Charkhifalakyan, the last buyer, has appealed to the civil court to evict the Arzumanyans from their ‘former’ house at 10A, Arabkir 19th Street.

Head of the family, Armen Arzumanyan, told Hetq that it all started in 2005, when he urgently needed money and came upon an announcement in a newspaper about 5% loans secured by real estate, which lead to meeting Yerevan resident Hrant Karapetyan.

“We haven’t had a day of peace since,” said Arzumanyan, and now advises people to stay away from conniving individuals, credit companies and pawn shops lending money.

Hetq investigated the story after Arzumanyan reached out to us for help.

On September 23, 2005, Armen Arzumanyan borrowed the AMD equivalent of US$ 6,000 from Hrant Karapetyan at 60% annual interest. This was way above the 17% specified by the Central Bank.  

A real estate mortgage agreement registered by a notary was signed, but nothing was noted about the loan with interest. Instead, the interest amounts were included in the total of the borrowed sum, making it 4,000,000 AMD.

Arzumanyan then failed to repay Karapetyan on time.  A second agreement was signed between them on December 30, 2006 regarding a supplemental loan of 6 million AMD. This contract mentioned the paid and to be paid interest.

In 2008, Hrant Karapetyan went to court and got the house belonging to Arzumanyan via the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service.

Though Karapetyan was charged for usury in 2008, the case was dismissed a year later, because of an amnesty.

In 2010, Arzumanyan got another criminal case of to be launched. It too was dismissed. The court allowed for the house to be sold.

In September 2011, the house was sold to Ara Mouradyan, a month later another purchase contract was signed between Ara Mouradyan and Levon Charkhifalakyan.

Thus, the Arzumanyans’ house passed to the third buyer. The Arzumanyans tried to challenge the purchase contracts in court. In 2012, the court recognized Charkhifalakyan as the legal buyer.

Levon Charkhifalakyan filed a lawsuit to evict the Arzumanyans five years ago, saying that he acquired the No. 10/2 and 10/1 residential houses on 19 Arabkir Street by valid purchase agreements signed and notarized in October 2011. At the time, the court rejected the demand for eviction, saying that Charkhifalakyan presented only the copies of house ownership certificates.

Arzumanyans still live in their former house, under the daily fear of court eviction.

Five years hence, in 2017, Charkhifalakyan again went to court, demanding their eviction. The court session is scheduled for May.

Photo: Armen Arzumanyan

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