Magnar Bank v Mahfuz [2022] DIFC SCT 142 [2022] DIFC CT 142 (03 June 2022)

Claim No. SCT 142/2022

THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS

In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai

IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE NASSIR AL NASSER

BETWEEN

MAGNAR BANK

Claimant

and

MAHFUZ

Defendant


Hearing :2 June 2022
Judgment :3 June 2022

JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE NASSIR AL NASSER


UPON hearing the Claimant’s representative and the Defendant at the Hearing

AND UPON reading the submissions and evidence filed and recorded on the Court file

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 219,977.34 referring to sums owed for the Personal Loan, plus interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of this Judgment until the date of full payment.

2. The Claimant’s Claim in relation to the Mahler Credit Card shall be dismissed for lack of evidence.

3. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court fee in the sum of AED 10,998.86.

Issued by:
Ayesha Bin Kalban
SCT Judge and Registrar
Date of issue: 3 June 2022
At: 8am

THE REASONS

Parties

1. The Claimant is Magnar Bank, a bank providing financial services including credit cards and personal loans to customers (the “Claimant”).

2. The Defendant is Mahdis, an individual customer of the Claimant Bank (the “Defendant”).

Background

3. The parties entered into a written agreement on 1 September 2016, titled ‘MAGNAR Personal Loan and Credit Card Application Form’ (the “Agreement”).

4. On 17 September 2016, following the Agreement, the Defendant was granted a personal loan of AED 290,000 that was repayable in 43 monthly installments in the sum of AED 7,075 (the “Personal Loan”). The Personal Loan Account is in arrears since 14 June 2018 and the outstanding amount is currently AED 219,977.34.

5. In addition, the Claimant granted the Defendant a Credit Card “Mahler Credit Card” with a limit of AED 10,000 on 28 September 2016. The Credit Card account is in arrears since 18 June 2018 and the remaining amount is AED 14,611.58.

6. On 21 April 2022, the Claimant filed a Claim (the “Claim”) with the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (the “SCT”) to recover the outstanding amounts in the sum of AED 234,704.18, due to the Defendant’s failure to maintain her repayments.

7. The parties met for a Consultation with SCT Judge Maitha Al Shehhi on 27 May 2022 but were unable to reach a settlement.

8. In line with the rules and procedures of the SCT, this matter was referred to me for determination, pursuant to a Hearing held on 2 June 2022, at which the Claimant’s representative and the Defendant were in attendance.

Discussion

9. This Claim includes two main elements. First, it must be established that the DIFC Courts have jurisdiction over the Claimant’s Claims, namely, the Personal Loan Claim, the Mahler Credit Card Claim. Second, the Claims must be assessed based on the documentary evidence provided to adjudicate whether the Defendant is in arrears and, if so, how much remains owing to the Claimant.

10. Due to the important fact that the SCT cannot give judgment on claims falling outside of its jurisdiction, I will address the SCT’s jurisdiction over each claim below.

The Personal Loan Claim

11. The Claimant submits that the Agreement between the parties was signed by the Defendant on 1 September 2016 (a copy of the Agreement was attached to the case file).

12. Subject to the Agreement, the Defendant was awarded a Personal Loan in the sum of AED 290,000.

13. The Claimant contends that the DIFC Courts and the SCT have jurisdiction over the claim as the Defendant agreed to the terms and conditions set forth in the Agreement, as presented on the MAGNAR system, which states at Clause 18, as follows:

“the Civil Court of the Individual Emirates. The Federal Civil Courts of the United Arab Emirates, and the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre (including without limitation the Small Claims Tribunal of the DIFC). Shall have non-exclusive jurisdiction over all matters arising under the products’ terms and conditions save that bank shall have the right to file actions in any court with jurisdiction over you or your assets.”

14. I find that the parties have opted-in to the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts pursuant to Clause 18 of the Terms and Conditions.

15. In relation to the Personal Loan Claim, the Defendant submits that she had paid her installments as per the schedule until she was terminated from her employment. She also adds that upon termination, the bank received her end of service entitlement to cover the loan.

16. However, as per the evidence before the Courts, the remaining amount in June 2018 was AED 159,104.75. In addition, the Loan Account Statement provides that the interest started accruing since July 2018 to April 2022 in the sum of AED 60,872.59. Therefore, based on the documentary evidence before me, I am satisfied that the Defendant has been in arrears and the remaining balance of the Loan is the sum of AED 219,977.34.

17. The Claimant further requested post judgment interest pursuant to the Practice Direction No. 4 of 2017, which I shall award the Claimant.

The Credit Card Claim

18. In respect of the Mahler Credit Card Claim, the Agreement also covers the Mahler Credit Card where the DIFC Courts have the jurisdiction to hear and determine the claim as mentioned in paragraphs 13 and 14 above.

19. The Claimant claims that the Credit Card account is in arrears since 18 June 2018 and the remaining amount is AED 14,611.58.

20. However, the Claimant failed to provide the Credit Card Statement or any documentation which reflects the amount on the Credit Card.

21. Therefore, I shall dismiss the Claimant’s claim for the sum of AED 14,611.58 in respect of the Mahler Credit Card.

22. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court fee in the sum of AED 10,998.86.

Conclusion

23. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 219,977.34 referring to sums owed for the Personal Loan, plus interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of this Judgment until the date of full payment.

24. The Claimant’s Claim in relation to the Mahler Credit Card shall be dismissed for lack of evidence.

25. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court fee in the sum of AED 10,998.86.