MCB wins lawsuit against Sunset Waters on Curacao

The Court-appointed receiver of Sunset Waters Resort in Curaçao, Frans van den Bosch, has lost a lawsuit against Maduro & Curiel's Bank (MCB).

The dispute was whether or not MCB could pay back to the clients the chargebacks from credit card payments for overnight stays at the Sunset Waters Resort, which services as a result of the bankruptcy of the resort, had reportedly not been received by the cardholders.

The resort went bankrupt on July 23, 2009. MCB had an agreement with Sunset Waters Resort, in which the bank committed itself to crediting credit card payments made to Sunset Waters on an account held by Sunset Waters at MCB.

The Court ultimately assessed whether a set-off was allowed, whether the deposit in the MCB-account must be considered as a final payment and whether the chargebacks could be regarded as a set-off. The Court ruled that the origin of the debt in the chargebacks as exercised by the cardholders, was related to the agreement as was entered into before the bankruptcy. Therefore MCB was "at any rate entitled to debit Sunset Waters's account”. The Court ruled: ‘If it is not a reversal of an earlier payment under a resolutive or suspensive condition, then it is because of  a set-off."

MCB had submitted to the Court a specification of the latest transactions on the account. That specification indicated that a settlement in chargebacks took place. The defense of the receiver that ‘the so-called administration of the bank is not to follow’ and that the bank ‘executes every chargeback for any person at the stated amount by the cardholder or his bank without any consultation or control’ was refuted by the Court.

The Court: "The submitted records are clear enough. From all chargebacks, also the ‘chargeback notifications’, were submitted. Not alleged by the receiver, nor otherwise having become apparent , is that Sunset Waters and / or the receiver had responded to these submissions”. In these proceedings – according to the Court – the chargebacks were moreover not materially contested by the receiver in the sense that, different than alleged by the cardholders, they would indeed have enjoyed hotel accommodations at the resort.

(Source: National Newspaper Antilliaans Dagblad)

22 December 2011

The MCB-Bank was represented by Molly Steward, attorney at law at the law firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne.

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