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In a Twist, Homeowner Forecloses on Bank Behind on Payment

March 7, 1991

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ The man bit the dog in Oslo this week when a homeowner foreclosed on his bank.

″We are giving the bank a taste of exactly the same medicine it uses on customers,″ Carl Fredrik Hestbek, an attorney in Trondheim, said Thursday.

He represents homeowner Kjell Rundgren, who began foreclosure proceedings against the bank and threatened to sell its office at forced auction because the institution was behind on a payment.

The Trondheim court of enforcement had ordered Den Norske Bank, Norway’s largest bank, to pay 120,000 kroner ($20,000) to Rundgren by Feb. 25 in a real estate dispute, said Hestbek.

Hestbek said the payment did not arrive, so he filed for a court-ordered mortgage on the bank’s newly remodelled branch office as collateral.

″It’s a nice, big building in downtown Trondheim, and if they don’t pay within two weeks we will demand that it be sold at court auction to cover the debt.″ said Hestbek.

Bjarne Wist, manager of the bank’s Trondheim office, said he is taking the action seriously. But he told the Trondheim newspaper, Adressavisen, that the bank will not pay until it has decided whether to appeal.

Hestbek claimed the bank has no legal recourse because the dispute’s original 18,000 kroner ($3,000) amount was below a limit set for appealing enforcement court rulings. It grew to 120,000 kroner from interest, court costs and legal fees.

″I am 100 percent sure we are right in this case,″ Hestbek said.

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