Heftsiba 88 298.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday ordered a temporary injunction to freeze the assets belonging to the bankrupt Heftsiba's subsidiary companies, preventing the company from selling off their properties and smuggling the money into other accounts.
The injunction was sought by 62 Heftsiba employees, who claim that the company owes them years of unpaid wages.
In presenting the injunction, Judge David Cheshin said it would be effective immediately and stand until another ruling is made regarding the company's assets.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai praised the actions of the banks in the immediate aftermath of the Heftsiba crisis.
Yishai met with representatives of the country's largest banks, the Bank of Israel, the Bank Supervisor and the Consumer's Council at his Jerusalem office to discuss the next necessary steps to be taken to help those most affected by the collapse of the construction company.
"The banks provided help to those who most needed it and I expect this to continue," said Yishai, specifically pointing to Bank Hapoalim, which last week revealed that Heftsiba customers who purchased apartments in Har Homa's "Meduragai Har Homa" and Ma'aleh Adumim's "Nofei Haselah," will be able to move in to their apartments following the completion of their construction, which will be carried out by the construction company Dania Sibus.
Last week, the Knesset Finance Committee called on the country's largest banks to open an investigation into how Heftsiba customers' mortgage payments were transferred to the company without the proper guarantees.
A bank guarantee can obligate the bank to return to the purchaser the entire sum of money he has invested in the apartment in circumstances such as those now involving Heftsiba.
Some buyers in the Heftsiba affair did receive the bank guarantees, and so will have their money returned to them by the banks. Those who did not, however, will join a long list of Heftsiba creditors, not all of whom are likely to have their money returned unless there is intervention on their behalf.
Heftsiba had been in the process of constructing 4,000 apartments when news of its impending bankruptcy broke, prompting thousands of customers to illegally take possession of their unfinished flats.