The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013 has been published by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD.
The newly published Bill confirms that certain statutory provisions that were repealed by the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 will continue to apply to mortgages created before 1 December 2009. However, the Bill also contains proposals for new safeguards which will mean that in any repossession proceedings in respect of a borrower’s principal private residence or family home, the court may adjourn the proceedings in order to permit the drawing up of a Personal Insolvency Arrangement as an alternative to repossession.
The background to the legislation is a 2011 case (Start Mortgages), in which the High Court found that the repeal of certain provisions in the 2009 Act may have had the unintended consequence of restricting lending institutions from asserting their repossession rights.
Minister Shatter stated: “What this Bill will do is to restore the law that has existed over the centuries which enables a lending institution to rely on its security in relation to a mortgage. It does nothing other than restore the position intended by the Oireachtas when enacting the 2009 Act. I am, of course, deeply aware of the issues that arise where repossession proceedings relate to family homes. In the course of preparing this Bill, I sought and obtained Government approval to include in the Bill a provision which will allow a court to adjourn repossession proceedings in such cases to see whether a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 would be a more appropriate course of action. The court may, in such cases, adjourn the proceedings to facilitate the drawing up of such an Arrangement as an alternative to repossession.”
The Government was committed to publishing the Bill by the end of this month in the context of the Revised Index of Conditions/Actions following Q3 2012 Review of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland.