On 29 May 2018 the Minister for Justice and Equality announced that a new Courts and Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill (the "Bill") will be drafted increasing protections for mortgagors facing repossession proceedings. The Bill has its origins in the Keeping Persons in their Homes Bill (previously introduced as a Private Member's Bill in 2017) and proposes amending the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 to include provisions for persons facing repossession who cannot avail of an insolvency remedy under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.
The Minister's press release states that the Bill would require the court, when considering an application for a possession order in such cases, to have regard to the following factors:
"the overall proportionality of the application for a repossession order; the circumstances of those resident in the property; the details of, and responses to, any proposals put forward by either party which would enable the borrower to remain in the property, including participation in a Government scheme for distressed mortgage holders (for example, the Mortgage to Rent Scheme or the Abhaile scheme); and where the mortgagee is not the original mortgagee that granted the loan or mortgage to the mortgagor, the amount paid for the purchase of the loan or mortgage by reference to the amount of debt outstanding in respect of the loan or mortgage." The provisions, if implemented, may have significant implications for lenders enforcing security and for purchasers of and bidders for loan portfolios containing principal private residences, including:
taking repossession could become a slower and more expensive process - and perhaps more unpredictable - due to the additional circumstances to which the court should have regard. Time will tell whether the Bill as drafted will oblige the court to consider of its own volition such factors or whether it will provide the court with a broader discretion to consider such factors. the disclosure of details of prior proposals put forward...