Having obtained a possession order against the claimant’s property, the bank then sold it. Issues arose as to whether certain fixtures, fittings and chattels in the property formed part of the sale of the property. The claimant brought claims, amongst others, to recover the fittings and other items, a claim for damages for conversion of those items, and a claim that the property had not been effectively transferred to the buyer as the bank had no title to transfer the chattels to the buyer. The defendants applied to strike out those claims as being either without foundation or an abuse of process.

The court found there was no basis for challenging the efficacy of the transfer of the property from the bank to the buyer. However, as to the issue of title to the fittings, it would not be an abuse of process to bring such a claim which had sufficient prospect of success to justify it being brought. Strike out of that part of the claim was refused.

Lenders must be careful what they do with borrowers’ possessions following repossession.

Haydon-Baillie and others v Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd and 12 ors