On January 17, 2013, Justice Carole Julien of the Superior Court rendered a decision that could have a substantial impact on sales under judicial authority.

In five (5) non contested matters, Justice Julien decided that the officer designated by the court to proceed with the sale could not be a representative of the law firm representing the lender. The court is of the view that someone from the law firm representing the lender does not have the distance required to conduct the sale on behalf of its client. Justice Julien is of the view that there is a conflict of interest.

In her judgment, Justice Julien does not suggest any particular person to be appointed officer to proceed with the sale; she did however put the files on hold for 30 days to allow the lenders to suggest the appointment of someone other than a representative of their lawyers’ firms.

Finally, Justice Julien decided that unless it is justified, the upset price should be fixed at the municipal value as opposed to 75% of same, which is usually what is asked by lenders.

The decision has not been appealed and if it is followed, lenders will have considerably less control on the judicial sale process and costs will likely increase.

Considering this important change in the sale process, lenders should follow developments attentively.