Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013 (the "Bill"):

  1. Start Mortgages

As a result of the decision of Miss Justice Dunne in Start Mortgages V Gunn & Anor, delivered on 25th July 2011 (the "Start Mortgages Decision") doubt arose as to the ability of a mortgagee to rely on certain enforcement provisions of the Conveyancing Act 1881-1911 (“1881 Act”). Since the Start Mortgages Decision there have been a number of cases which have provided comfort regarding the applicability of the provisions of the 1881 Act. However, these cases have been decided on the basis of the specific wording of each mortgage.

If the Bill is approved and enacted a mortgagee will no longer need to concern itself with the implications of the Start Mortgages Decision and will be in a position to rely on the provisions of the 1881 Act and the Registration of Title Acts 1964 in respect of a mortgage created prior to 1 December 2009. However it will not apply to proceedings initiated prior to the enactment of the Bill.

  1. Adjournment of repossession proceedings

The Bill also provides that where an order is sought for possession of a principal private residence or a family home, the court may consider granting an adjournment of up to 2 months to allow the mortgagor to consult an insolvency practitioner and to consider the use of a Personal Insolvency Arrangement under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.

The Bill was published on Thursday 28th March and will be distributed to Dail members early this week. We will update you with any significant developments as the Bill is considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas prior to enactment.