The trouble with mortgage repossessions

The trouble with mortgage repossessions

Nigel Clayton, a barrister at Kings Chambers in Manchester, Leeds andBirmingham, advises that the judgment in the Campbell case calls for a clearer protocol to manage mortgage repossessions in an effective andproportionate way.

Original news

Campbell v Redstone Mortgages Ltd [2014] EWHC 3081 (Ch)

What issues did this case raise?

This was the trial of a preliminary issue on liability in a claim brought by a borrower (C, a litigant in person) against a lender (R) following the repossession of C’s residential property (a farm) after protracted anddifficult mortgage possession proceedings which had been ongoing since 2007.

C’s principal complaint was in respect of the disposal by R of personal property which C claimed she had been unable to remove from the farm, either prior to or after the repossession. Her claim for injunctive relief was struck out andwas ordered to proceed on the issue of liability only, namely whether C had a right to claim damages as a result of R’s disposal of the goods. It was common ground that R was an involuntary bailee of the goods.

C also issued separate proceedings seeking possession of the property following repossession on the ground that her mortgage deed had been perpetrated by fraud in that it had not been validly executed in the presence of a witness contrary to the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, s 1(3) (LP(MP)A 1989). While that claim had been struck out, andan appeal for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal dismissed, as being totally without merit, C sought to raise the same issue in a yet further claim which was adjourned to be heard with the trial of the preliminary issue.

Thus, as the judge directed himself at para [101], he had to decide two issues:

  1. whether C was entitled to have the mortgage set aside for failure to comply with LP(MP)A 1989, s
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