What are the proceedings when it comes to Mortgages?
Repossession proceedings against a mortgage or proceedings must be in the LPA receiver’s name. In that case one of the difficulties was it effectively being brought to the claim by the mortgage or acting by the receivers against the mortgage. They can be appointed saying around the same time as liquidators it doesn’t terminate receiver’s appointments and that can be particularly important, particularly in the cases where there might be insolvency on foot. Remember this!
As I indicated, rent is a particularly important aspect of the appointment of an LPA receiver so they can come in and collect the rent and that in have power as well to grant leases, but that needs to be balanced against their duty to the reasonably obtainable in the event of a sale.
I will look on at a case where that very much came into play. I like to talk about UBS and Rose Capital Ventures Limited where the issues as to what the mortgagee has to take into account when it enforces its security came into play because of more recent case law in the Supreme Court which suggested that when it comes to the exercise of a discretion under a contract, then the discretion is not entirely unfettered. In certain occasions it is necessary to import public floor tests in the event. Ubs confirms that that kind of importation doesn’t really change how we perceived and have perceived the ability of a mortgagee to make its decisions. In the background then is the concept of our equitable constraints on how mortgagee may exercise powers arising under the mortgage.
Lord Temple in Downstream said that the powers must be exercised in good faith and with the purpose of obtaining repayment. So if these powers are being exercised for an improper purpose, that’s not being sized in good faith, such as legitimate purpose, nothing to do with obtaining repayment, then simply they haven’t exercised fair discretion properly. If I was reinforced in the Kakrova case, Lord Newberg confirmed that equity and mortgagee has secure satisfaction of a debt. Security is enforced for that purpose and no other. But that does not mean that additional collateral purposes to a proper purpose are fatal to enforcement.
Coming into that established understanding of mortgagee discretion came steaming in, if I can put it that way for decision in Proganza and BP Shipping Limited and it arose out of a traffic accident on the BP ship known as British Unity, which I have put on the slide. Claimant’s husband in that case died whilst on service working on a ship. The claimant’s death could have led to a service benefit depending on the cause of death. But the final version of the investigation report was that the cause of death was suicide. So you can see that the cause of death of important to the parties, such as Tip held that Barbara decision to refuse payments was unreasonable and that’s because of the nature of the investigation himself was unable to make a finding as to the cause of death. There was a real possibility, but not more likely or not, to simply fallen overboard. But the evidence was not sufficiently cosy to make a finding of suicide or finding Fonio Board on the bounds of probabilities. It was common ground between the parties that the opinion formed by the employer had to be reasonable, and in holding against the employer, the court found that they had failed to take into account a relevant factor also failed to consider closing the evidence was required before a finding of suicide.
So the question is what is reasonable? And that decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal finding a favor of the employer. And that decision again was reversed by Supreme Court. The importance for today is the consideration in the Supreme Court of how a contractual discretion should be exercised. And it gave Supreme Court the opportunity to consider the extent to which a public law weddensbury test could be important. So bonus Hale and it’s important to note that there are a number of speeches in Baganza, but they will essentially agree on the point about contractual discretion. Often the party charged making decisions. Both decisions affect the rights of both parties, and there might well be a conflict of interest between the two chart of a party making a decision charter making a decision effectively has to hold a balance, and it’s not for courts to rewrite the bargain for parties between them. It’s not for the court, certainly the substitute themselves for the contractually agreed decision maker. But the courts have sought to ensure that is by way of an implied term as to manner which such powers may be exercised. It’s important to note that term will vary according to the terms of the contract and the context in which decision making power is given. And Baroness said that there is a parallel between cases where a contractor signs a decision making function and where a statute of science decision making function to a public authority. She cited the case of Paragon Finance against Nash, where the question was, was there any implied term limiting the power of a mortgagee to set interest rates under a variable rate mortgage?