Report recommends changes to court rules on repossessions

Tuesday 14 January 2014 18.36
The Expert Group on Repossessions did not recommend changes to the law
The Expert Group on Repossessions did not recommend changes to the law

An expert group has recommended a change in court rules to help make repossession cases more efficient, but has said a change in the law is not required.

The Expert Group on Repossessions, which has reported to the Department of Justice, also said that “significant efficiencies” could be achieved if banks changed the way they handled such cases.

The group was established in September 2013 as part of a Government commitment as part of the Troika bailout.

It was tasked with identifying problems in the country’s repossession system and making recommendations to help solve 

Its report has recommended a number of changes to the way courts handle repossession cases, while also calling on banks to improve their processes and documentation.

It recommends that, in instances where a borrower is defending against a repossession bid, they are required to state the grounds of their plea from the outset.

This was to deal with cases where pleas “evolve over time”, which it says can result in difficulties and adjournments.

The group also recommends that, where a repossession order is granted, execution orders are issued at the same time. This is to avoid the current situation where lenders have to return to court having secured a repossession.

Meanwhile, the group calls on banks to make a better effort to locate a borrower before initiating repossession proceedings.

It also calls for lenders to adopt more standardised documentation, as it found that the information submitted to the court by banks varied from case to case.