The defendant had charged his property to the Halifax. Abbey supplied funds to secure its discharge, but its own charge was not registered. It sought to take advantage of the Halifax’s charge which had still not been removed.
Held: A mortgagee whose loan is used to repay another charged debt is subrogated to that debt, and can rely on that charge. Millett LJ said: ‘If the plaintiff succeeds in tracing his property, whether in its original or in some changed form, into the hands of the defendant, and overcomes any defences which are put forward on the defendant’s behalf, he is entitled to a remedy. The remedy will be fashioned to the circumstances. The plaintiff will generally be entitled to a personal remedy; if he seeks a proprietary remedy he must usually prove that the property to which he lays claim is still in the ownership of the defendant. If he succeeds in doing this the court will treat the defendant as holding the property on a constructive trust for the plaintiff and will order the defendant to transfer it in specie to the plaintiff. But this is only one of the proprietary remedies which are available to a court of equity. If the plaintiff’s money has been applied by the defendant, for example, not in the acquisition of a landed property but in its improvement, then the court may treat the land as charged with the payment to the plaintiff of a sum representing the sum by which the value of the defendant’s land has been enhanced by the use of the plaintiff’s money. And if the plaintiff’s money has been used to discharge a mortgage on the defendant’s land, then the court may achieve a similar result by treating the land as subject to a charge by way of subrogation in favour of the plaintiff.’
Millett LJ, Stuart-Smit LJ, Millet LJ
Gazette 01-Jun-1995, Independent 23-May-1995, Times 25-Apr-1995,  1 WLR 328,  4 All ER 769,  EWCA Civ 15
England and Wales
Cited – Whitworth v Gaugain 1844
Cited – Ghana Commercial Bank v Chandiram PC 1960
The bank made an advance to the owner of property in Accra which was used to pay off his indebtedness to Barclays (DC and O) Ltd, secured by an equitable mortgage. The owner executed a legal mortgage in favour of the Ghana Bank, but this was . .
Cited – Chung Khiaw Bank v United Overseas Bank PC 1970
(Singapore) A judgment creditor who obtains a charging order against his debtor’s property can take only such interest as the debtor has in the property. Charging orders take effect subject to prior mortgages, whether legal or equitable. . .
Cited – Orakpo v Manson Investments Ltd HL 1977
Transactions were entered into under which loans were made to enable the borrower to acquire and develop certain properties were held to be unenforceable under the 1927 Act. The effect was to enrich the borrower, who had fallen into arrears of . .
Cited – Lipkin Gorman (a Firm) v Karpnale Ltd HL 6-Jun-1991
The plaintiff firm of solicitors sought to recover money which had been stolen from them by a partner, and then gambled away with the defendant. He had purchased their gaming chips, and the plaintiff argued that these, being gambling debts, were . .
Cited – Ezekiel v Orakpo CA 1977
A lease had been forfeited for non payment of rent. The lessor then took proceedings for possession. The tenant claimed that the action was invalid because a receiving order had been made against him in the meantime.
Held: The Court rejected . .
Cited – Halifax Plc v Omar CA 20-Feb-2002
The respondent occupied a flat as a tenant. The landlord had acquired it by means of a fraud on the claimant lender. The lender had been given an equitable charge over the property, and now claimed possession as subrogated to the original fraudulent . .
Cited – Foskett v McKeown and Others CA 27-Jun-1997
Various people had paid money with the promise of acquiring an interest in land in Portugal. The scheme was fraudulent. The funds had been used to purchase a life/investment policy. The policy was held in trust for the fraudster’s mother but he had . .
Cited – Cheltenham and Gloucester Plc v Appleyard and Another CA 15-Mar-2004
The owners had purchased their property with a loan from the BBBS. A charge was then given to BCCI, which charge said no further charge could be registered without BCCI ‘s consent. The C and G agreed to lend a sum to refinance the entire borrowings, . .
Cited – Ultraframe (UK) Ltd v Fielding and others ChD 27-Jul-2005
The parties had engaged in a bitter 95 day trial in which allegations of forgery, theft, false accounting, blackmail and arson. A company owning patents and other rights had become insolvent, and the real concern was the destination and ownership of . .
Cited – Islamic Republic of Pakistan v Zardari and others ComC 6-Oct-2006
The claimant alleged that the defendants had funded the purchase of various properties by secret and unlawful commissions taken by them whilst in power in Pakistan. They sought to recover the proceeds. They now sought permission to serve proceedings . .
Cited – Bankers Trust Company v Namdar and Namdar CA 14-Feb-1997
The bank sought repayment of its loan and possession of the defendants’ property. The second defendant said that the charge had only her forged signature.
Held: Non-compliance with section 2 of the 1989 Act does not make a bargain illegal, and . .
Cited – Bank of Cyprus UK Ltd v Menelaou SC 4-Nov-2015
The bank customers, now appellants, redeemed a mortgage over their property, and the property was transferred to family members, who in turn borrowed from the same lender. A bank employee simply changed the name on the mortgage. This was ineffective . .
Cited – Lowick Rose Llp v Swynson Ltd and Another SC 11-Apr-2017
Losses arose from the misvaluation of a company before its purchase. The respondent had funded the purchase, relying upon a valuation by the predecessor of the appellant firm of accountants. Further advances had been made when the true situation was . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.78495