Failures in mortgage discharges: BC lawyers to file reports online

BC lawyers who need to file reports of mortgage discharge failures under new Rule 3-89 should do so online via the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca in the "Resource Library/Forms" section (direct path: www.lawsociety.bc.ca/library/frame_ forms_mortgage.html).

Lawyer working on computerNew Rules 3-88 and 3-89 require a BC lawyer to report to the Law Society the failure of a mortgagee to provide a registrable discharge of mortgage within 60 days of any real property transaction closing March 1 or later. The new rules also oblige a lawyer to report to the Law Society the failure of another lawyer or a notary to provide satisfactory evidence that he or she has filed a registrable discharge of mortgage as a pending application at the Land Title Office within that 60-day period. A lawyer has five business days to report under the new rules.

In addition to ordinary mortgages, the new reporting rules apply to debentures and trust deeds containing a fixed charge on land or an interest in land.

Reports filed under the new rules are intended to provide the Law Society information on 1) the business processes of financial institutions and the practices of the profession, and whether certain institutions are unable to discharge mortgages within a particular timeframe and 2) whether there are situations that require attention or intervention from the Law Society.

The Society will not draw adverse inferences against a lawyer by reason of his or her failure to obtain a discharge of a repaid mortgage from a financial institution, in the absence of evidence of a breach of undertaking or defalcation.

For more information on filing under the rules, please contact David Newell, Corporate Secretary (dnewell@lsbc.org).