Hargraves Secured Investments v Slaven [2013] NSWSC 673

The matter had already been before the courts for many years, including having had an a determination by the High Court that the Farm Debt Mediation Act applied.

The lender argued that the Farm Debt Mediation Act no longer applied because the borrower had become bankrupt. The borrower argued that the common law doctrine of estoppel as well as the Civil Procedure Act prevented the lender making that argument.

The judge concluded that because the borrower was now bankrupt the provisions of the Farm Debts Mediation Act no longer applied.

One further issue was whether the borrower had any standing to appear in the proceedings once a trustee in bankruptcy had been appointed. The judge decided that the effect of the bankruptcy was that the borrower now only had a bare legal interest in the property, and she held that interest for the trustee in bankruptcy. The trustee did not oppose the orders the lender was seeking. The judge held that the borrower did not have standing to appear in the proceedings.

His Honour ordered that the lender was entitled to continue proceedings and seek orders for possession.

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