Law Commission recommends repeal of Bills of Sale Acts

In a report published on 12 September 2016 the Law Commission recommended that the Bills of Sale Acts 1878-1882 be repealed (report No 369 Bills of Sale). The report concludes a two-year period of consultation, which saw submission of 38 responses to the Consultation Paper (CP 225), including one on behalf of this Project (http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cp225_bills_of_sale_analysis.pdf). In place of the Acts, the Law Commission recommends introduction of a new Goods Mortgages Act, regulating ‘vehicle mortgage’ and ‘goods mortgage’. The former would be registrable in asset registries, to be designated by the Treasury. Security in goods already owned by borrowers as well as general assignments of book debts made by unincorporated businesses would continue to be registrable at the High Court registry in a simplified process. As a response to the significant appetite for electronic registration, the Law Commission recommended that the new legislation should contain a power to make regulations for implementation of an electronic register in the future. It also recommended that there should be a power to make regulations allowing registration of goods mortgages and general assignments of book debts at the Companies House to streamline the registration regime of security between companies and non-corporates. The legislation would introduce a range of statutory protections, both for borrowers (e.g. a right of voluntary termination) and for private purchasers who act in good faith and without actual notice of security. The Law Commission intends to present the new Act before the Parliament as an uncontroversial Law Commission Act.

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