Practitioners are alerted to the extraordinary requirements of the Bank of Ireland in connection with the redemption of mortgages. We act for a sole proprietor on a sale. The premises were originally purchased in the joint names of the proprietor and a spouse, subject to a mortgage in favour of Bank or Ireland.

The premises were transferred to the proprietor’s sole name as part of a matrimonial settlement subject to the bank’s mortgage long ago. The proprietor paid off the mortgage several years ago but the Land Registry entries in respect of the mortgage were not removed by the bank.

Fortunately, we asked the bank to provide a DS1 prior to exchange of contracts. The bank has required a written authority from both borrowers to release the mortgage together with certified copy identification documentation in respect of them both before it will effect the release of the charge. The ex-spouse resides abroad. It may be difficult, and possibly impossible, to obtain documentation to satisfy the bank. The bank has been asked to reconsider, but insists on the procedures being satisfied.

Imagine the problems if the usual undertaking to discharge the mortgage had been given pre-completion and the bank then raised these pre-conditions to a discharge. Practitioners should beware.

Carr Richards, Carr Richards Solicitors, Hemel Hempstead