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MORTGAGEE TO GIVE NOTICE BEFORE RESALE

Dictum

In line with the provisions of section 125(1) of the Property and conveyancing Law, a mortgagee shall not exercise his power of sale unless and until a notice requiring payment of the mortgage money has been served on the mortgagor or one of several mortgagors and default has been made in payment of the mortgaged money or of part thereof for three months after such service. See B.O.N. Ltd. v. Aliyu (1999) 7 NWLR (Pt. 612) 622, where this court held that “the requirement of the law is that notice of intention to sell a mortgage property must be sent to the mortgagor as the words “shall not” are mandatory and not advisory. Consequently, any sale of any mortgage without the requisite notice is invalid ab initio and cannot convey any title to a subsequent purchaser”.

– Augie JSC. Bank v. TEE (2003)

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A MORTGAGEE MAY CHOOSE EITHER TO: ENFORCE AGAINST THE PROPERTY OR SUE FOR PAYMENT

There is no doubt, and as earlier stated, the rights of a Mortgagee as the Appellant herein against the Mortgagor, the 3rd Respondents, is cumulative in the sense that it may decide either way, whether to enforce the security against the property or sue upon the personal covenant to the Mortgagor, for payment or go for both. Yet, it must be clearly stated in the pleadings which form the creditor has chosen, to recover its money. See Megany’s Manual of the Law of Real Property, 67th Edition page 484.

— O. Ariwoola, JSC. African Intl. Bank Ltd. v Integrated Dimensional System (2012) – SC.278/2002

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ONCE MORTGAGE ALWAYS MORTGAGE

An important feature of mortgages both legal or equitable is that once a mortgage always a mortgage and nothing but a mortgage. – Chukwuma-Eneh JSC. Yaro v. Arewa CL (2007)

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DEFINITION OF MORTGAGE

A mortgage is defined as creation of an interest in a property defeasible, that is, annullable upon performing the condition of paying a given sum of money with interest at a certain time. Thus, the legal consequence of the above is that the owner of the mortgaged property becomes divested of the right to dispose of it until he has secured a release of the property from the mortgagee.

— M.L. Shuaibu, JCA. FBN v Benlion (2021) – CA/C/31/2016

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DATE FOR PAYMENT IN A MORTGAGE AGREEMENT

Fixing a date for repayment in a mortgage transaction does not generally indicate the parties intention that the actual payment is to be made on the named date, but only that the mortgagee may call for payment on or after that date, if so minded, but not before. See Ogioro v. Igbinovia (supra), and B.O.N Ltd. v.Akintoye (supra), where it was also held that if the mortgage debt is not paid at any time fixed for payment, the mortgagee is entitled to exercise his power of sale, the debt having been deemed to have become due and payable on that day.

– Augie JSC. Bank v. TEE (2003)

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ATTRIBUTES OF A LEGAL MORTGAGE

The main attributes of a legal mortgage are:- (a) a covenant to pay the principal debt and interest on a given date; (b) a covenant to pay interest in the event of default in payment of the principal on the day named; (c) the demise or sub-demise of, or the charge by way of legal mortgage on the mortgaged property; (d) the proviso for cesser; and (e) Such variations of the statutory provisions with regard to mortgages, as the arrangement between the parties requires.

– Augie JSC. Bank v. TEE (2003)

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FORECLOSURE IS A POWERFUL REMEDY FOR AN EQUITABLE MORTGAGE

The right to foreclosure is very powerful remedy in the hands of the equitable mortgagee and the vendor who takes a legal estate with notice of an equitable mortgage and therefore subject to this class of equitable interest should bear this in mind since, in certain circumstances, he may find in the end that he has bought a worthless legal estate.

– Idigbe JSC. Ogundiani v. Araba (1978)

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