We are now starting to see more debt recovery cases being successfully challenged on the basis of the Statute of Limitations.
In a Court of Appeal judgment delivered on 6th December 2017, the Court was asked to decide on the issue of a PG being “Signed Sealed and Delivered”
The Defendant argued that the PG bore no seal, and was therefore a document in reality that was not under seal. The significance of this issue is that if the document is an instrument executed under seal a limitation period for the commencement of these proceedings of twelve years applies and they are not statute barred. On the other hand, if it is a document not executed under seal, a limitation period of six years applies, and arguably the proceedings could be statute barred.
In the appeal the defendant argued that the issue of whether the absence of an actual seal on the guarantee and indemnity document, combined with the his averment that he did not seal the document when executing the document, renders it an instrument not executed under seal.
The issue raised is something which has not as yet been the subject of a judgment in this jurisdiction.
The court directed that the matter be adjourned to plenary hearing, and its outcome will have a significant bearing on many other similar cases.
I set out below a link to the judgment:
ACC Loan Management DAC -v- O’Toole
If you have clients facing calls on personal guarantees or have other debt issues we would be delighted to meet with them and outline their options.