Cheltenham & Gloucester Plc (“C&G”)–v- Norgan Γ.12.95] 1 ALL ER 44 (CA)]
Following rather protracted proceedings, the borrower was granted a period of 4 years to discharge the arrears.#
Evictions can be stopped
C&G appealed. The Court of Appeal decided that what is or is not a reasonable period must be determined by reference to the circumstances of the individual case. The decision stressed the duty of the court to take all circumstances into account and highlighted the unfettered discretion vested in the court under s 36, which allegedly accorded with the policy behind the legislation.
In fact, the Court of Appeal judgement appeared to go even further. It stated that “one begins with a powerful presumption of fact in favour of the period for the mortgage being the reasonable period”.
The Norgan decision therefore required the Courts to start out with the strong presumption that the residue of the length of the term was the period to be given to defaulting borrowers to clear the arrears. This was revolutionary, shifting the delicate balance of the rights of mortgage lender and borrower clearly in favour of the latter.