Whether you’re a purchaser of movable or immovable property looking to consult a register, or a creditor needing to publish your right in the appropriate register, we can help!
While many questions can be answered with the help of the guides, sample letters and forms in our legal toolkit, an independent jurist affiliated with PSP Legal will always be happy to help you by answering any questions you may have.
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner take charge of your situation and intervene directly and quickly on your behalf, you can also request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal represent you by clicking here.
What are registers?
Registers are banks of information containing details of the real rights held by a creditor over the debtor’s movable and immovable property. There are two registers listing creditors’ real rights:
The Land Register makes it possible to determine whether a property is subject to a guarantee or a debt, and was set up to solve problems related to the sale of real estate. Indeed, many problems could arise due to the absence of a register, such as secret mortgages and duplicate sales. In the past, these problems arose because it was difficult to know who really owned a building, and whether it was subject to a mortgage.
A number of principles associated with the creation of the Land Register have alleviated these problems.
These include the fact that, in the event of a double sale to two different purchasers of the same property, the one who first publishes his or her right in the Land Register will have acquired the right. Consequently, the other buyer will not become the owner of the property. What’s more, mere knowledge that there is another buyer without publication is not equivalent to publication.
For example, a buyer obtains the sale of a building on May 19, 2020. This buyer knows that another buyer had also obtained the sale of the same building on May 10, 2020, i.e. 9 days earlier. However, he notes that this right has not been entered in the Land Register. Therefore, if he publishes his right before the first purchaser, he will become the owner of the building.
The following actions attached to a real estate right must be entered in the Land Register:
- Acquisition (e.g. purchase of a building);
- Constitution (e.g. a mortgage on a building);
- Recognition of a right (e.g. an easement on a property);
- Modification of a right;
- Transfer of a right (e.g. by succession);
- Extinction of a right;
Register of personal and movable real rights (RDPRM)
The Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights (Registre des droits personnels et réels mobiliers – RDPRM) is used to determine whether a movable asset is encumbered by a charge of some kind. Typically, this includes road and recreational vehicles, as well as business equipment. Only movable property can be published in the RDPRM
Publication of a right in the RDPRM does not entail transfer of ownership, and would have no effect in the event of a double sale of movable property. This principle stems from the fact that in most sales of movable property, there is no publication. So, if there are two buyers, the first is presumed to be the owner.
For example, a first buyer acquires a dishwasher on May 8, 2020. However, possession must be taken on May 20, 2020. The seller also sells the same dishwasher to a second buyer on May 12, 2020. The first purchaser remains the owner of the dishwasher.
Publication in the RDPRM is frequently required for vehicle purchases. The seller of a property must guarantee to the purchaser that the property is free of any debt or hypothec, except those declared at the time of sale under article 1723 of the Civil Code of Québec. If the property is encumbered by a hypothec, the seller is bound to repay it unless the buyer undertakes to do so. A problem arises, however, when the buyer is not informed that there is a mortgage on the property, and the seller fails to repay it. In principle, in this situation, the unpaid mortgagee will be able to seize the vehicle from the buyer or demand repayment of the debt. To avoid this situation, it is very important to consult the RDPRM to ensure that the property is debt-free.
Effects of publication
Publication of rights in the appropriate register makes them enforceable against third parties. It also establishes the rank of creditors who will be collocated according to the date, time and minute of registration of the right.
For example, a debtor goes bankrupt and all his assets are seized. Following the sale of the assets, the trustee in bankruptcy distributes the proceeds among the creditors. Priority creditors and legal hypothecs are paid first. Mortgagees will then be paid according to their rank in the Land Register and the RDPRM.
In some cases, publication is necessary for a right to come into existence. Publication is therefore a condition for the constitution of certain mortgages. For example, a movable hypothec without delivery must be published in the RDPRM before it can take effect.
How we can help
Our legal toolkit includes a variety of online resources and links to templates and guides to help you better understand your obligations.
However, should the Legal Toolkit prove insufficient in your situation, you can obtain additional assistance by speaking with one of PSP Legal’s affiliated jurists:
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner handle your situation, you can always request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal intervene on your behalf by clicking here. He or she will then be able to intervene directly and rapidly on your behalf by:
- Preparing, negotiating and drafting applications, procedures or any other legal documents related to your situation;
- Assisting and advising you on your legal rights and obligations;
- Representing you before the courts when legal action is taken;
- Guiding you through the choices available to you, leading to a fair and satisfactory solution.
PSP Legal, because you deserve expert advice!
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