Roll out of electronic titles - What you need to know - Part 2

In our earlier post by Kristy Muhlhan in September 2016, we detailed the proposed process of the Land Registry converting paper titles (pCTs) to electronic titles (eCTs).

Conversion of paper titles (pCTs) to electronic titles (eCTs)

A bulk conversion of pCTs encumbered by mortgages in favour of the four major banks (ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and their brands) to eCTs took place on 22 October 2016.

On 22 July 2017, a further bulk conversion was carried out where Auswide Bank Ltd, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, Rural Bank Limited and Teachers Mutual Bank Limited were registered as first mortgagee and on 23 February 2018 another conversion was done where the Bank of Queensland, Community CPS Australia Ltd, Credit Union Australia Ltd, Gateway Credit Union Ltd, Macquarie Bank Ltd, Suncorp-Metway Ltd were registered as first mortgagee.

What does this mean for clients holding pCTs and an unregistered Discharge of Mortgage?

The effect of the title conversion is that pCTs will be void and of no effect.

Any Certificates of Title held by these banks will be eCTs and the relevant bank will be recorded as the party entitled to control the eCT.

Clients holding pCTs together with a paper Discharge of Mortgage which is yet to be lodged will not be able to lodge these documents via a paper transaction. The Discharge of Mortgage will need to be lodged electronically on PEXA and with the cooperation of the discharging mortgagee.

Phasing out of paper transactions

Paper conveyancing transactions are slowly being phased out and by 1 August 2019 all Land Registry transactions must be lodged electronically (with some limited exceptions).

The majority of mortgages, discharges of mortgage, caveats, survivorship applications and transfers of land must now be lodged electronically using PEXA and pCTs for these transactions are required to be converted to eCTs to enable the transaction to be effected. The Land Registry is working towards all combinations of transactions (e.g. a lodgement comprising of a withdrawal of caveat, discharge of mortgage, transfer and mortgage) that are available on PEXA to be lodged electronically by 1 October 2018.

Michelle Cupples is an associate at Burke & Associates Lawyers who deals in all aspects of property law and substantially with property developers. Click here to see her profile page and contact details.

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