Hicksons is retained by financial services providers, including bank and non-bank lenders, and insolvency practitioners to act in a broad range of matters covering recoveries, fraud, insolvency and restructuring.
Lenders providing instructions to Hicksons benefit from specialised knowledge and skill, brand awareness and protection, low costs and fixed fees for specific events. To support such cost-effective outcomes, our Recoveries, Insolvency and Reconstruction team uses alternative dispute resolution options where appropriate. In particular, in defended matters we generally recommend informal settlement conferences early in the matter and mediation once the nature of any asserted defences have been clarified.
We investigate options such as third party recoveries and contribution claims that may improve our clients’ financial outcomes. For example, Hicksons acted for a lender and a mortgage originator in defence of a borrower’s claim for relief from a loan agreement and mortgage. Hicksons joined the mortgage broker in the proceedings and negotiated settlement of the matter on the basis that the borrower refinance the loan for a reduced amount with the mortgage broker paying a substantially component of the difference between the original loan amount and the reduced loan amount.
In appropriate circumstances, we propose innovative solutions to apparently intractable mortgage disputes. For example, an elderly borrower disputed a mortgage and the costs of running the hearing would have been very large. Hicksons developed a settlement structure which allowed the borrower a “pseudo life tenancy” but ensured that, with the benefit of a contribution from the mortgage broker, the lender would eventually recover the entirety of the loan.
In acting for lenders, we regularly:
We also advise on:
- issue statutory notices and demands for mortgage default;
- initiate proceedings for possession and debt;
- take possession of properties (real and personal) after due process;
- advise on potential mortgagee sales that are likely to result in a recovery shortfall;
- act on the sales of security properties;
- act on the discharge of mortgages;
- contest defended mortgage recovery actions;
- pursue shortfalls and guarantors;
- act on judicial sales for other encumbrance holders;
- issue creditor’s statutory demands;
- issue bankruptcy notices;
- issue garnishee orders and writs for the levy of property;
- conduct examinations;
- institute winding up and bankruptcy proceedings;
- respond to set aside applications, oppositions to wind up applications and creditor’s petitions ;
- deal with substituted service issues;
- respond to claims under the Contracts Review Act, National Consumer Credit Code, Australian Consumer Law, ASIC Act and Farm Debt Mediation Act;
- respond to allegations of unconscionable conduct;
- investigate schemes involving fraudulent borrowing;
- respond to unfair preference actions; and
- successfully resolve contested recovery matters at informal settlement conferences and alternative dispute resolution settings.
- mortgage recovery actions involving deceased mortgagors;
- AFCA complaints and responses to such complaints;
- sales by mortgagors that are likely to result in a shortfall of monies owed, including whether such sales are in the lender’s interests;
- alternative methods of obtaining possession of security properties and recovering loan amounts, such as rent redirection, taking vacant possession and enforcement of guarantees;
- all types of insolvency events arising in respect of debtors / mortgagors;
- appointment of controllers and receivers; and
- priority of securities over real property and personal property.
Insolvency and Reconstruction
Hicksons acts for insolvency practitioners and other stakeholders on all aspects of insolvency and restructuring.
Our depth of expertise includes acting in relation to liquidations, voluntary administrations, receiverships, and bankruptcies. In particular, acting in respect of recoveries, asset realisations, voidable transactions, preference claims, insolvent trading, breaches of director’s duties, restructures, lease, employment, trust and property issues.
Our team is committed to achieving just, quick and commercial outcomes for our clients, through technical skill, efficiency, accessibility, flexibility, well-roundedness, innovation, and commercial and brand awareness.
Our team is fully supported by our corporate, commercial, employment and property groups, ensuring a full spectrum offering for our clients.