In July 2014, the applicant was assigned three security
interests that were already registered on the PPSR. However, the
assignor's financing change statement mistakenly applied to
release the registrations, rather than merely record the
Therefore, the parties jointly requested that the Registrar
restore the registrations under s 186 of the PPS Act. That section
empowers the Registrar to restore registrations where it appears to
the Registrar that the data was "incorrectly
removed" from the Register.
The Registrar contended that this power was only enlivened where
there had been an incorrect exercise of power by the Registrar, not
where the parties themselves had made the mistake.
Gleeson J held that the Registrar's power to restore
registration extends to instances where registrations had been
'incorrectly removed' because of mistakes by lodging
parties. His Honour reasoned that this broad reading of the power
was consistent with the statutory purpose of maintaining an
accurate PPS Register.
In this case, the three registrations had been 'incorrectly
removed' in the sense that removal did 'not correctly
reflect the intentions' of the parties. The Registrar could
therefore lawfully restore them to the Register.
This decision will no doubt be welcomed by those lodging PPS
registrations, as it confirms that parties may be able to undo
mistakes made in the amendment applications.
However, subsequent creditors may be disadvantaged by this
decision, and should be aware of potential risks. Section 186(2) of
the PPS Act provides that registrations are restored as if they had
'never been removed from the Register'. Accordingly, there
is some potential for subsequent creditors to trade on the basis of
a PPS Register that subsequently changes when the Registrar undoes
mistakes made by earlier lodging parties.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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