Q&A: Removing a caveat

Olly,
I’m wanting to know if you know a (trustworthy) lawyer that would be able to help me remove a caveat from my mum and dad’s property. Obviously there is a long story behind this but the basics are: The caveat was lodged @20years ago by my dad who used the house as collateral for 50k. My mum and dad divorced @two months after this loan was taken out and my dad left and now lives in oz. He made no payments after this time.

My mum (bless her soul) paid off the original ANZ mortgage (@15 years later) and when we went to remove their interest discovered that this caveat still existed — much to our surprise as we had forgotten about that loan.
I have tried to contact the place but found that they had resettled into new trust structures twice (as they were the Pacific Island Business Trust) currently operating as Pacific Business Trust. We have had no contact from this place for the last twenty years, no statements or letters or anything.

The lawyers representing them have been unable to find contract details or forms regarding this caveat. They simply left the loan to grow and [it] now sits at @100k.

My question I guess is, as they never pursued the loan and there seems to be no evidence ie, original contract in existence….is there a legal way i could just have it removed? The property (our homestead) has been stalemate for the last 20 or so years and rotting badly…. We (me and my mum) are wanting to remove my dad’s name, put my name in his place and raise a mortgage to renovate the house but…….this caveat is like a knife we can’t remove, so to speak haha….

Any advice, comments or help would be heartfeltingly appreciated…

Regards Hemi

Dear Hemi
I would have thought that any good lawyer could apply to the LTO and give your story and have the registrar remove the caveat after he has made all the necessary enquires.
Another way that used to be popular was to register a $5 mortgage on the property which meant the caveat would have to be lifted to do so. This method is frowned on but it has been used from time to time.
I invite other readers to submit suggestions to help Hemi and any one else in the same position as the situation is not uncommon.
Regards
Olly