23 October 19 - Media Release
Following a 12 month legal saga, the Cairns office of national law firm Holding Redlich has successfully helped a local resident to retain ownership of her home.
A long-term Cairns local, Robyn Hausler faced losing her home of 21 years after a bankruptcy technicality in 2013 resulted in her paying the mortgage, rates and expenses on her property for six years - despite her no longer actually legally owning it.
This anomaly flew under the radar for many years until a refinance to take advantage of lowering interest rates took place by Ms Hausler.
Holding Redlich worked on this matter on a pro-bono basis, assisting Ms Hausler to formalise her ownership of the property once again.
“This is the first case of its kind in Australia given the peculiar mistake of law by all the parties involved,” Senior Associate James Harding said.
“Certainly without the legal expertise or means to challenge the legal situation, Robyn would have lost her home and the value she had built up in it.”
A Federal Court of Australia hearing in Brisbane last week found that despite the legal interest being vested in the Crown, Ms Hausler had established an ongoing connection to the property which was sufficient to warrant the legal ownership vesting back with her subject to the interests of the mortgagee.
James said it had been a very drawn out but thankfully an ultimately successful case that was particularly difficult for Ms Hausler given she was at risk of losing her home that is located next door to her elderly parents.
“Our client had continued to support her elderly parents next door for the past nine years and so the possibility of moving, losing her home and the equity she has built over the past six, would obviously have been horribly stressful and distressing.”
Ms Hausler said: “For the past 21 years my home has been my sanctuary and the thought of losing it was distressing to both me and my parents. I am very grateful to Holding Redlich and James for helping me in my time of need.”
Holding Redlich has a strong commitment to pro bono work and is proud to have been able to assist Ms Hausler.
Holding Redlich Cairns Partner Ranjit Singh said: “We believe that it is important for lawyers to contribute to the community in which they live and work by performing pro bono work for people who couldn’t otherwise afford legal assistance.
“A key focus of our pro bono program, as occurred in this case, is assisting women who find themselves in vulnerable situations. We also regularly work to protect the rights of refugees, older Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”