March was a very quiet month for family and child protection law at the ONCA. The ONCA publicly released a total of 67 decisions, only 1 of which involved family and child protection law. Stetler v. Stetler reminds us that, unlike diamonds, mortgages are not forever.
Stetler v. Stetler, 2016 ONCA 218
Strathy C.J.O, Lauwers and Benotto JJ.A.
In this quasi-family law proceeding, the wife sought to force the sale of a property belonging to her former husband to satisfy an equalization payment owing to her.
The husband’s father had, many years earlier, loaned $38,500 to the husband, which was secured by a mortgage on the property.
The wife sought a declaration that the mortgage was not an encumbrance on the property, pursuant to the Real Property Limitations Act which prescribes a 10-year limitation period for mortgages. The husband’s father argued that his son had acknowledged the debt, thereby extending the limitation period, and that the mortgage was a valid encumbrance.
The application judge found that the husband and his father had acted in concert to frustrate the wife’s equalization claim and ruled in the wife’s favour. On appeal, the ONCA agreed with the reasoning of the application judge and dismissed the appeal.
Link to the endorsement here.