Abigail v Lapin [1934] AC 491

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  • The Lapins executed a transfer of Torrens title land to Mrs Heavener as security for a loan.
  • The Lapins did not put a caveat on the title.
  • Mrs Heavener then mortgaged the property to the Abigails and absconded with the money, however the mortgage was not registered by the Abigails.
  • Which party had the better equitable interest?
  • The Abigails’ interest had priority, even though the general rule is the first equitable interest succeeds unless there is good reason not to.
  • This is because the Lapins “armed” Mrs Heavener by not putting a caveat out on the property, even though a caveat is not compulsory.
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