Real Estate

Slovenia: The Short Life of a Right in Rem?

Due to suspected abuse of the land debt institute, the Slovenian legislator has changed real estate securities’ legislation.

History — Land debt between the German and Swiss model

Land debt as a type of secu­ri­ty was intro­duced into Sloven­ian leg­is­la­tion in 2003 when the new Law of Prop­er­ty Code came into force. It is the right to claim repay­ment of mon­ey from the real estate val­ue before oth­er cred­i­tors in a worse posi­tion. The basic fea­tures that dis­tin­guish it from a mort­gage are non-acces­sori­ness and eas­i­er trans­fer­abil­i­ty.

In bank­ing prac­tice, the land debt did not meet with much suc­cess   

Accord­ing to the Bank Asso­ci­a­tion of Slove­nia, in its 10 years of exis­tence, land debt in the frame­work of real estate bank col­lat­er­al did not reach even a 2% share (the rest are mort­gages). So the ques­tion is how is it that the land debt secu­ri­ties’ share of the bank­ing sec­tor start­ed to increase enor­mous­ly after 2011?

In the opin­ion of the pro­fes­sion and the pub­lic, it was about diver­sion and fic­ti­tious use of land debts. Indi­vid­u­als might have used it to avoid or at least com­pli­cate the enforce­ment of cred­i­tors’ rights and to pre­vent recov­ery of illic­it assets.

Rea­sons for changes to the Law on Prop­er­ty Code 

Doubts about the land debt estab­lish­ment pur­pose admis­si­bil­i­ty led to the pro­pos­al to abol­ish it. Of course, it is not the only such insti­tute. In prac­tice, with the same pur­pose, there is also fic­ti­tious con­veyance, appli­ca­tion of fic­ti­tious mort­gages and ease­ments, etc.

On the oth­er hand, cred­i­tors who believe that they were dam­aged by such con­duct may rem­e­dy the abuse by fil­ing for annul­ment or inval­i­da­tion, and such vio­la­tions are also sub­ject to penal sanc­tions.

How­ev­er, accord­ing to the leg­is­la­tion, the anonymi­ty of the land debt hold­er pos­es a prob­lem in abol­ish­ing abus­es: it is dif­fi­cult to prove and the pro­ce­dures are lengthy. In the opin­ion of the abol­ish­ment oppo­nents, the attempt to intro­duce trans­paren­cy into the land debt would thwart its trans­fer­abil­i­ty and bring it close to the max­i­mum mort­gage. The changes would there­fore not result in any improve­ment.

Current situation

In Octo­ber the Par­lia­ment adopt­ed the dele­tion of that part of Law on Prop­er­ty Code which con­cerns the land debt. The land debt was delet­ed from the Sloven­ian leg­is­la­tion the day after its pub­li­ca­tion in the Offi­cial Gazette, on 6 Novem­ber 2013. Amend­ments to the leg­is­la­tion do not impact those land debts estab­lished before the change. But there are also rumours about pos­si­ble new vari­ants (imple­ment­ed in Enforce­ment and Secur­ing of Civ­il Claims Act and Assets of Illic­it Ori­gin For­fei­ture Act), which will pre­vent abuse of the land debt insti­tute also in cas­es where the land debt had been already estab­lished.

Problem solving correctness

The opin­ion about many land debt abus­es is like­ly cor­rect. But the ques­tion is whether the legislator’s solu­tion belongs to the series of too-rapid solu­tions in recent years.  In a well-reg­u­lat­ed state of law, abus­es of insti­tutes should not be allowed when they are applied con­trary to their legal pur­pose or cause dam­age to third par­ties. Such attempts have appro­pri­ate legal reme­dies and penal sanc­tions.

The abolishment of land debt represents a decrease of real property rights, which should be judged by the proportionality principle. The change does not impact or solve the question of existing land debts, not even those established for illicit motives.

Slovenija: Kratko življenje stvarne pravice?

Zaradi domnevnih zlorab instituta zemljiškega dolga je slovenski zakonodajalec  spremenil zakonodajo na področju stvarnopravnih zavarovanj.

Zgodovina — zemljiški dolg med nemškim in švicarskim vzorom

Zemljiš­ki dolg je bil kot vrs­ta zavarovan­ja v sloven­sko zakon­oda­jo uve­den z uvel­jav­itvi­jo Stvarnopravne­ga zakoni­ka l. 2003. To je prav­i­ca zahte­vati poplači­lo določene­ga denarne­ga znes­ka iz vred­nos­ti nepremič­nine pred drugi­mi upni­ki s slabšim vrst­nim redom. Temeljni značil­nos­ti, ki ga loči­ta od hipoteke, sta neakce­sornost in laž­ja prenosljivost.

V prak­si bank zemljiš­ki dolg ni bil pre­več uspešen

Po podatk­ih Združen­ja bank Sloveni­je v 10 letih obsto­ja zemljiš­ki dolg v okviru bančnih zavarovanj z nepremičn­i­na­mi ni dosegel niti 2 % deleža (pre­ostanek pred­stavl­ja­jo hipoteke). Torej je vprašan­je, kako to, da se je delež zavarovanj z zemljiškim dol­gom bančne­ga sek­tor­ja po l. 2011 začel enorm­no večati?

Po prepričan­ju stroke in javnos­ti je šlo za zlorabo in fik­tivno uporabo zemljišk­ih dol­gov. Posamezni­ki naj bi se z njim izog­nili ali vsaj otežili uvel­javl­jan­je prav­ic upnikov ter onemogočili odvzem neza­koni­to pri­dobljene­ga pre­možen­ja.

Razlo­gi za spre­mem­be Stvarnopravne­ga zakoni­ka

Dvom o dopust­nos­ti poslovne­ga name­na ustanovitve zemljiškega dol­ga je pripel­jal do pred­lo­ga za nje­go­vo ukinitev. Seve­da zemljiš­ki dolg ni edi­ni tak insti­tut. V prak­si z enakim namenom obsta­ja­jo še fik­tivni prepisi pre­možen­ja, ustanavl­jan­je fik­tivnih hipotek in služnos­ti ipd.

Po dru­gi strani lahko upni­ki, ki meni­jo, da so s takim rav­nan­jem oškodovani, sani­ra­jo zlorabe z vložitvi­jo ničnos­t­nih in izpod­bo­jnih tožb, kršitve pa so tudi kazen­sko­pravno sankcioni­rane.

Ven­dar pa v skladu z zakon­oda­jo anon­im­nost imet­ni­ka zemljiškega dol­ga pred­stavl­ja prob­lem pri odpravi zlorab: doka­zo­van­je je težavno in  postop­ki dol­go­tra­jni. Po mnen­ju nasprot­nikov odprave bi poskus uvedbe trans­par­ent­nos­ti zemljiškega dol­ga izničil nje­go­vo prenosljivost in ga pri­b­ližal mak­si­mal­ni hipote­ki. Spre­mem­be zato ne bi rezul­ti­rale v nobeni izboljšavi.

Trenutna situacija

V okto­bru je par­la­ment spre­jel prene­han­je dela Stvarnopravne­ga zakoni­ka, ki zade­va zemljiš­ki dolg. Zemljiš­ki dolg je bil izbrisan iz slovenske zakon­oda­je dan po objavi v Urad­nem lis­tu, dne 6. novem­bra 2013. Spre­mem­ba zakon­oda­je ne vpli­va na zemljiške dol­gove, ustanovl­jene pred uvel­jav­itvi­jo spre­memb. So pa tudi gov­orice o pripravi novih različic  (imple­men­ti­ranih v  Zakonu o izvršbi in zavarovan­ju ter Zakonu o zasegu pro­tipravno pri­dobljene­ga pre­možen­ja), ki bodo preprečili zlorabe insti­tu­ta zemljiškega dol­ga tudi v  primer­ih, ko je bil ta že vzpostavl­jen.

Pravilnost reševanja problema

Mnen­je o več zlorabah zemljiškega dol­ga je ver­jet­no pravil­no. Vprašan­je pa je, ali rešitev zakon­oda­jal­ca ne pri­pa­da ser­i­ji pre­hitrih rešitev v zad­njih letih. V ure­jeni pravni državi zlorabe pravnih insti­tu­tov ne bi smele biti dopustne, kadar se uporabl­ja­jo v naspro­tju z nji­hovi­mi pravn­i­mi nameni ali v ško­do drugih. Za takšne poskuse obsta­ja­jo ustrez­na prav­na sred­st­va in kazenske sankci­je.

Ukinitev zemljiškega dolga pomeni zmanjšanje stvarnih pravic, ki bi ga morali presojati po načelu sorazmernosti. Sprememba tudi ne vpliva in ne rešuje vprašanja obstoječih zemljiških dolgov, niti tistih, ki so bili ustanovljeni iz nedovoljenih nagibov.