Find an Approved Solicitor on the Atom Bank plc
Common questions asked concerning the Atom Bank Solicitor Panel
My fiance and I are hoping to buy a 2 bedroom apartment in Newcastle with a mortgage from Atom Bank. We like our solicitor but Atom Bank says he's not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to instruct one of the Atom Bank panel solicitors or keep our solicitor and pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. This seems very unfair; Can we not simply insist that Atom Bank use our lawyer?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. Another option that might be available is for your solicitors to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Atom Bank
We are due to exchange on the purchase a house but as a result of damage from the recent storms I have agreed compensation from the seller of £3k approx by way of a reduction in the price. This was going to be dealt with as part of the conveyancing process but my mortgage company Atom Bank will not agree to this. Why was Atom Bank even consulted?
Your lawyer being on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel is duty bound to inform Atom Bank of any changes to the purchase price. If you were to refuse your lawyers to disclose the reduction to Atom Bank then they would have to discontinue acting for you and Atom Bank.
I see that you have a search directory identifying law firms on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel. Do firms pay you a referral fee if I appoint them for my own conveyancing?
We are a listing service only for law firms wishing to communicate if they are on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to the any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint.
The firm that I appointed last week on my house acquisition in Brighton has without warning closed. I chose them because I needed a firm on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel and my family lawyer was not. I paid them £200 on account. What do I do now?
If you have an estate agent involved then inform them straight away so that they can let the sellers know that there may be a slight delay due to the problems encountered. Hopefully they will be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You should appoint new lawyers that are on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors may be able to assist
On the whole I have been dissatisfied with the level or service received from my lawyer. Is there a Atom Bank conveyancing panel complaints department or do I complain directly to the law firm?
There is little point in complaining directly to Atom Bank. All solicitors and conveyancer must have a complaints procedure. You can get information from the solicitor’s or conveyancer’s website or ask at their office. They must tell you about it if you ask.
The Legal Ombudsman will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the solicitor. It can also advise you how to complain.
If a licensed conveyancer does not have a complaints procedure or will not tell you about it, contact the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), which will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the conveyancer. Please see below for more information.
It is not clear whether my mortgage offer requires a lease extension . I have called Atom Bank on numerous occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Atom Bank conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told not they would not lend in accordance with their CML Handbook minimum lease term requirements. Who do I believe?
Your lawyer has to follow the CML Handbook Part 2 requirements for Atom Bank. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Atom Bank will go ahead your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask Atom Bank to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.
My ex -wife’s name is on the Atom Bank mortgage of my property but not on the land registry. The apartment was transferred to me on our divorce many years ago by way of a sealed court order. Does my ex still have a say on the sale even though the land registry showing the property in my name alone? Will I be required to take her name of the Atom Bank mortgage in order to sell?
In terms of the Atom Bank mortgage, it is unusual that your ex-wife’s name remains on the mortgage but not on the title. It is conceivable that this is an oversight on the part of your conveyancers to ensure that her name was removed or even an administrative error on the part of Atom Bank in failing to update their data. In any event, it should cause difficulty providing her name no longer appears on the Land Registry title and you have a court order ordering that the property is transferred to you.
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