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I need to swap lawyers as my lawyer is not on the Bradford & Bingley panel of conveyancing solicitors. Is it advisable to appoint a new law firm?
If you haven't yet instructed a solicitor to do anything for you and have just received quotes, you're perfectly free to choose a different solicitor to carry out your work for you. The best way is to get recommendations from friends or family who have actually used the solicitor or conveyancer you're considering.
I am buying a new build duplex and my lawyer is informing me that she has to reveal incentives from the developer as her firm is on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel. I am nearing the developer’s deadline to exchange contracts and I have no desire to prolong deal. Is my lawyer right?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Bradford & Bingley approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Bradford & Bingley). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the Bradford & Bingley approved panel. How can I be sure given that they are not listed on your directory?
Not all firms are yet listed on our lender panel search tool which is still relatively new. Law firms are listing on a daily basis and it is probably the case that your lawyer is on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing lawyer and you should probably take them at their word. Please do feel free to suggest that they completing their listing on our site as it would only cost them £1 a month to list themselves as being on the Bradford & Bingley solicitor panel.
My house is up for sale and I have a buyer. Does my solicitor have to be on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel in order to deal with paying off my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel they can still act for you on your sale. it might be that the lender will not release the original deeds (if applicable and increasingly irrelevant) until after the mortgage is paid off. You should speak to your lawyer directly before you start the process though to ensure that there is no problem as lenders are changing their requirements fairly frequently at the moment.
Do most banks operate their own panel of solicitors?
Many lenders do operate a restricted conveyancing panel but a lot of lenders allow any solicitors to join their panel so long as they meet their criteria. Each lender sets their own criteria. For example the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel requirements are different to Bradford & Bingley’s conveyancing panel criteria.
In what circumstances might Bradford & Bingley amend or withdraw their mortgage offer?
Lenders such as Bradford & Bingley can withdraw their mortgage offer although this is unusual. In the unlikely event that Bradford & Bingley withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to their reasoning. There are many potential reasons but here are 5 examples:
Many mortgage offers have an expiry date. Your lawyer should check this. Bradford & Bingley may amend or withdraw an offer before the end of its validation period if an offer extension is requested and following a re-evaluation of the property the value of the security is below a level which is acceptable to them.
If the borrower informs Bradford & Bingley of a change in security address
Where to proceed with the Mortgage offer would be unlawful
Where the lender has to take account a recent change in taxation
If the solicitor on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel acting for the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor cannot comply with Bradford & Bingley ‘s instructions
Can I register a complaint to Bradford & Bingley about the lawyers being on the Bradford & Bingley conveyancing panel?
There is little point in complaining directly to Bradford & Bingley. 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.