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Darlington Building Society Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers
I am selling my maisonette and the EA has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are appointing a new conveyancer. I am told that this is due to the fact that Darlington Building Society will only deal with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a big named lender only deal with specific law firms?
UK lenders have always had an approved set of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.
Lenders blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been tightened and a smaller panel should be easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels, or have other concerns about them. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyer’s case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.
I am buying a newly constructed flat and my solicitor is advising me that she has to disclose incentives from the builder as her practice is on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel. I am nearing the developer’s deadline to exchange contracts and I would rather not delay matters. Can I insist on an exchange regardless of what my lawyer says about being on the Darlington Building Society panel?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Darlington Building Society approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Darlington Building Society). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
Do all mortgage companies provide you with an approved list of solicitors? How do you know who is on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel?
The firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Darlington Building Society directly.
My house is up for sale and I have a buyer. Does my solicitor have to be on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel in order to deal with paying off my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Darlington Building Society 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.
Are all Conveyancing Quality Solicitors on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel?
A selection of banks and building societies now use CQS as the starting point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. CQS membership however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the Council of Mortgage Lenders have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their approved list of firms.
Last month we had a mortgage agreed in principle with Darlington Building Society. Solicitors have been chosen? How long does it take for Darlington Building Society to send the offer to our conveyancer
Some lenders take longer than others. Have Darlington Building Society completed the valuation? Have you advised Darlington Building Society as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
I recently had an offer accepted on an apartment. My financial adviser suggested a solicitor I paid an upfront payment of 175. Soon after the conveyancers contacted me to say that they were not on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel. Am I right in thinking that I should be due a refund?
You should be able to recover this from the law firm if they were not on the Darlington Building Society panel. They should have asked at the outset which lender you were obtaining a mortgage with. An important lesson to readers of this site is to check that the lawyers are on the appropriate lender panel.