Find an Approved Solicitor on the Family Building Society
FAQs for the Family Building Society Conveyancing Panel
I am selling my maisonette and the estate agent has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are changing their law firm. I am told that this is due to the fact that Family Building Society will only deal with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a big named lender only work with certain lawyers?
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 Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.
Lenders point to the increase in fraud as the reason 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 hearing daily from firms 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.
Our lawyer has identified a legal deficiency with the lease for the flat we are buying. The other side have put forward defective title insurance as a workaround. We are happy with insurance and will cover the costs. Our lawyer has advised that as he is on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel he must be satisfied that the lender is happy with this solution. Who is the client here, us or Family Building Society?
Just because you have a mortgage offer from Family Building Society does not mean to say that the property will be meet their requirements for the purposes of a mortgage. Your lawyer has to ensure that the lease has to comply with the CML Handbook Requirements. You and Family Building Society are the client. These conveyancing instructions have to be complied with by the Family Building Society conveyancing panel who has to balance acting for you and Family Building Society
I have checked your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the Family Building Society 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 Family Building Society 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 Family Building Society solicitor panel.
I am buying a garden flat and getting a mortgage with Family Building Society. Conveyancing solicitors are said to be ‘a necessary evil’ but can I do it myself?
Leaving aside the complexities and merits of DIY conveyancing you will have to appoint a solicitor on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel to look after their interests. Most people therefore find it easier to let the solicitor act for them and the lender. Furthermore there is minimal cost savings to made in you doing to conveyancing for yourself and another lawyer conducting the conveyancing for the lender. Please feel free to use the search tool to find a lawyer on the Family Building Society conveyancing panel in your location.
Can you point me to a directory of Family Building Society panel solicitors on the Council of Mortgage Lender’s Website?
No. There is no such tool on the Council of Mortgage Lenders or Building Society Association websites. Very few lenders make their panel listings available online.
Do most lenders 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 Family Building Society conveyancing panel requirements are different to Family Building Society’s conveyancing panel criteria.
After much negotiation I have agreed a price on an apartment. My financial adviser recommended their conveyancers I paid an upfront payment of 150. Soon after the conveyancers contacted me to say that they were not on the Family 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 Family 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.