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approved by Halifax
Ready to buy a new home? Failing to check that a lawyer is on the Halifax list of approved solicitors can put your transaction at risk of delay or failure.
Looking for information about your firm's panel status?How does my firm apply to be on the Halifax Conveyancing Panel? How can my firm be reinstated onto the Halifax Conveyancing Panel?
Find an Approved Solicitor on the Halifax Conveyancing Panel
Frequently asked questions relating to the Halifax Solicitor Panel
What is the rationale as to why all property lawyers aren't included on the Halifax Solicitor panel?
Halifax and other mortgage companies normally imposes restrictions either the type or the number of conveyancing practices on their approved list of lawyers. A common example of such restriction(s) being that a firm must have two or more partners. In addition to restricting the type of firm, some have decided to limit the number of firms they use to represent them. You should note that Halifax have no responsibility for the quality of advice provided by any member of Halifax Conveyancer Panel. Mortgage fraud was a key driver in the rationalisation of conveyancing panels a few years ago and whilst there are differing views about the extent of solicitor involvement in some of that fraud. Statistics from the Land Registry reveal that thousands of law firms only carry out one or two conveyances a year. Those supporting conveyancing panel cuts ask why law firms should have the right to be on a Lender panel when clearly, Conveyancing is not their speciality? To put it another way; would you want a conveyancing solicitor to represent you if you were charged with a crime; probably not.
Our solicitor has identified a legal deficiency with the lease for the property we are purchasing. The seller’s lawyers have offered title insurance as a workaround. We are happy with insurance and will cover the costs. Our solicitor says that as he is on the Halifax conveyancing panel he must check that the lender is happy with this solution. Who is the client here, us or Halifax?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the potential for a conflict of interest, you and Halifax are the client. A precondition to being on the Halifax approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Halifax). The CML Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects will the lease so that Halifax can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected . Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
Do all the firms listed on your directory have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the Halifax conveyancing panel?
No. There is no CML Part 2 or Building Society Association requirement relating to online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
I am trying to get my ex-husband taken off the mortgage deeds. Can Halifax really insist on which solicitor I can or can not use?
You can use any solicitor you like but Halifax then has the right to appoint a different solicitor to act for them at your expense. It might be more cost effective and quicker to instruct a lawyer who is on the Halifax solicitors panel
Can you point me to a directory of Halifax panel solicitors on the CML Handbook 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.
What are the common reasons for a lender such as Halifax to withdraw a mortgage offer?
Lenders such as Halifax can withdraw their mortgage offer although this is unusual. should Halifax withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to the reasons why. There are various possible reasons but here are 5 examples:
- If the borrower informs Halifax of a change in security address
- Amendments if purchase price adjusted and the loan to value limits exceeded by this. Please note that Halifax conveyancing panel solicitors would be obliged to notify Halifax of a change in the price of the property.
- Where the lender has to take account a recent change in taxation
- If the lender reasonably believe that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is insolvent or is about to become insolvent or has or will have a petition presented or if any one or all enter into any arrangement with their creditors generally or if any one or all should suffer a material change in their financial circumstances
- If the solicitor on the Halifax conveyancing panel acting for the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor cannot comply with Halifax ‘s instructions
Completion of my remortgage has taken place with a mortgage from Halifax. Conveyancing was of an acceptable standard but I would like to complain about Halifax. How do I make a complaint?
Most banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first point of contact should be one of the Halifax branches or the Customer Care Department at Halifax head office. We understand that complaints to Halifax are resolved effectively and efficiently. However if you are not satisfied that the matter is resolved you can write to the Financial Ombudsman Service at South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR with full details of your complaint.