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Q and A’s regarding the Handelsbanken Conveyancing Panel
My partner and I are first time buyers. Within the last couple of days our property lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Handelsbanken have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.
In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme.
Your solicitors should contact Handelsbanken and see if they can apply for membership of the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Handelsbanken will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
My fiance and I changing mortgage lender for our apartment with Handelsbanken. We have a son approaching twenty who lives with us. The solicitor on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel has asked us to disclose any adults other than ourselves who lives in the flat. The solicitor has now sent a form for our son to sign, waiving any legal rights in the event that the property is repossessed. I have two concerns (1) Is this document specific to the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel as he never had to sign this form when we bought 3 years ago (2) In signing this form is our son in any way compromising his right to inherit the property?
First, rest assured that your Handelsbanken conveyancing panel solicitor is doing the right thing as it is established procedure for any occupier who is aged 17 or over to sign the necessary Consent Form, which is purely to state that any rights he has in the property are postponed and secondary to Handelsbanken .This is solely used to protect the Handelsbanken if the property were re-possessed so that in such circumstances, your son would be legally obliged to leave.
It does not impact your son’s right to inherit the apartment. Please note that if your son were to inherit and the mortgage in favour of Handelsbanken had not been discharged, he would be liable to take over the loan or pay it off, but other than that, there is nothing stopping him from keeping the property in accordance with your will or the rules of intestacy.
I need to find a Handelsbanken panel solicitor in Belfast. Could you help me?
It is not clear why you need a Handelsbanken panel solicitor but in any event, if you can not find one on our search tool you will need to speak directly to Handelsbanken to find out which solicitors in Handelsbanken are on their panel. If you do find such a firm not listed please direct them to our site to list. After all the cost is only one £1 a month
I am thinking of refinancing my home does my lawyer need to be on the Handelsbanken Conveyancing panel?
In theory, you could use a solicitor that is not on Handelsbanken conveyancing panel, but Handelsbanken would require one of their panel solicitors to be instructed to act in their interests, and you'd have to pay for this - so most people instruct a panel solicitor. It's also easier, as otherwise you'd have to deal with two solicitors for the same transaction.
Is there a list of Handelsbanken panel conveyancers on the Building Society Association’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.
It is not clear whether my mortgage offer obliges me to make sure the lease term for the flat is extended prior to the completion date . I have called Handelsbanken on various occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Handelsbanken 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?
As long as the conveyancer is on the Handelsbanken panel she or he must comply with the CML Handbook requirements for Handelsbanken. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Handelsbanken 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 Handelsbanken to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.
My offer on house has been accepted, but there is a chain. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties in the pipeline. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What should be my next step? When should I get the mortgage app going with Handelsbanken?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx £1k, then survey/valuation, conveyancing search costs, etc). First you should check that your solicitor is on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel. As to the next stages this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a hot mortgage some buyers would pally for the mortgage with Handelsbanken and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.