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Handelsbanken Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers

My husband and I are purchasing a 1 bedroom flat in Hackney with a mortgage from Handelsbanken. We would like to retain our solicitor but Handelsbanken says she’s not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to instruct one of the Handelsbanken panel solicitors or keep our solicitor and pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. We feel as though this is unjust; Can we not simply insist that Handelsbanken use our lawyer?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your solicitors to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Handelsbanken
We are due to exchange on the purchase a house but as a result of damage from the recent storms I have agreed compensation from the seller of £3k approx by way of a reduction in the price. This was going to be dealt with as part of the conveyancing process but my mortgage company Handelsbanken will not agree to this. Why was Handelsbanken even consulted?
Your lawyer being on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel is duty bound to inform Handelsbanken of any changes to the purchase price. If you were to refuse your lawyers to disclose the reduction to Handelsbanken then they would have to discontinue acting for you and Handelsbanken.
I see that you have a search directory identifying firms on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel. Do firms pay you a commission if I instruct them for my own conveyancing?
We are a listing service only for law firms wishing to communicate if they are on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to the any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint.
I am considering remortgaging my property does my lawyer need to be on the Handelsbanken Solicitor panel?
There is nothing to stop you using your solicitor but Handelsbanken will insist on their interests being represented by a firm on their conveyancing panel. There is greater potential for delays and confusion with two solicitors involved, and it will undoubtedly be more expensive too.
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 Handelsbanken conveyancing panel requirements are different to Handelsbanken’s conveyancing panel criteria.
What are the common reasons for a lender such as Handelsbanken to withdraw a mortgage offer?
Lenders such as Handelsbanken can withdraw their mortgage offer although this rarely happens. In the unlikely event that Handelsbanken 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 a number of examples:
  • Where information comes to Handelsbanken ‘s attention regarding the customers or the security that they were not aware of prior to offer that affects their original decision to lend
  • Many mortgage offers have an expiry date. Your lawyer should check this. Handelsbanken 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.
  • Where the purchase price and borrowers direct contribution differ to details on the mortgage application form completed by the borrower
  • Where the Lender’s right to possession is fettered in some way
  • If the solicitor on the Handelsbanken conveyancing panel acting for the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor cannot comply with Handelsbanken ‘s instructions
My ex -wife’s name is on the Handelsbanken mortgage of my property but not on the land registry. The apartment was transferred to me on our divorce many years ago by way of a sealed court order. Does my ex still have a say on the sale even though the land registry showing the property in my name alone? Will I be required to take her name of the Handelsbanken mortgage in order to sell?
As regards the Handelsbanken mortgage, it is unusual that your ex-wife’s name remains on the mortgage but not on the title. It is conceivable that this is an oversight on the part of your conveyancers to ensure that her name was removed or even an administrative error on the part of Handelsbanken in failing to update their data. In any event, it should cause difficulty providing her name no longer appears on the Land Registry title and you have a court order ordering that the property is transferred to you.