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Ready to buy a new home? Failing to check that a lawyer is on the HSBC list of approved solicitors can put your transaction at risk of delay or failure.
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We are buying a 3 bedroom flat in London with a mortgage from HSBC. We like our solicitor but HSBC says she’s not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to instruct one of the HSBC panel solicitors or keep our solicitor and pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. This seems very unfair; Can we not simply insist that HSBC use our lawyer?
Unfortunately,no. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the HSBC 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. Another option that might be available is for your solicitors to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for HSBC
We are only a couple days away from an exchange and my mum and dad having sent the 10% deposit to my lawyer. I am now advised that as the deposit has not come from me my lawyer needs to disclose this to my lender HSBC. Apparently, being on the HSBC conveyancing panel and acting on their behalf he must inform HSBC if the balance of the mortgage advance is not just from me. I informed the bank about my parent’s contribution when I applied for the mortgage so is it really necessary for this now to be an issue?
Your lawyer is obliged to check with HSBC to make sure that they are aware that the balance of the purchase price is not from your own funds. Your solicitor can only report this to HSBC if you agree, failing which, your lawyer must cease to continue acting.
I have checked your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the HSBC conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the HSBC 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 HSBC 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 HSBC solicitor panel.
Can you clarify what the consequences are if my solicitor is suspended from the HSBC Conveyancing panel before the moving date as agreed at exchange of contracts?
The first thing to point out is that, this is very unlikely to happen. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have ti instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by the regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.
I had instructed online solicitors based in Manchester who are on the HSBC solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate fee of £150 for the legal aspects of the HSBC mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee set by HSBC?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your solicitors can charge a fee for this. This fee is not set by HSBC but by your lawyers. Some firms on the HSBC will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
My fiance and I are at the point of viewing flats and am about to put in an offer. Is it best to have a conveyancer on ‘stand by’? I will be getting a home loan with HSBC
It would be sensible to have your start your search soon rather than later. Once you decide who you want to use and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and pass their details on the the estate agent. As you are getting a mortgage with HSBC , make sure you remember to check that your lawyer is on the HSBC conveyancing panel.
I have decided to exercise my right to buy my property off the council. I have a mortgage offer with HSBC. Conveyancing is new to me. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should use one. Any advice?
It is not advisable proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event if you are getting a mortgage with HSBC you will need to appoint a solicitor on the HSBC conveyancing panel.