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I am selling my maisonette and the estate agent has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are appointing a new law firm. The reason given is that Metro Bank will only work with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a major mortgage company only engage with specific lawyers?
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 Lloyds Banking Group, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.
Lenders blame a rise in fraud by way of justification 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.
My wife and I intend to remortgage our flat with Metro Bank. We have a son 18 who lives with us. The solicitor on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel has asked us to disclose anyone over the age of 17 other than ourselves who lives in the flat. Our lawyer has now e-mailed a document for our son to sign, giving up any rights in the event that the property is repossessed. I have two questions (1) Is this form unique to the Metro Bank conveyancing panel as he never had to sign this form when we remortgaged 4 years ago (2) Does our son by signing this giving up his rights to inherit the property?
First, rest assured that your Metro Bank 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 Metro Bank .This is solely used to protect the Metro Bank 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 Metro Bank 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.
Are the lawyers identified as being on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel, together with their details provided by Metro Bank?
The firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Metro Bank directly.
I am attempting to get my ex-wife taken off the mortgage deeds. Can Metro Bank really insist on which solicitor I can or can not instruct?
You can use any solicitor you like but Metro Bank 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 Metro Bank solicitors panel
Are all solicitor practices on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel overseen by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the SRA. Many lenders do allow licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such firms would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
I am buying a property where the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender Metro Bank be concerned
As your lender is Metro Bank your lawyer must to check the Metro Bank conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Metro Bank . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Metro Bank where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. The CML are developing guidance for Northern Ireland and Scotland.
My ex -wife’s name is on the Metro Bank 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 Metro Bank mortgage in order to sell?
In terms of the Metro Bank 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 Metro Bank 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.