Find an Approved Solicitor on the The Royal Bank of Scotland plc Direct Line Mortgages
RBS - Direct Line Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers
I am selling my maisonette and the estate agent has just e-mailed to advise that the purchasers are switching law firm. The reason given is that RBS - Direct Line will only engage with property lawyers on their approved list. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only work with certain solicitors?
UK 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 HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.
Lenders point to the increase 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 being contacted daily by practices 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.
We are approaching 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 make a notification to my lender RBS - Direct Line. I am advised that, being on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel and acting on their behalf he must inform RBS - Direct Line if the balance of the mortgage advance is coming from anyone other than me. I informed the bank about my parent’s contribution when I applied for the home loan so is it really necessary for him to raise this?
Your lawyer is obliged to check with RBS - Direct Line 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 RBS - Direct Line if you agree, failing which, your lawyer must cease to continue acting.
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the RBS - Direct Line 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 RBS - Direct Line 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 RBS - Direct Line solicitor panel.
Please explain the implications if my solicitor is suspended from the RBS - Direct Line Conveyancing panel in advance of completion?
The first thing to point out is that, this is a very rare occurrence. 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 for a fee.
Are all Conveyancing Quality Solicitors on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel?
It is true that some banks and building societies now use CQS as the starting point for Panel approval such as HSBC and Santander. The Law Society’s CQS membership however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the CML have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their approved list of conveyancing solicitors.
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 RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel requirements are different to RBS - Direct Line’s conveyancing panel criteria.
My brother and I have had an offer accepted on a apartment I spoke to a lawyer previously used by my brother and he recommended using a property lawyers approved by RBS - Direct Line. The estate agent recommended two local firms so I asked RBS - Direct Line if the 2 suggested solicitors are approved, which they are not. RBS - Direct Line suggested that either firm can fill out the appropriate forms to become approved. Do I (1) save myself the aggravation and use one of RBS - Direct Line 's conveyancing panel solicitors (2) Use the local solicitor and accept there may be delays etc as they go through the approval process.
Ask RBS - Direct Line to suggest a law firm in your location. Lenders have them all over the country. You can also use our search tool at the top of this page to search for a lawyer on the RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel based on location. If you particularly like the sound of one of the local lawyers that you have spoken to ask them if they would go onto RBS - Direct Line conveyancing panel as it may only take about 2-3 weeks. As long as they meet RBS - Direct Line’s requirements it can be a very simple job for the solicitor. Other stuff will be going on in parallel (as you are at an early stage) so it may not delay matters.