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We are purchasing a 1 bedroom flat in Leeds with a mortgage from Secure Trust Bank. We have a solicitor but Secure Trust Bank says she’s not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the Secure Trust Bank 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 Secure Trust Bank 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 Secure Trust Bank 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 lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Secure Trust Bank
My partner and I changing mortgage lender for our penthouse with Secure Trust Bank. We have a son 18 who lives with us. The solicitor on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel has asked us to disclose any adults other than ourselves who reside at the property. The solicitor has now sent a form for our son to sign, giving up any rights in the event that the flat is forfeited by the lender. I have a couple of questions (1) Is this form unique to the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel as he did not need to sign this form when we remortgaged 3 years ago (2) In signing this form is our son in any way compromising his right to inherit the property?
On the face of it your lawyer has done nothing wrong 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 Secure Trust Bank .This is solely used to protect the Secure Trust 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 Secure Trust 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.
How do I search for a local solicitor on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel? I have a car and am prepared to travel up to 20 kilometers to meet the conveyancer.
You can use the find a conveyancing panel tool on this page. Please choose the lender and your location and you will see a number of lawyer located nearest you. Alternatively you can type in the name of your proposed law firm and see if they are listed as being on the Secure Trust Bank solicitor panel.
My solicitors in Liverpool have advised me that no longer have my conveyancing file. To assist with my purchase I took out a mortgage with Secure Trust Bank. Is it case that being on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel they need to have retained the file for a prescribed period?
It very much depends from lender to lender but many of the Terms and Conditions of Conveyancing Panel Appointment require the file to be held for a period of 6 years. That being said we have not seen a copy of the Secure Trust Bank Conveyancing Panel Terms. It might be worth you contacting Secure Trust Bank directly.
Is it the case that all conveyancing solicitors on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
In the main there are no requirements by lenders for their firms to operate on a no-sale-no-fee basis. There a small number of lenders who operate a very restricted conveyancing panel managed by a third party company (often termed in the industry as a ‘gatekeeper’). That third party may impose certain conditions such as non-sale-no fee on the panel firms. If you require this as a condition of your conveyancing then you should check with the conveyancing firm that this is part of their service
We have a mortgage agreed in principle with Secure Trust Bank. Solicitors have been appointed? What is the average time that one could expect to receive a mortgage offer from Secure Trust Bank?
Some lenders take longer than others. Have Secure Trust Bank completed the valuation? Have you advised Secure Trust Bank as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
After shopping around on the internet I have found a solicitor having checked that they are on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
Having read lots of mortgage guides,I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Secure Trust Bank will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Secure Trust Bank will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey.
You may wish to consider appointing your own surveyor to carry out a survey or prepare a home buyers report on the property. It is up to you to satisfy yourself that the property is structurally sound before you buy it. If the survey or report reveals that building work is needed, you should tell your solicitor. You may wish to renegotiate with the seller.
Your lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with Secure Trust Bank you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.