Find an Approved Solicitor on the Secure Trust Bank PLC
Frequently asked questions relating to the Secure Trust Bank Solicitor Panel
My husband and I are first time buyers. Within the 48 hours our lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Secure Trust Bank have this morning contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our lawyer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.
In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme.
Your solicitors should contact Secure Trust Bank and see if they can apply for membership of the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Secure Trust Bank will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
can you help? My lawyer is assuring me that she is duty-bound to order a Local Authority search because the firm are on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel. Is my lawyer correct?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. As you are taking a mortgage with Secure Trust Bank your lawyer has to comply with their conditions as set out in their version of the CML Conveyancing Handbook. Your lawyer would have previously signed the Terms and Conditions of Secure Trust Bank’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Secure Trust Bank. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the Secure Trust Bank 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 Secure Trust Bank 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 Secure Trust Bank solicitor panel.
I was supposed to complete on my dream home yesterday. My solicitor is on the Secure Trust Bank solicitors panel but has moved offices 8 weeks ago and had not informed Secure Trust Bank of their new address. Secure Trust Bank is now refusing to release my funds as the information from the solicitors isn't correct.
This is as unusual as it is unlucky. Most lender Terms of Conveyancing Panel Appointment specifically oblige the solicitor to inform the lender of an address change. Your solicitor needs to treat this with the utmost urgency. Do speak with or register your concern with the senior partner (assuming he or she is not your direct lawyer). Most lenders would be reasonable in this situation and expedite the resolution of this issue. It may be prudent to enlist the help of your local Secure Trust Bank branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
In what circumstances might Secure Trust Bank amend or withdraw their mortgage offer?
Lenders such as Secure Trust Bank can withdraw their mortgage offer although this rarely happens. If Secure Trust Bank withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to their reasoning. There are various possible reasons but here are a few examples:
Secure Trust Bank may amend or withdraw an offer if the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel solicitor is unable to confirm compliance with any of the conditions of the mortgage offer or if any of the terms of the mortgage offer cannot be satisfied
If the financial circumstances of the borrower have changed to the detriment and the Secure Trust Bank has been notified
Following advice from the property assessor on their lender panel or If the lender has doubts about the effectiveness of the valuation as a result of subsequent events or information received post valuation but pre completion
If the lender reasonably suspects that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is involved in any criminal or fraudulent activity, including trading in illegal drugs or other substances, theft, robbery, deception or other serious offences, or if the applicant borrower, mortgagor or guarantor has a conviction for any serious criminal offence, including theft, deception, fraud, robbery or trade in illegal drugs or other substances;
If the lender reasonably believe that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is insolvent or is about to become insolvent or has or will have a petition presented or if any one or all enter into any arrangement with their creditors generally or if any one or all should suffer a material change in their financial circumstances
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?
I've read lots of house buying,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 correct?
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.
At last I have had an offer on an apartment accepted, but there is a chain. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties in the pipeline. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What should be my next step? When should I get the mortgage app going with Secure Trust Bank?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx £1k, then survey/valuation, conveyancing search costs, etc). First you should check that your solicitor is on the Secure Trust Bank conveyancing panel. As to the next stages this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a hot mortgage some buyers would pally for the mortgage with Secure Trust Bank and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.