Astra Mortgages Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

Lexsure’s COMPLETIONmonitor is web-based pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the CML and PI insurers such as AmTrust. It is a unique risk mitigation tool.

This system assists the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their requirements, with alerts on Astra Mortgages’s changes. Even though using this technology is not a condition for acceptance on the Astra Mortgages panel, demonstrating you can remain up to date with Astra Mortgages’s Handbook requirements is an excellent support to your application to their lender panel and, just as importantly, protect your panel status.

The software generates real-time alerts, automatically produces COLP and CQS reports, and will enhance your firm's efficiency. It is also user friendly, cost-effective and, for many firms, leads to reduced PII premiums.

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Mortgage companies often change their requirements. The BSA instructions from Astra Mortgages are not guidelines, they are instructions from a client. As with many clients, instructions can change - and they do change, frequently:

A Timeline of Policy Changes


Since 2010, Astra Mortgages has made 59 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the BSA Requirements.
That equates to a section change every 46.3 days. In total, 49% of the sections of the BSA Requirements for Astra Mortgages have been changed since 26/1/2010.

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
C.12 27/04/2017 BSA
D.43 21/02/2017 BSA
E.12 21/03/2016 BSA
B.3 02/11/2015 BSA
C.12 26/11/2014 BSA
C.12 19/11/2014 BSA
D.25 06/10/2014 BSA
D.24 06/10/2014 BSA
B.3 29/10/2013 BSA
C.27 09/01/2013 BSA

Last update 13/11/2019

Q and A’s regarding the ASTRA mortgages Solicitor Panel from members of the public

On what basis would a firm of solicitors be excluded from the ASTRA mortgages solicitor panel?
According to a recent survey report by the solicitors regulator three quarters of law firms had been removed from a lender panel. The top reasons in order are :
  1. lack of transactions
  2. the lawyer is a sole practitioner
  3. as part of the HSBC panel reduction
  4. regulatory contact by SRA
  5. accidental removal. We are not aware of the specific or common criteria for removal by ASTRA mortgages
I am due to complete my purchase next Thursday. I have now been asked to send a copy of my building insurance schedule by my solicitor as he says that he has to check this in has capacity as lawyer for ASTRA mortgages. What risks do ASTRA mortgages expect the insurance to cover?
All property lawyers on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel would need to check that the following risks are covered fire; lightning; aircraft; explosion; earthquake; storm; flood; escape of water or oil; riot; malicious damage; theft or attempted theft; falling trees and branches and aerials; subsidence; heave;landslip;collision;accidental damage to underground services;professional fees, demolition and site clearance costs; and public liability to anyone else. There are some other issues such as the level of excess that are set out in ASTRA mortgages’s Part 2 requirements of the CML Handbook (last updated on ASTRA mortgages). Being on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel your lawyer is expect to follow these requirements.
Is it necessary during the course of the conveyancing process to pop into the offices of the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel solicitor to execute the legal charge? If so, I will choose one who does conveyancing in Leeds so that I can pop in to their offices when needed.
As opposed to 12 years ago, most lenders no longer require their conveyancing panel solicitor to witness the borrowers signature. You will still be obliged to provide ID Documents and there are still distinct advantages to using a local solicitor, in your case a conveyancing solicitor in Leeds .
I was due to move into my first house last Friday. My solicitor is on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel but has changed address 8 weeks ago and had not advised ASTRA mortgages of their new address. ASTRA mortgages has locked down the release of mortgage funds as the information from the solicitors isn't correct.
This is a rare situation indeed. The majority of 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 ASTRA mortgages branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
Is it the case that all conveyancing lawyers on the ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel work on a no move no charge basis?
There is generally 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
I currently have a mortgage with with ASTRA mortgages. Conveyancing was finalised months ago. Should I wish to rent out my property and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform ASTRA mortgages?
You must advise ASTRA mortgages before renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of ASTRA mortgages’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies will allow you to rent out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact ASTRA mortgages directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a ASTRA mortgages conveyancing panel firm.
The for formalities of my purchase has taken place with a mortgage from ASTRA mortgages. Conveyancing was of an acceptable standard but I would like to complain about ASTRA mortgages. How do I make a complaint?
Most lenders have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the ASTRA mortgages branches or the Customer Services Team at ASTRA mortgages head office. Ordinarily complaints to ASTRA mortgages are sorted out very quickly. However if you are not satisfied that the matter is resolved you can write to the Financial Ombudsman Service with full details of your complaint.