Common questions asked concerning the Cumberland Building Society Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
My fiance and I are FTBs. Within the 48 hours our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Cumberland Building Society have this evening contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Please explain?
When purchasing a property with the benefit 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 Quality Scheme.
Your solicitors should contact Cumberland Building Society and see if they can apply for membership of the Cumberland Building Society conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Cumberland Building Society will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Cumberland Building Society conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred lawyers, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
Please help. My conveyancer is assuring me that he is legally obliged to conduct a Local Authority search because the firm are on the Cumberland Building Society solicitor panel. Do I not have a choice here?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. Given that you are taking out a loan with Cumberland Building Society 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 Cumberland Building Society’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Cumberland Building Society. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Your search tool is useful but there are many lawyers listed near Middlesbrough on the Cumberland Building Society conveyancing panel. It would be a lot more helpful if you could recommend a specific firm on the Cumberland Building Society approved panel?
We are not in the business of recommending one firm above another as the right firm for you depends on where your priorities lie. For example you may require a local firm with local knowledge or you might be looking for the low cost conveyancing. We recommend that you speak to 3 or 4 lawyers listed before you make your choice..
Please explain the implications if my solicitor is suspended from the Cumberland Building Society Conveyancing panel before the completion date?
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.
When it comes to lenders such as Cumberland Building Society do solicitors have to be pay a fee to be on the conveyancing panel?
We are not aware of any lender fees to be on their panel although some do charge an administration charge to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
I was thinking of purchasing my friend’s property. Assuming we can agree a figure, what’s the best way to move forward? I hope to get a mortgage with Cumberland Building Society. Is there anyway to cut out the solicitors to save on the costs? My dad reckons back in the day he did a lot of it himself, just went into the land registry office and providing them with the info they needed himself
If you are getting a mortgage with Cumberland Building Society involved you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Cumberland Building Society conveyancing panel. We would not encourage you to both use the same solicitors' firm. There are clear conflict of interest issues and it's not going to make a huge difference to the speed of the overall process. So as not to hold things us you should pass on your solicitors details to Cumberland Building Society. Feel free to use our search tool to look for a licensed conveyancer or solicitor on the Cumberland Building Society conveyancing panel.
I have not been happy with the level or service received from my lawyer. Is there a Cumberland Building Society conveyancing panel complaints department or do I complain directly to the law firm?
There is little point in complaining directly to Cumberland Building Society. All solicitors and conveyancer must have a complaints procedure. Usually one can find this information from the solicitor’s or conveyancer’s website or ask at their office. They must tell you about it if you ask.
The Legal Ombudsman will make sure that your complaint is addressed by the solicitor. It can also advise you how to complain.
If a licensed conveyancer does not have a complaints procedure or will not tell you about it, contact the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), which will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the conveyancer. Please see below for more information.