FAQs for the Fleet Mortgages Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
I would like to know the reason why all property lawyers are not on the Fleet Mortgages Conveyancing panel?
Pre- 2008 most lenders had an appetite for risk which was higher than today. The Financial Services Authority in 2010 conducted a thematic review into mortgage fraud which concluded: know the conveyancing solicitors that you are dealing with. Consequently, lenders have regularly sought more information from law firms about their operations and the individuals who work for them and set certain criteria such a completing on a minimum number of transactions. Many firms that have been excluded from lender panels have 100% healthy track record, no complaints and no claims and didn't just 'dabble' in conveyancing. Such firms were never going to meet the criteria of volume of transactions the lenders required.
Much to my surprise my lawyer is asking me for identification documents stating that this forms part of his requirements as a solicitor on the Fleet Mortgages Conveyancing panel. Am I being spun a yarn?
Anti-terror and anti-money-laundering rules require solicitors and licensed conveyancers to verify the identity of the person or body they are dealing with before they can accept their conveyancing business. The Terms and Conditions that you need to sign will no doubt confirm this. Your lawyer is right that Fleet Mortgages also require certain documents to be viewed. If a you refuse to provide ID verification documents, your conveyancer would not be able to accept instructions from you. Your lawyer also has obligations to obtain certain documents in accordance with Fleet Mortgages CML Handbook requirements last updated on Fleet Mortgages
I am searching for competitive conveyancing fees. Can I be confident that all the practices that are identified on your directory are on the Fleet Mortgages conveyancing panel?
The law firms on our directory have assured us via an online form that they are on the Fleet Mortgages panel and agreed to advise us to take down their listing in the event of removal off of the Fleet Mortgages panel. To date we have not been informed by either a bank or a member of the public that the data about a specific firm being on the Fleet Mortgages conveyancing panel is not accurate.
The lawyers that just started acting on my purchase in Manchester has without warning closed. They were on acting for me because I had to have a lawyer on the Fleet Mortgages conveyancing panel and my preferred lawyer was not. I gave them a cheque for £150 in advance. What are my options?
If you have an estate agent involved then inform them immediately so that they can let the sellers know that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Most sellers would be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You will need to appoint new lawyers that are on the Fleet Mortgages conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors may be able to help
Completion of my purchase has taken place with a loan from Fleet Mortgages. Conveyancing was a necessary evil but I would like to complain about Fleet Mortgages. How does one go about formally complaining?
All banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the Fleet Mortgages branches or the Customer Services Team at Fleet Mortgages head office. We understand that complaints to Fleet Mortgages are resolved effectively and efficiently. If you feel that the matter is not resolved you can write to the
Financial Ombudsman Service
who will take matters further.
I have instructed a lawyer having checked that they are on the Fleet Mortgages 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 Fleet Mortgages conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Fleet Mortgages will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Fleet Mortgages 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 Fleet Mortgages 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 booked. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What do I do now? At what point should I appy for the mortgage with Fleet Mortgages?
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 Fleet Mortgages 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 Fleet Mortgages and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.