Halifax Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

Lexsure’s COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and PI insurers such as AmTrust. It is a unique risk management tool.

This software facilitates the way you can prove to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their requirements, with notifications given on Halifax’s changes. Notwithstanding that using this technology is not a prerequisite for Halifax , demonstrating you can remain up to date with Halifax’s Handbook requirements is an excellent support to your application to their lender panel and, just as importantly, safeguard your panel status.

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

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Mortgage companies often change their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from Halifax 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 2008, Halifax has made 354 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 7.7 days. In total, 39% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Halifax have been changed since 15/12/2008.

To find out more about lender panel compliance,

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
6.7.1 13/08/2018 CML
3.2.4 05/06/2018 CML
16.5.3a 16/01/2018 CML
16.5.3c 16/01/2018 CML
10.11 28/04/2017 CML
10.7 28/04/2017 CML
6.11.1 28/04/2017 CML Obstruction of Access Indemnity Insurance
17.2.1a 18/04/2017 CML
6.10.2 18/04/2017 CML
5.17.5b 13/04/2017 CML

Last update 08/11/2018

Halifax Conveyancing Panel Example Support Desk Enquires from members of the public

I am in the process of selling my flat and the EA has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are appointing a new law firm. The excuse is that Halifax will only engage with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a leading lender only deal with certain solicitors?
Banks have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.

Lenders point to the increase in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been tightened and a smaller panel should be easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels, or have other concerns about them. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyer’s case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.

My fiance and I changing mortgage lender for our maisonette with Halifax. We have a son approaching twenty who lives with us. The solicitor on the Halifax conveyancing panel has asked us to disclose anyone over the age of 17 other than ourselves who lives in the flat. Our lawyer has now e-mailed a document for our son to sign, waiving any legal rights in the event that the property is forfeited by the lender. I have a couple of concerns (1) Is this form unique to the Halifax conveyancing panel as he did not need to sign this form when we remortgaged 4 years ago (2) Does our son by signing this giving up his rights to inherit the property?
First, rest assured that your Halifax conveyancing panel solicitor is doing the right thing 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 Halifax .This is solely used to protect the Halifax 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 Halifax 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.

Do all mortgage companies provide you with an approved list of solicitors? How do you know who is on the Halifax conveyancing panel?
The firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Halifax conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Halifax directly.
Please explain the implications if my lawyer’s firm is removed from the Halifax Solicitor panel before the moving date as agreed at exchange of contracts?
The first thing to point out is that, this is very unlikely to happen. 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 at a cost.
When it comes to lenders such as Halifax do lawyers have to be pay a fee to be on the list of approved solicitors?
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. Once we agree a price, what’s the best way to proceed? I plan to obtain a mortgage with Halifax. Is there anyway to cut out the solicitors to save on the costs? My father said that years ago it was possible to take the documents into the local Land Registry office and they did the rest
If you are getting a mortgage with Halifax involved you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Halifax 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 Halifax. Feel free to use our search tool to look for a licensed conveyancer or solicitor on the Halifax conveyancing panel.
I have a mortgage with Halifax. My father retired last week and wants to pay off my mortgage. After Halifax is paid, I want to transfer the property to my mother's name; How long will it roughly take? Do we need two separate solicitors on the Halifax conveyancing panel? I do not intend to live at the property once the Halifax mortgage is discharged.
Although you do need to retain the services of a lawyer they dont need to be on the Halifax panel. You will need a solicitor to draw up the transfer and to deal with the Land Registry formalities. The only thing you need to consider is that by selling at an undervalue so ask your lawyer about the implications. There could be an inheritance tax issue if you die within 7 years of this. As the property is your main residence you need not pay CGT but you should speak with your accountants in any event.