Q and A’s regarding the LiveMore Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
I am progressing with the sale of my apartment and the EA has just e-mailed to warn that the purchasers are swapping property lawyer. The reason given is that LiveMore will only work with property lawyers on their approved list. On what basis would a big named lender only work with specific law firms?
Lenders 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 15 years.
Banks point to the increase in fraud as the reason 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 conveyancer has discovered a difference when comparing the surveyor’s assumptions in LiveMore’s valuation report and what is in the title deeds. My solicitor says that as he is on the LiveMore conveyancing panel he needs to check that the bank is happy with this discrepancy and is still content to lend. Is my solicitor’s course or action right?
A precondition to being on the LiveMore approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on LiveMore) which do require that your lawyer disclose any incorrect assumptions in the lender’s valuation report and the legal papers. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
Whilst your website is a good idea there are many lawyers listed near Middlesbrough on the LiveMore conveyancing panel. It would be a lot more helpful if you could recommend a specific firm on the LiveMore 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. Before you appoint your lawyer we advise you to speak to two or three of the firms listed to gain comfort as to which one is right for you..
We're in London, First time buyers buying with a mortgage (lender is LiveMore , but our lawyer is on the LiveMore conveyancing panel). How long should the conveyancing process take?
The fact that your lawyer is on the LiveMore conveyancing panel is a help. It would almost certainly delay matters if they were not. However, no conveyancer should guarantee a time-frame for your conveyancing due to third parties outside of our control such as delays caused by lenders,conveyancing search providers or by the other side’s solicitors. The time taken is often determined by the number of parties in a chain
Can you point me to a directory of LiveMore panel solicitors on the Council of Mortgage Lender’s Website?
No. There is no such tool on the Council of Mortgage Lenders or Building Society Association websites. Very few lenders make their panel listings available online.
I have paid off my mortgage with LiveMore. I assume I don't need a solicitor on the LiveMore panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Am I right?
If you have finished paying off your LiveMore mortgage they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the LiveMore mortgage from the register. LiveMore,and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage:
but are not moving to another property
where the LiveMore has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
the LiveMore has instructed the Land Registry to do so
The Land Registry will send you a letter confirming that your LiveMore mortgage has been paid off.
I can not work out if my mortgage offer obliges me to make sure the lease term for the flat is extended prior to the completion date . I have called into my local branch LiveMore on various occasions and was told they are content with the situation and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the LiveMore conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told not they would not lend in accordance with their CML Handbook minimum lease term requirements. Who do I believe?
Your lawyer has to follow the CML Handbook Part 2 requirements for LiveMore. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that LiveMore will go ahead your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask LiveMore to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.