Examples of recent questions relating to the MPowered Mortgages Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
I am selling my maisonette and the EA has just telephoned to say that the buyers are swapping solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that MPowered Mortgages will only engage with solicitors on their approved list. On what basis would a leading lender only work with certain lawyers?
Lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 15 years.
Banks blame a rise 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 being contacted daily by practices 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.
Our conveyancer has uncovered a legal deficiency with the lease for the property we are buying. The other side have offered title insurance as a workaround. We are happy with insurance and will pay for it. Our solicitor has advised that as he is on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel he must ensure that the lender is happy with this solution. Are we the client or is MPowered Mortgages?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the potential for a conflict of interest, you and MPowered Mortgages are the client. A precondition to being on the MPowered Mortgages approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on MPowered Mortgages). The CML Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects will the lease so that MPowered Mortgages can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected . 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.
Do I have to have a meeting at the offices of the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel solicitor to sign the legal charge? If so, I will choose one who does conveyancing in Manchester
so that I can attend their offices if required.
As opposed to ten 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 Manchester
I am purchasing a terraced house and getting a mortgage with MPowered Mortgages. Conveyancing solicitors are said to be ‘a necessary evil’ but can I do it myself?
Leaving aside the complexities and merits of DIY conveyancing you will have to appoint a solicitor on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel to look after their interests. Most people therefore find it easier to let the solicitor act for them and the lender. Furthermore there is minimal cost savings to made in you doing to conveyancing for yourself and another lawyer conducting the conveyancing for the lender. Please feel free to use the search tool to find a lawyer on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel in your location.
Is it the case that all solicitors on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel regulated by the SRA?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Many lenders do allow licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such firms would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
Can I be sure that the solicitor on the MPowered Mortgages panel is any good?
seeking recommendations is a sensible starting point. Before you go ahead check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always advise that you speak with the solicitor carrying out your conveyancing
I have instructed a lawyer having made sure that they are on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
I've read lots of house buying,I note that they all recommend that you should get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the MPowered Mortgages conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. is that correct?
MPowered Mortgages will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually MPowered 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 MPowered Mortgages you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.