Saffron Building Society Conveyancing Panel Recently Asked Questions
from members of the public
My fiance and I are buying a 3 bedroom flat in Leeds with a mortgage from Saffron Building Society. We have a lawyer but Saffron Building Society says she’s not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to instruct one of the Saffron Building Society panel firms or keep our solicitor and pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. We feel as though this is unjust; Can we not simply insist that Saffron Building Society use our lawyer?
Unfortunately,no. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. Another option that might be available is for your lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Saffron Building Society
Please assist. My lawyer is not to blame but, the conveyancing for my house purchase has been going on for months. The Local Authority Search from Saffron Building Society was dated random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on 10 days inc Day of week eg. Mon. My lawyer says that as she is on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel she needs to redo the searches as they are now out of date.
A precondition to being on the Saffron Building Society approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook Part 2 obligations (last updated for this lender on Saffron Building Society)which states that a local authority search be not more than half a year old. You should nevertheless ask your lawyer to check whether something called ‘search validation’ indemnity insurance is acceptable to Saffron Building Society.
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the Saffron Building Society approved panel. How can I be sure given that they are not listed on your directory?
Not all firms are yet listed on our lender panel search tool which is still relatively new. Law firms are listing on a daily basis and it is probably the case that your lawyer is on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing lawyer and you should probably take them at their word. Please do feel free to suggest that they completing their listing on our site as it would only cost them £1 a month to list themselves as being on the Saffron Building Society solicitor panel.
I was expecting to move into my dream home two days ago. My lawyer’s firm is on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel but has changed address 8 weeks ago and had not advised Saffron Building Society of their new address. Saffron Building Society has locked down the release of mortgage funds until such time as their systems are up to date with the correct details.
This is as unusual as it is unlucky. The majority of lender Terms of Conveyancing Panel Appointment specifically oblige the solicitor to inform the lender of an address change. Your solicitor needs to treat this with the utmost urgency. Do speak with or register your concern with the senior partner (assuming he or she is not your direct lawyer). Most lenders would be reasonable in this situation and expedite the resolution of this issue. It may be prudent to enlist the help of your local Saffron Building Society branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
I had instructed online conveyancers located in Cardiff who are on the Saffron Building Society solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate fee of £175 for the legal aspects of the Saffron Building Society mortgage. Is this an additional conveyancing fee specified by Saffron Building Society?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your solicitors can charge a fee for this. This fee is not set by Saffron Building Society but by your lawyers. Some firms on the Saffron Building Society will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee and others do not.
Do the majority of banks operate their own panel of solicitors?
Many lenders do operate a restricted conveyancing panel but a lot of lenders allow any solicitors to join their panel so long as they meet their criteria. Each lender sets their own criteria. For example the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel requirements are different to Saffron Building Society’s conveyancing panel criteria.
Why might a lender such as Saffron Building Society withdraw a mortgage offer?
Banks and Building Societies such as Saffron Building Society can withdraw their mortgage offer although this is unusual. If Saffron Building Society withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to their reasoning. There are various possible reasons but here are a number of examples:
If the borrower informs Saffron Building Society of a change in security address
If the borrower informs Saffron Building Society of a change in the loan amount agreed
Where the lender has to take account a recent change in law
Where the sale is not at arms length for value to unconnected persons
Where the lender is on notice of a restriction or a right of pre-emption which is not at market value