Examples of recent questions relating to the Zephyr Mortgages Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
I am progressing with the sale of my apartment and the EA has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are appointing a new conveyancer. The reason given is that Zephyr Mortgages will only engage with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a leading mortgage company only engage with specific law firms?
UK lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Nationwide , have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.
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.
I am purchasing a new build flat and my lawyer is telling me that she is duty bound to reveal incentives from the developer as her firm is on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel. I am on a tight deadline to sign contracts and my preference is not to prolong the conveyancing. Is my lawyer right?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Zephyr Mortgages approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Zephyr Mortgages). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
Are the lawyers identified as being on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel, together with their details provided by Zephyr Mortgages?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Zephyr Mortgages directly.
I am buying a terraced house and getting a mortgage with Zephyr Mortgages. How practical is it for me to do the conveyancing?
Leaving aside the complexities and merits of DIY conveyancing you will have to appoint a solicitor on the Zephyr 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 Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel in your location.
Do most lenders 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 Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel requirements are different to Zephyr Mortgages’s conveyancing panel criteria.
Intending to buy a flat with a mortgage with Zephyr Mortgages. I have received an online quote from a licensed conveyancer, which states: "There will be no charge for dealing with the Building Society if you are obtaining a mortgage". I take this to mean that there will be no additional fee if the solicitor is on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel. I wanted to make sure it means there will be no additional fees for dealing with the mortgage.
They are simply saying that the cost for acting for the lender is included in the fee being quoted. It is worth you checking that they are on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel
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 in the pipeline. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What do I do now? At what point should I appy for the mortgage with Zephyr 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 Zephyr 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 Zephyr Mortgages and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.