Remortgages and Equity release mortgages
All mortgage companies maintain a panel of solicitors who they are prepared to instruct and Wards Solicitors is a panel solicitor for most lenders.
This means we can act for you as well as the lender on a new mortgage on your property or to replace an existing mortgage.
Where you have a mortgage with one lender and wish to change to a new lender, this is called a ‘remortgage’.
How does it work?
We will usually act for both you and for the lender in these transactions.
When your lender sends you your written offer of mortgage, we receive our own instructions from them together with a copy of the offer. We then:
- Check the offer and their instructions
- Check your title
- Get you signed up
- Obtain a final figure from your current lender to close your existing mortgage
- Obtain the mortgage advance from your new lender
- Repay the existing mortgage
- Register the new mortgage at HM Land Registry
Not all lenders are the same, and some will impose special conditions or have special instructions for us to deal with before they will agree we may proceed.
What about searches?
Most lenders will accept legal title indemnity instead of requiring searches to be obtained.
Legal title indemnity insurance can be obtained by us ‘off the shelf’ at a small, one off cost. Otherwise we may need to obtain a local search, drainage and water search and, if applicable, a coal mining search.
When your property is a flat
You should expect to provide information showing you have paid the ground rent and your service charge up to date, and generally with regard to the management arrangements including building insurance.
Most of the information should be within your possession but you may have to pay a fee if any information has to be provided by your managing agents. The lease usually requires notice to be given to the landlord of any new mortgage and this is also a requirement of the lender. There is usually a fee charged by the landlord for dealing with this.
If your property is let
‘Buy to let mortgage’ terms will apply where the lender is lending on a property which is to be let, or is already let (even if you own it already) and you should expect to supply additional information.
If there is an existing tenancy you will need to provide details of your buildings insurance, tenancy agreement and deposit arrangements.
Equity release mortgages or lifetime mortgages
These enable a borrower to take up cash from the equity built up in the property and are usually available to those over the age of 55. The borrower receives the cash advance from the lender but usually makes no repayments. The interest charged is then rolled up until the property is sold.
These products are used typically where the borrower has limited resources and income apart from the property and could not afford repayments.
Lenders will usually appoint their own lawyers to act for them on these types of mortgage so the procedure may be different than for a conventional mortgage.
There are now other more conventional mortgage options available for older borrowers so it is wise to take advice on these from an independent financial adviser.
Fee free remortgage deals
Some lenders offer to carry out the remortgage without you paying any legal fees. These can be a real benefit and are offered on the basis that the lender appoints their own lawyer to represent them. Usually, you proceed by dealing with them directly but not represented by them. These arrangements may not be suitable if your circumstances are not straight forward, ie if the mortgage is to be tied up with a change in the property ownership.
How long does it take?
The good news is that a remortgage with a high street lender should be a quick and simple process once your offer is in place.
However, the requirements of mortgage lenders can vary so this may affect the time frame as can factors such as the property being leasehold, the mortgage being a buy to let or on equity release terms.
If you have any questions please ask our experienced conveyancing team