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11.21

Using a specialist solicitor allows clients to complete equity release mortgages up to 20 days sooner than using a high-street lawyer, finds more2life

15 November 2021:  New analysis from leading equity release lender, more2life, has revealed that using a specialist solicitor for equity release applications can save consumers on average between 15-20 working days, in comparison to employing a non-panel high street firm.1 These delays could comprise up to half of the 40 to 50 day average offer validity term, leaving clients likely to face the threat of rising interest rates through no fault of their own.2
 
Using equity release lending figures and more2life’s data on the number of applications processed by non-specialist solicitors, more2life estimates more than £757 million of equity release business has been impacted in this way between Q1 and Q3 2021 alone.3
 
Common issues that cause delays include solicitors using residential processes for equity release mortgages, such as submitting an indemnity policy that lenders cannot accept due to the potential length of the loan. A lack of familiarity among non-specialist solicitors around timelines, special conditions and differing criteria between lenders for various risks, including septic tanks and solar panels, is also a common reason for hold-ups in the process.
 
Stuart Wilson, Corporate Marketing Director at more2life comments:
“High street solicitors are essential in providing consumer access to legal services and knowledge, however for industries as individual as the equity release sector, today’s data shows that specialist knowledge is essential to completing an application in the best possible time.
 
“More and more older homeowners are turning to equity release to help boost their retirement income, fund house purchases or help loved ones financially, meaning having an efficient and smooth process in accessing their property wealth is vital. We urgently need to both promote the specialist expertise of panel solicitor firms and develop new tools for educating solicitors on the specific requirements of equity release compared to other forms of mortgage.
 
“Greater knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of equity release applications will help customers complete on their lifetime mortgage more quickly and achieve the retirement lifestyle they deserve.”
 
Claire Barker, CEO at specialist equity release solicitor, Equilaw, said:
“As with other areas of law, the conveyancing behind an equity release transaction comes with its own set of conditions that need to be met in order for the case to complete.  Most high street solicitors see one or two cases a year at most which means that they don’t have the systems and processes in place a specialist firm like Equilaw does.   This can naturally impact on the speed of the transaction and even lead to some customers finding that they lose the interest rate they were hoping for.” Back to newsroom
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This website is intended for intermediaries only and has not been approved for customer use. more2life Limited. Registered in England No 5390268. Registered Office: Baines House, 4 Midgery Court, Fulwood, Preston PR2 9ZH. more2life is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.