UK Finance Designator: Halifax
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
Halifax Solicitor Panel: Recently Asked Questions
Halifax have asked me to represent them alone on a residential conveyancing matter , using the CML Lender’s Handbook. The borrower has his own solicitor (not on the
Halifax conveyancing panel) How does this operate and are there different instructions from Halifax in this circumstance?
The CML, along with
Halifax and other members developed a standard set of instructions where a solicitor is representing a lender such as Halifax alone in a residential conveyancing matter.
These legal instructions are contained at Part 3 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook and are to be read in conjunction with Parts 1 & 2.
The CML have published an example requirements letter to the borrower’s lawyer for adaptation by the lender's conveyancer, and sets out to the borrower's conveyancer, the documentary and information requirements of the lender's panel lawyer.
Why are Estate Agents using search tools to check if lawyers are on a lenders conveyancing panel?
The fact of the matter is that estate agents are suffering if their clients start out on the buying process having appointed a solicitor who is not on the panel with the purchaser’s chosen lender. Many
conveyancing firms are only discovering when they begin working on a
case that they are no longer able to work with that lender. Given
the inevitable resultant delays in the transaction the chances of an
abortive deal increases dramatically. in the circumstances there is
understandable anguish on the part of the estate agent as a result of
the lost time should the client have to change lawyers.
A long standing client of my firm is buying a property for £800,000 in Bristol requiring a mortgage advance over GBP 410k.
I am on the
Halifax conveyancing panel but do Halifax have a separate approved panel when a mortgage is above 400,000?
Lexsure only know of two or three banks that operate a separate conveyancing panel where the mortgage advance is over a certain threshold.
You should nevertheless check directly with
Halifax. At one stage HSBC would only allow Sole
practitioners to act for them where the mortgage was below
£150,000. We are not sure if HSBC still operate such a condition. In
your case it is best to check with Halifax
The firm that I work for is on the
Halifax conveyancing panel. I am dealing with
Halifax mortgage on a purchase. My borrower client is asking not to disclose an issue to
Halifax. What do I do in this conflict situation?
When a solicitor is acting for both
Halifax and borrower there is potential for conflicts
to arise. You owe duties to both clients. All information received by
you from your client is confidential and cannot be disclosed without
the client’s consent. In the situation you find yourself in if the
purchaser will not consent to the information being passed on to the
lender the solicitor must cease to act for the Halifax
and it may well be prudent you to cease to act for the purchaser as
well. You can not tell the Halifax the reason for
termination of the retainer over and above the fact that a conflict
has arisen. The fact that you can no longer act should alert even the
most somnambulistic of lenders that something is wrong with the
borrower and/or purchase. The fact that you have disinstructed
yourself should not affect your Halifax conveyancing
Our firm had their Halifax panel membership revoked but we have not yet been given a reason as to why.
I am completing a CQS application form what details should I disclose?
In the circumstances please explain on the application what action you have taken to find out the reasons behind cancellation of your
Halifax panel status.
In particular please provide details if you have received communications from the lender. E.G. before cessation of your panel membership did you receive any letters or calls from the lender informing you as to why they reached this decision?
Our practice is on the
conveyancing panel and all set to complete a remortgage within the next few weeks. I dont have a Mortgage Deed for the client to sign.
Who do I contact at Halifax to get a duplicate Deed?
You need to get in touch with Halifax
to obtain standard documents. The The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook contains an express question for banks to cite who to contact to obtain standard documents.
It helps to quote the firm’s Halifax conveyancing panel reference.