Halifax Conveyancing Panel Information

UK Finance Designator: Halifax
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

The information on this page is designed to keep solicitors and licensed conveyancers abreast of latest requirements changes by Halifax and to assist in remaining on the Halifax Conveyancing Panel.

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Halifax Solicitor Panel: Recently Asked Questions

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Are there conditions,outside the CML Part 2 requirements, that a firm should be aware of when on the Halifax conveyancing panel?
In order to be on the Halifax conveyancing panel solicitors have to complete an application form and agree Terms and Conditions. A sample of 5 conditions that we see amongst many lenders Terms (but not necessarily Halifax) are as follows:
  • To quote on all communications with us relating to deeds/registration issues, whether by telephone or in writing, the panel number that we provide for each practising address and the mortgage account or application number for the mortgage concerned.
  • If you are a sole practitioner, to arrange for appropriate locum cover from our panel where necessary. Your locum must be a member of the Conveyancing panel.
  • You have the consent of all borrowers to apply for the deeds, before making any request for deeds. We will accept your request for deeds on the understanding that you have obtained such consent. If this is not the case then you should advise our Deeds Services Department in writing when you make your request
  • That any deeds you borrow from us in connection with the personal mortgage of a partner or director at your firm must be requested by a partner or director other than the partner or director concerned and the transaction must be handled by that other partner or director. If you are a sole practitioner and require the loan of deeds in connection with your own mortgage, you must nominate a different firm on our panel to request the deeds and handle the transaction.
  • To forward the title deeds and documents to another solicitor/conveyancer within 24 hours of an instruction from us requiring you to do so. On forwarding the deeds as instructed you will confirm to us that you have done so. Upon receipt of your confirmation, we will release you from all undertakings relating to your holding the title deeds.
As the COLP for my firm what do I need to consider in terms of disclosures to the SRA if my firm is withdrawn off the Halifax solicitor panel?
What you should do largely depends on the reason that your firm has been removed off the Halifax conveyancing panel. The top 3 reasons are as follows:
  1. lack of transactions
  2. the lawyer is a sole practitioner
  3. as part of the HSBC panel reduction.
In these three circumstances it is unlikely that you would expected to take any action. Disclosure and other compliance considerations are more likely to be relevant if the reason for removal is due to breaches of lender requirements or allegations of fraud or negligence. Whether the reasoning should trigger a disclosable 'material' breach will depend on the firm and the circumstances around possible failures to comply with the SRA Authorisation Rules, and the SRA will judge each case on its own merits. Factors such as the detriment or risk of detriment to clients, the scale of the issue and overall impact on the firm will need to be considered in deciding whether a failure is 'material'. As the compliance officer you will need systems to identify patterns of breaches. Even if you don't consider there to be regulatory implications the firms COFA should give some thought to whether she/he needs to take any action as result of being removed from the Halifax conveyancing panel.
I recently attended a seminar arranged via my PI broker where it was mentioned that solicitors are being sued for non-compliance with CML PII obligations . I am on the Halifax conveyancing panel can you tell me how Part 2 changes took place by Halifax during 2013?
During 2013, 65 sections of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook P2 were changed by Halifax. Some changes are more important than others but as a firm on the Halifax conveyancing panel you are of course obliged to comply with individual lender requirements, as set out in Part II of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook. Locktons have recently pointed out in an article that non-compliance with Part 2 requirements account for a number of high value claims, and it is therefore important to be aware of any particularly onerous terms that an individual lender may impose.

Remember: CML requirements are not guidelines; they are the lender client’s instructions.

I rarely receive a copy of a valuation from a lender these days. Do my Halifax conveyancing panel obligations extend to checking the valuation details where I am acting on a purchase with Halifax as the lender?
You have a number of obligations in this regard which are to followed if you wish to comply with your lender client’s instructions as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook. (I) You must take reasonable steps to verify that there are no discrepancies between the description of the property as valued and the title and other documents which a reasonably competent conveyancer should obtain, and, if there are, you must tell Halifax immediately. (II) You should take reasonable steps to verify that the assumptions stated by the valuer about the title (for example, its tenure, easements, boundaries and restrictions on its use) in the valuation and as stated in Halifax’s mortgage offer are correct. If they are not, please let Halifax know as soon as possible as it will be necessary for Halifax to check with the valuer whether the valuation needs to be revised. Halifax conveyancing panel solicitors are not expected to assume the role of valuer. Halifax are simply trying to ensure that the valuer has valued the property based on correct information. Thirdly, Halifax recommend that you should advise the borrower that there may be defects in the property which are not revealed by the inspection carried out by their valuer and there may be omissions or inaccuracies in the report which do not matter to them as a lender but which would matter to the borrower. Halifax recommend that, if we send a copy of a valuation report that Halifax have obtained, you should also advise the borrower that the borrower should not rely on the report in deciding whether to proceed with the purchase and that he obtains his own more detailed report on the condition and value of the property, based on a fuller inspection such as a homebuyers report or comprehensive survey. If you do not receive a copy of the valuation you can always ask for a copy of one from Halifax or the borrower. You still need to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook Requirement relating to valuation reports even if you don't receive one directly. Failure to comply not only runs the risk of facing a claim by the lender but also being removed from the Halifax conveyancing panel
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 questionnaire what details should I put forward?
In this situation please clarify on the form what steps you have taken to discover 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 revocation of your panel membership did you receive any letters or calls from the lender putting you on notice?
I am on the Halifax conveyancing panel and all set to complete a remortgage within the next few weeks. My papers do not include a Legal Charge for the client to sign. Who do I contact at Halifax to request substitute deeds?
You would be advised to contact Halifax to obtain standard documents. The The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook includes a specific question for banks to reveal who to contact to obtain standard documents. You will need to quote the firm’s Halifax conveyancing panel number.
Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Halifax
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
YearDays*
2013 29.9
2012 30.5
2011 26.3
* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor

Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
6.7.1 13/08/2018 CML
4.5b 05/06/2018 CML
17.2.1a 15/03/2018 CML
16.5.3a 16/01/2018 CML
16.5.3c 16/01/2018 CML
16.5.3d 16/01/2018 CML
10.2b 28/04/2017 CML
10.7 28/04/2017 CML
6.8.1 18/04/2017 CML Adoption of Road or Sewer Indemnity Insurance
5.1.1 24/10/2016 CML

Last update 21/02/2019

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