Newcastle Building Society Conveyancing Panel Information

BSA Designator: Newcastle Building Society
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

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

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Newcastle Building Society Solicitor Panel Information:

What are the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel criteria?
Unlike the CML the Building Society Mortgage Instructions deal with this. Section A.12 states ‘In order to act on our behalf your firm or company must be a member of our conveyancing panel provided we are a society that operates one – see specific requirements for details of our arrangements. The Special Requirements state:

The Society outsources management of its conveyancing panel to Legal Marketing Services Limited (“LMS”).

Firms may apply for inclusion to the Society’s conveyancing panel by visiting www.lms.com/lenderpanels

You must also comply with the terms and conditions of your Newcastle Building Society solicitor panel appointment.

Is it the case that the Law Society has recommended that firms check their status on the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel?
The Law Society of Scotland has suggested that solicitors should check their lender panel status prior to accepting client instructions to act. The advice is lender-agnostic as it does not relate specifically to solicitors on the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel. The recommendation arises from the practice of a number of mortgage lenders who remove solicitors from their panels without prior notice as part of their panel management system, which can lead to some solicitors discovering this only once instructed. This is sensible advice as a client finding out midway through a transaction that their lawyer is not on the approved lender panel is very frustrating and can lead to complaints. Many online consumer forums contain posts where someone is complaining about finding that their lawyer is not on a lender conveyancing panel. Such forums include mumsnet.com
Theoretically Newcastle Building Society could request or audit my files as I am on the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel. Are there any confidentiality issues that I need to consider first?
We can't comment specifically on Newcastle Building Society. Many major lenders are now introducing ‘file auditing’ as standard practice in relation to completed matters. This raises questions of confidentiality in relation to the borrower and the purpose to which the results of such audits will be put. The starting point is to remember that the file does not belong to your firm, it belongs to the ‘client’. But, of course, we will normally have two clients – the buyer and the lender - and you will owe a duty of confidentiality to each. So basically, you have to separate the file and just send the lender the parts solely relating to themselves. But, of course, as this will basically be correspondence with the lender, mortgage instructions etc.

Check with your Compliance Officer, but a firm should not send the complete conveyancing file without the borrower client’s express consent – and if he is in dispute with the lender he is hardly likely to agree. However, if the lender can establish a prima facie case of fraud, then you may be under an obligation to disclose the whole file.

The emerging convention is that lenders are including an authority to disclose in loan application forms to counter this problem. Mortgage Express v Sawali, 2010 EWHC 3054 (Ch) indicates that such provisions valid? Please click here for more information about that case.

I recently attended a seminar arranged via my PI broker where it was mentioned that solicitors are being sued for non-compliance with BSA Mortgage Instructions. I am on the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel. Can you tell me how many Specific Requirement changes took place by Newcastle Building Society during 2013?
During this period 17 sections of the BSA Mortgage Instructions were changed by Newcastle Building Society. Some changes are more important than others but as a firm on the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel you are of course obliged to comply with individual lender requirements. Locktons have recently pointed out in an article that non-compliance with lender 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: BSA requirements are not guidelines; they are the lender client’s instructions.

My firm is on the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel. I am dealing with Newcastle Building Society mortgage on a purchase. My borrower client is asking not to disclose an issue to Newcastle Building Society. What do I do in this conflict situation?
When a solicitor is acting for both Newcastle Building Society 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 your situation, if the purchaser will not consent to the information being passed on to the lender, the solicitor must cease to act for Newcastle Building Society and it may well be prudent for you to cease to act for the purchaser as well. You must not inform Newcastle Building Society of 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 Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel status.

I rarely receive a copy of a valuation from a lender these days. Does the extent of my Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel obligations extend to checking the valuation details where I am acting on a purchase with Newcastle Building Society as the Mortgagee?
There are various requirements you need to follow if you wish to comply with your lender client’s instructions as set out in the BSA Mortgage Instructions. (I) You must take reasonable steps to verify that there are no discrepancies between the description of the property as compared to their old address.
Do publish figures exists regarding the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel size and the number of conveyancing firms removed from their panel each year?
With mortgage companies and property lawyers working so closely with one another it is surprising that there has not been much call for the introduction of a bit of transparency regarding not just the figures for the Newcastle Building Society conveyancing panel but for all bank panel listings
What lender panels do you receive the most questions about?
BSA lenders do not come within the top 20 lenders in terms of frequency of questions. The most popular lender panels in terms of questions are as follows:
Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Newcastle Building Society
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
YearDays*
2013 38.3
* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor

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