Rooftop Mortgages Conveyancing Panel Information

UK Finance Designator: Rooftop Mortgages Ltd
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

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

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Rooftop Mortgages Conveyancing Panel: Recently Asked Questions

Is it probable that Rooftop Mortgages will assign an alternative solicitor on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel for a further advance during the lifetime of a mortgage?
Paragraph 16.2.1 of Part 1 of the Handbook applicable to a solicitor on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel reads ‘Our mortgage secures further advances. Consequently, when a further advance is required for alterations or improvements to the property we will not normally instruct a member of our conveyancing panel but if you are instructed the appropriate provisions of this Handbook will apply’.

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Is it true that the Law Society has advised that firms check their status on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel?
The Law Society of Scotland has advised that solicitors should check their panel status with lenders before accepting client instructions to act. The advice is lender-agnostic as it does not relate specifically to solicitors on the Rooftop Mortgages 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 moneysavingexpert.com
A recent SRA survey reveals that 76% of solicitors have been removed from a lender conveyancing panel. Rooftop Mortgages and other lenders have restricted their panel over the years. Why?
In operating open conveyancing panels, lenders such as Rooftop Mortgages face a number of fraud and negligence risks. While there is no authoritative source of data on lender exposure to solicitor–led mortgage fraud, anecdotal evidence from lenders indicates exposure on individual cases are often in the millions of pounds. The National Fraud Authority estimates that £1bn per year is lost in mortgage -related frauds in total, which is seen as a conservative estimate.

These risks are exacerbated by the lack of a comprehensive set of data on all conveyancing firms (which, for the avoidance of doubt, would include solicitors and conveyancers across the UK) which is in a readily accessible format. Currently, lenders vet the suitability of their panel firms against a variety of disparate, incomplete and potentially inaccurate sets of information. One top 5 lender pointed out to us that it is almost impossible to track individual fraudsters who move from firm to firm, especially where they are no longer registered or no longer hold a valid practicing certificate.

Rooftop Mortgages and other lenders are in varying stages of reviewing their approach to vetting firms on their conveyancing panels, to ensure their ongoing exposure to unsuitable firms is reduced. There is also regulatory impetus on lenders to ensure that they have satisfactory oversight of their third party panels, including a due-diligence process.

My practice have never been on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel as well other lenders. My clients, who are getting a mortgage with Rooftop Mortgages wish use my firms conveyancing services regardless of the fact that we are not on the Rooftop Mortgages panel. Is it fine for me to use a firm down the road to act for Rooftop Mortgages on mortgage aspect of the conveyancing?
You need to be careful here as what you are proposing may not be acceptable to the lender. It is possible that you (as a non-panel firm) or the mortgage applicant are not entitled instruct a panel firm of your choice. Lenders such as Nationwide BS make it clear to their panel firms that where a non-panel member firm is instructed by one of their mortgage applicants, the lender will appoint a panel firm to carry out its instructions and to liaise with the borrower's conveyancing firm. You also need to make the costs implications and potential for delay very clear to your client.
Do publish figures exists regarding the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel size and the number of conveyancing firms dismissed each year?
With mortgage companies and conveyancers working so closely together 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 Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel but for all lender panels
My firm has just been advised that it’s Rooftop Mortgages panel membership terminated but we have not yet been given an explanation yet. I am completing a CQS application form what details must I put forward?
In the circumstances please explain on the application what steps you have taken to find out the reasons behind cancellation of your Rooftop Mortgages 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 informing you as to why they reached this decision?
Our practice is on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel and due to complete a purchase within the next few weeks. I dont have a Legal Charge for the client to execute. Who do I contact at Rooftop Mortgages to request substitute deeds?
You would be advised to contact Rooftop Mortgages to obtain standard documents. The The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook includes an express inquiry for lenders to enumerate who to contact to obtain standard documents. Don’t forget to disclose your Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel reference.

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