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National Equity Release Pension Conference

Handling the Legal Affairs of an Equity Release Application

If a pensioner has made the decision to proceed with an equity release scheme, he or she will need to have an equity release solicitor to represent him and to handle all of their legal affairs. Equity release solicitors ensure you are represented in the equity release process. Most equity release providers are members of SHIP or the Safe Home Income Plans. This organization is the governing body where equity release is concerned.

All members of SHIP must follow its rules and regulations. Where equity release solicitors are concerned, the requirements of SHIP dictate that the legal affairs of equity release can only be handled by a solicitor. SHIP also dictates that one solicitor is not allowed to handle the legal affairs of both the client and the equity release providers. This means that two solicitors are needed to complete any equity release process.

The responsibilities of an equity release solicitor are many. He is responsible for making sure the equity release provider is a valid lender and that all money lending regulations are adhered to. He is also responsible for confirming that the client is complus mentus which means that he is fully aware of the terms, conditions, and effects of the contract he is entering into.

Equity release solicitors are also responsible for checking that there are no irregularities on the deeds of the property. All communication between the client and the equity release provider must be handled by the equity release solicitor, who liaises with the provider’s solicitor to answer any requests.

In order to complete the equity release process and to request the funds from the provider, the client’s equity release solicitor must complete and sign a SHIP certificate which is a confirmation that the client understands the implications of the chosen equity release scheme. This SHIP certificate is needed for the equity release process to be completed.

When choosing an equity release solicitor, the client should check if he is qualified to handle the equity release case since that equity release is a specialized area where the legal paperwork cannot be compared to standard legal paperwork. The client must hire a solicitor whose competence and understanding will provide him with the explanation that he needs to fully understand the equity release process.

Comparing different equity release solicitors is helpful. You can feel confident you obtained the proper person for your equity release situation. You have a couple of options for equity release: home reversion and lifetime mortgage. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, which your solicitor can explain to you.

Most solicitors will be well-versed in both processes; however, this is another area you will want to compare. Since you might have questions about the application and the process it undergoes even after reading this short guide, it does not hurt to test your solicitor's knowledge of both options.

You might find by asking about both options your solicitor will suggest whether home reversion or lifetime mortgage is the better choice. Each option open to you has different advantages that might make one better than the other for your situation.

Home reversion is not a mortgage, although it does require a solicitor to help you close the deal. With reversion schemes you sell a part of your home, which is all the more reason to have a solicitor on hand. You want to make certain this complicated process is in your favour. There is also the lifetime tenancy agreement that must be signed.

Lifetime mortgages require interest rate payments; however, you retain ownership of your house. For some this process can be better since the house is still yours and you can decide when you move out and sell it.

It will all start with the application process. The provider wants to know your situation including your health and any outstanding mortgage you might have on the home. Through the application process, your situation is clear on paper including the amount you need to cover your living expenses or improve your home. The pre-approval process ensures you know what you are able to afford in an equity release.

While the process is different than traditional mortgages, you still want to take out the equity you need rather than all that might be available. Equity release solicitors working on your behalf can help you outline what is necessary and then set up the agreement. The decision is always yours regarding what you decide to do regarding equity release schemes.


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