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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi. I recently took out a Buy-to-Let mortgage through the Woolwich/Barclays.

Resolved Question:

Hi. I recently took out a Buy-to-Let mortgage through the Woolwich/Barclays. The property is in my wife's name (cautious move on our part during my divorce from my ex-wife), although it has been the marital home for 15 years. The Woolwich were insistent that my name was on the mortgage, even though that had not been our intention.

We completed the mortgage arrangements last August and had no problems at that point. However, they are now saying that they want the house to be registered in joint names and have threatened to strike our solicitor off their panel if we don't comply.
I believe this would involve us having to pay stamp duty on the transaction.

We completed the documentation and answered all questions put to us in good faith, so it would appear that they have made a mistake and are now trying to bully us into sorting it out for them, at huge cost to ourselves. Can you help us, please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask the amount of the mortgage outstanding roughly please?

Customer:

There is £700,000 outstanding on a property valued at roughly 1.4million.

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

You are correct that there would be a potentially very large SDLT issue here as SDLT would be charged on half the mortgage assumed by you on the transfer - i.e. £350K @ 3% = £10,500

Joshua :

However from what you say this appears to be either be a clear case of the solicitor failing to follow instructions as lenders typically require the borrowers to also be legal owners or a failure of the lender to provide correct instructions to the solicitor. My initial suspicion would be the former

Joshua :

The first step would be to contact your solicitor and ask him to show you documentation from the lender that provided that only one of you would need to be registered as the legal owner contrary to the instructions provided by the CML handbook - this is the instructions solicitors have to follow when acting for lenders.

Joshua :

If the solicitor cannot do this then you will need to respectfully XXXXX XXXXX him that he appears to have made a mistake and you will require his firm to resolve the matter for you and cover any costs including any SDLT payable.

Joshua :

If they are unwilling to do so then you can raise the issue as a formal complaint and from there make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman if necessary which can award compensation where it finds negligence.

Joshua :

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/aboutus/complaints_procedure.html

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX very clear. The only fly in the ointment, which I should perhaps have mentioned, is that the solicitor in question is an old family friend, so we have a moral issue, too. I think we either have to suuport him and swallow the loss or embarass him professionally. Tough call.

Joshua :

If your solicitor is able to show that the lender gave permission for only one of you to be registered and has now effectively changed their minds after completion, then the lender cannot do this and they are stuck with the position as it stands - there is nothing unlawful about the current arrangement. The requirement of lenders to require the same owners as borrowers is a matter of lenders policy rather than the law.

Joshua :

Oh dear. Did you pay him for his work?

Customer:

I will follow that up - let's hope that the latter scenario obtains. I am new to this website, so can you please tell me how I contact you again if I need too?

Joshua :

Hopefully you may find that the lender has made a mistake but my feeling is it is more likely to be a mistake by the solicitor as lenders have standard formats for most offers.

Joshua :

You can return to this thread at any time if you have any follow up questions. You can do so either from your customer home page or a link in your email or by bookmarking the link.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further at the moment?

Customer:

No, thanks. This has been extremely useful in identifying the options open to us. Thanks again for your help. Presumably you get credit by way of my feedback?

Joshua :

A pleasure. Yes - I am aware there is an intermittent fault with the ratings system at present so if you have trouble please do not worry about it.

Customer:

Sorry, missed your question on paymernt. Yes, full payment, no 'Mates' Rates'!

Joshua :

Thanks. On that basis you would have full rights as a "normal client" in terms of compensation for negligence if he has been negligent so it is entirely a personal decision for you regarding the personal relationship angle.

Customer:

Thanks again. Enjoy the rest of your lunch hour!

Joshua :

A pleasure. Lunch hour - if only!

Customer:

Sorry, can't click the rating icon. I will try later.

Joshua :

Please don't trouble yourself further.

Joshua :

Thanks for trying though

Customer:

Next time.

Joshua :

Best wishes

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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