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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My son is selling s house. There is no mortgage. The sale

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My son is selling his house. There is no mortgage. The sale got very close to exchange when the solicitor said he had hit a problem, could not continue and could not tell my son what the problem was. A nominal fee was charged. The word identity was mentioned in connection with the issue. My son found another solicitor who received the papers from the first. This solicitor has hit the same problem and is “passing the work on”. Once more he cannot inform my son what the problem is.
Is there any way we can resolve this? Or do we just have to hope that the next solicitor will be able to do something?
Peter B.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.

How did your son come to own the house?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He bought it with his then wife with a mortgage. They split up after less than a year. As he could no longer afford to pay the mortgage, when the lower interest rate cam to an end we paid off the mortgage for him. His Ex's solicitor sent him a letter saying that she no longer had any interest in the property. As far as I know no further progress was made in taking her name off the deeds.

Has his ex agreed to the sale?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not know. As far as I know there has been no contact between my son and his ex for some years. We have heard through other friends that she is married again and has children. Contact, if any, would have been through the solicitor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correction, We have just talked to my Son. He has spoken to her and she is happy with the sale.

Has he provided the solicitors with her details and has she signed the paperwork?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Was this before the first solicitor stopped acting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Has his ex provided all necessary ID to the solicitor and given her consent to all the funds being released to your son?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not know. My son is not aware of my request to you so I am loathe to pester him too closely. Surely if there was a problem in this area the solicitors would be at liberty to tell him?

The solicitors are in fact acting for both your son and his ex as they are joint owners of the property

If there is a conflict between them - or between the instructions received from them then the solicitors would have to withdraw from acting for both of them.

The other point at which solicitors have to withdraw is if there is a potential Money laundering problem or some form of Tax avoidance.

I would suggest that your son instructs a separate solicitor to obtain the written agreement of his ex to the sale and copies of all her relevant ID.

This may help him identify what the actual problem is before a further abortive effort is made

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why cannot they at least say that there is a conflict? Just telling my son he needs to get another solicitor is just ratcheting up the bills.If they consider there might be money laundering or tax avoidance then how does one clear that up?

Please remember that all I can do is speculate on the obvious issues

The involvement of his ex is the most likely one since if she tells the solicitor not to share the information with your son then the solicitor cannot do so.

This is why I suggest that it is dealt with separately.

If it is a financial issue then proving where the money to pay the mortgage off came from should suffice

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Understood that you can only speculate. I am grateful for the ideas. As far as we know there is no deliberate conflict with our son's ex though I could understand if she did not want to get involved because of the new life she has built for herself. I kept the paperwork relating to paying off his mortgage though no one has asked for it. (We mortgaged our own house to do it though we have since paid that off). Should I submit the documents to his solicitor?Can you think of any other scenarios that could cause this situation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Claire, I realise this is getting late. If you are receiving this on a mobile please do not disturb your evening to reply. Tomorrow is fine.We will look for an opportunity to raise what you have said with our son. but that may not be for a day or two.Thanks for the ideas.

Based on the limited information we have those are only reasons I can see.

When approaching the new solicitor i would certainly take all the financial paperwork in.

The only other possibility is to ask the Estate Agent if he or she can gain any extra insight

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been thinking about it overnight. If those are the only options you can see then please would you send me the details of how my son should instruct a separate solicitor to get the written agreement from his ex that he would need?

Any local solicitor who specialises in Family law would be able to do this for him - it is a matter of agreeing wording and obtaining a Consent Order sealed by the Court confirming that the house should be sold and the proceeds paid to your son alone