Many of the high street firms today suffer from the ruling powers of the lenders. As the local solicitors find it increasingly hard to obtain membership on to the lenders panels, many solicitors across the nation feel hard done by and argue that the lenders are “cherry picking” so to speak on who they would like on their panels.
Although this may seem unfair from the solicitor’s point of view, the other side of the coin is that the lenders are becoming ever more anxious and feel the necessary need to protect them from mortgage fraud and other illegal activities. Due to this worry the lenders are keeping their panels of approved solicitors to a minimum.
Is there any consistency that the lender has in their panel systems?
This alternatively means that the hard part is not yet complete, as even those firms who are currently on the panels are subject to even more conditions. These conditions can vary from having more than three or more partners in the practice or it could be that the lender decides that no work has been placed with them in a set time period, which leads to the lender removing the solicitors firm from their panel.
The solicitor’s main concern is that of their clients. If the client would like to use a certain firm they would first have to now check if that particular firm is on the lenders panel. If the solicitor firm is subsequently not this could lead to major financial blow to the high street firm’s conveyancing department. As more clients would vanish from the firm and be placed with those firms who are on the panels.
The law society has now offered a more practical solution to this increasing problem local solicitors are finding. They have now introduced the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS).
But is this scheme to little too late for the local high street firms?
Once obtained the Conveyancing Quality Scheme shows a firm’s ability to show efficiency in the firm in the conveyancing department. It can be argued that surely an established well known local firm who have been incorporated for many years with an exceptional clientèle should not have to prove their worth by a certificate and fee. Exceptional, good and adequate conveyancing can be acquired by those firms are not on this scheme. This scheme which has been implemented by the law society is an action against the lenders and is seen as a long term solution.
However as more firms have now incorporated the Conveyancing Quality Scheme a question must be raised, will the lenders still cherry pick?
Vinesh Patel, Paralegal