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Showing posts from May, 2012

Three good reasons for not instructing a solicitor recommended by an estate agent

You might not know it, but you could be paying more for legal services when moving home because of the recommendation received form your estate agent.   The reason for this is that many estate agents have ‘arrangements’ with solicitors under which they receive what is known as a ‘referral fee’  or as it is often described, a ‘kick back’.
Many of the solicitors who operate in this way do not absorb the referral fee in their fee but add the fee on to the fee they quote you.  This means that you could very well be paying as much as £200 more for the service than you would have otherwise paid had you shopped around and gone to a conveyancing solicitor direct.
Is this legal?  Well at present yes providing the estate agent and solicitor tell you about the arrangement before you make the decision to instruct the solicitor.  The question is how many of those involved actually disclose the referral fee.  Sadly I do not believe it is many.
It also raises the question whether instructing a solic…

The fallacy behind mortgage fraud

Steps by some of the main lenders to push home owners down the route of only using certain solicitors has caused concern within the legal sector and has also led to increased expense for the consumer.  The main reason for this action seems to be the aim of the lender to reduce mortgage fraud. Lenders take the view that by reducing the panel of solicitors undertaking mortgage work, and thereby monitoring those solicitors more closely, this will help to reduce the risk of mortgage fraud. The suggestion is that sole cause of  fraud lies with solicitors who handle residential transactions.I accept there have cases of fraud involving lawyers and other professionals and I also acknowledge that lawyers have access to large sums of money in handling this type of work.The question is however can all of the incidents of fraud costing the industry over £1bn be attributed to the criminal activity of a small number of lawyers. Is it also fair to use mortgage fraud as an excuse to restrict mortgage…