Distributor and intermediary Homebank Mortgages is establishing a legal panel to remedy complications it has been experiencing in the use of third-party solicitors, according to managing director George Dodds.
Dodds said the panel will enable Homebank to set up procedural contracts with solicitors, ensuring work is carried out in a timely and efficient fashion. To date he said there had been instances where Homebank was not being paid, cases were not being dealt with on time and the application process was being slowed down. He denied the move was aimed at stifling choice of solicitor for Homebank”s members. He said: “If there is a request to use a certain lawyer then fair enough – we have never had one turned down.”
One broker who voiced complaints to Mortgage Solutions felt it was unfair Homebank should hold back £100 in fees if a panel solicitor was not used. However, Dodds said without a financial penalty, Homebank would find it difficult to move to a panel system, and the present use of third party solicitors would continue.
Dodds said Homebank was only doing what many others had done in establishing a panel, and hoped to have it in place before long. He said agreements were already being finalised in Manchester, Yorkshire and Scotland, with the aim of having local solicitors approved across the country to facilitate business from wherever it emanated.