The lender told Specialist Lending Solutions that a “generation gap” had formed with very few people training in these areas in the eight years following the financial crash.
“In some areas you can’t get a valuer because nobody was being trained during those years,” BFS director Steve Barber said.
And he noted that the problem was particularly acute when it came to getting deals completed quickly.
“We can complete loans in four days but the biggest problem is the borrowers’ lawyers,” Barber continued.
“Sadly conveyancing in residential mortgage products has been dumbed down into a tick box exercise that if something is not a tick box it goes into the ‘too difficult to complete’ pile.
“It could be completed in 72 hours where the conveyancer has the legal expertise, but there’s a lot of residential conveyancers and not a lot of property lawyers.”
Legal executives not property lawyers
The lender, which is largely based in the northern half of England and Wales, said it is encouraging clients who want to complete quickly to use a panel lawyer as it knows these firms have the required expertise.
“There’s a ten-year generation gap,” Barber said.
“There were so few property lawyers training in 2008 to around 2015 that we got to the position where lots of legal executives were doing conveyancing but not expert property lawyers.
“It seems there are just fewer in the market and it’s something I hear a lot in the North. That will ease as more lawyers are coming out of law schools now, but it’s going to take time.”