Equity release is a product that is highly used by homeowners who are over the age of 55 & reside in the United Kingdom. There is a legal aspect to every equity release process, which is why equity release solicitors are needed in order to complete the equity release process.
However, the legal process & equity release rules in Scotland are slightly different. Consequently, equity release companies such as Stonehaven are not offering equity release plans in Scotland. This however does not mean that equity release is not available to homeowners in Scotland. Other well-known companies such as Aviva and Just Retirement do offer equity release plans to homeowners in this region.
It does not matter if homeowners are opting for equity release in Scotland or in the United Kingdom. Any homeowner who is planning on taking up an equity release plan will be in need of an equity release solicitor. It is not possible for one equity release solicitor to act on behalf of the homeowner and the equity release provider. The homeowner must have his or her own independent solicitor and the equity release provider must have their solicitor. These are the rules of the Safe Home Income Plans or SHIP which is the organization that safeguards the rights of homeowners taking up equity release plans.
It is advisable for a homeowner to choose a solicitor who is a member of the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance or ERSA. Solicitors who belong to ERSA specialize in equity release and have the knowledge and experience required to provide expert legal advice to homeowners. However, if an equity release plan is taken out in Scotland, a Scottish solicitor must act on behalf of the homeowner. Such companies as Caesar & Howie Solicitors are experienced in this field & can complete the transaction for you.
Since most homeowners are not fully aware of the risks and benefits of the equity release plan of their choice, they will need guidance throughout the equity release process. This guidance is initially provided by your independent equity release adviser & the final stages by your equity release solicitor. Solicitors make sure that homeowners are fully aware of the risks, benefits, and legal obligations of the equity release plan that they chose. Homeowners will also need their equity release solicitor to make sure that the SHIP certificate is properly completed & registered to provide protection from any future misunderstandings or complaints.
Homeowners can decide when to hire their equity release solicitor. The provider should answer most questions a homeowner might have about the different equity release schemes; however, for those who would like to double check this advice and gain knowledge about the application procedure it might be beneficial to start speaking with a solicitor near the beginning.
A solicitor can help with the application process. The paperwork is fairly clear in what it requires a homeowner to submit; however, it never hurts to have a second person looking over the details to ensure everything submitted is accurate. Solicitors are hired for the paperwork of the home equity release process and to ensure they represent their client to the fullest capacity possible.
Fees and Solicitors
There are fees associated with the entire home equity release process. The fees paid by the homeowner will differ based on the amount of equity being taken out in the process and by the provider. Homeowners will also need to account for their solicitor fees. Some companies like ERSA offer a fixed fee service. The company homeowners work with might also waive the fee if the process is not completed for any reason.
Looking into Solicitors
There is any number of reasons the home equity release process might not work for homeowners. Some homeowners may find they are not old enough for the process they have chosen like home reversion, where the person or persons involved must be 65. A health condition might require monetary help, but not qualify for the enhanced lifetime mortgage that can be taken out at an earlier age due to certain medical conditions.
Solicitors are meant to advise homeowners on equity release schemes and help complete the process. If for any reason the process does not work out it is nice to know that some of the available equity release solicitors will not charge a fee for the time they have invested. When a homeowner is able to qualify for one of the equity release options, they can always come back to the same solicitor or even refer this person to someone else that needs help, which is why solicitors are willing to waive fees when a situation is not conducive.