With market trends pointing towards customers again starting to become confident in exploring their lifetime mortgage plan features (with the Q2 figures from the Equity Release Council point towards marked upticks in activity when it comes to accessing drawdowns and applying for further advances), we thought it would be useful to offer an insight into some of our post-completion processes, leaving you best placed to answer any questions your clients may have either during the advice process, or post-completion.
Porting is a logical place to start, given it's one of the more complex processes, and therefore one where customers often underestimate the amount of time it can often take. It's also a timely topic, given that many lifetime mortgage customers will have at least considered moving in recent months to make full use of the stamp duty holiday - indeed, some of your clients may have lodged cases this year.
All of our products have a porting feature which enables plan holders to move their mortgage to another property, and once we've received the new property details from the plan holder we can give an idea of whether it is likely to meet our current lending conditions. We will also let them know if they need to repay anything towards the mortgage (this normally only happens if the new property is valued at less than their current property).
Guarantees aren't provided at this point as we need to arrange a survey and conduct the necessary legal checks. Should the plan holder still wish to proceed, we will send an application form to complete and return to us.
Once we've received the completed application we will review the application and arrange a valuation on the new property. The plan holder will need to pay an upfront fee for the valuation on the new property - we'll confirm the fees involved, these are also in our Tariff of Charges. After receiving a satisfactory survey, we will then send the customer and their solicitor a porting mortgage offer, detailing any partial repayment required and any other special conditions for the port to take place.
Our solicitors will contact the plan holder's solicitors confirming all requirements to agree the transfer of our charge to your new property, and this may involve additional searches and documents. The plan holder will need to visit their solicitor to sign and return the offer, and respond to any other requests that their solicitors are unable to resolve themselves.
Once a transfer date has been agreed by all parties, and any required partial repayment has been made, our solicitors will complete the porting of the mortgage.
Once completion is confirmed we will:
- Update the account with the new property details.
- Apply any requested payment to the mortgage.
- Transfer our charge onto the client's new property via our solicitors and inform the Land Registry to remove our charge on the old property.
The lifetime mortgage will then continue as normal.
It's worth bearing in mind that although there is no specific timescale, the porting process can take a number of weeks to complete. This is due to the same property assessment and conveyancing procedures needing to take place as with any mortgage for a house purchase. We have also found that porting the mortgage to a new build property can take significantly longer due to extra complications and delays in the legal process. If the plan holder seeks out a solicitor that is familiar with lifetime mortgage transactions often helps minimise delays.