Conveyancing solicitors and when to request mortgage money

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When you buy a property with a mortgage, your conveyancing solicitor takes charge of requesting the mortgage monies. The mortgage company will insist.

But for which day do they request it?

The day of completion, as after all, that is the day the buyer hands over their money.

About 10 years ago, it was common place to request mortgage money for the day of completion but to ask - and one could only ask - in the covering letter that it be sent the day before. Nowadays, the universal practice is to ask for it the day before completion. Even some mortgage lenders send it the day before.

But why the day before?

Because mortgage lenders, quite reasonable and logically, cannot guarantee the exact time it will be received on the day the money is sent. So rather than face uncertainty, with removal vans sitting outside houses, the mortgage money is requested for the day before, meaning there is no waiting and no panic on the big day, on completion.

However, there are still conveyancers who fail to secure mortgage money the day before, and usually for the three reasons detailed below. The stress on the completion day is immeasurable, for everyone all along the chain.

  1. They fax/post their request to the mortgage lender but then do not check it has been received until it is too short notice to send it again if it was not received.
  2. They fail to request the money without enough notice for the mortgage lender - and yet plough on to exchange contracts without first checking if the short notice will be acceptable to the lender.
  3. Incredulously, they simply ask for it the day of completion.

If any of these events occur, it is hard to have sympathy for the conveyancer, but the natural instinct - well for some conveyancers in the chain - is to still get people in houses. If the mortgage money will be delayed, are the conveyancers sharp enough to come up with some solutions? It helps that you chose a conveyancer on merit, not how cheap they are. Hard to put a price on a conveyancer who can unscramble the mess and still get you into your property. But there are solutions for late receipt of funds, though it should have been avoided. Choose your conveyancer carefully. Are they too large an organisation that your particular deal will not matter in their grand scale of things or do they offer expert service?