It seems that I could be in serious trouble

(66 Posts)
mamafridi Tue 20-Aug-13 21:09:22

My husband came back from the solicitors and was informed that we could lose the deposit for the flat we are in the process of buying.
We are 1st time buyers and have lived abroad for nearly 20 years so we were sometimes lost in the terminology in the mortgage contract and terms used by the solicitor, but At the same time I don't believe it is all down to our stupidity and that perhaps our solicitor could have explained specific terms especially as my husband is Italian.
The solicitor says the reason why we could lose the money we put down for the exchange is because as my husband's name is on the mortgage (as he is the only one working at the moment) that I would have to agree to be the "occupier" and it is this word which holds so much importance in the problems we are now facing. We thought occupier simply meant that I would be occupying the flat together with my husband and dd - nothing else. Instead, days after the exchange I received a letter from what was now my husband's solicitor that I had absolutely no say over the property and I was to sign an occupier's consent form more or less relinquishing all existence of where the equity was coming from, ie me and my husband equally. In that same letter I was advised to seek my own solicitor which I did and as a consequence of my wanting to have my name as part of the contributor of the flat we are buying we may lose our deposit, worse still lose the mortgage agreement altogether and the lose the flat. Then we could be sued by the people we are buying from and end up losing every penny we have worked our socks off for the last 18years.
I am at my wits end, we are awaiting the bank's opinion but completion is meant to be this Friday. Is there anything I can do?

Boosiehs Thu 22-Aug-13 23:12:41

Or perhaps you should read the terms of your mortgage offer rather than lame someone else.

Phew thank goodness it all got sorted out, sometimes I think solicitors assume you understand when you clearly don't so I do think she was a bit at fault for not warning you what could happen, after all that's what you employ a solicitor for to advise you and stop things going tits up.
Good luck with the move.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-Aug-13 23:43:06

I have to say having worked in conveyancing, the mortgage lender papers would have been the bit to send off first, as they take ages to process. If you didn't read it or understand it that is not really your solicitors fault, they were simply doing a process that works 9 times out of 10. Solicitors are meant to be cutting down on jargon, but it was not their paperwork you misunderstood. I do understand their reaction was scary, and possibly could have been handled better however.

mamafridi Thu 22-Aug-13 23:43:48

Boosiehs, I think I can say that having gone to the second solicitor who has shown me how a professional, friendly and most importantly approachable solicitor can be. And who showed me the questionnaire he sits down to ask his clients face to face which covered many questions that were never asked us when we nominated her as our solicitor - I think I can state with some conviction that she didn't carry out her job to the best of her ability.

BellaI Thu 22-Aug-13 23:46:26

Also somewhere on the mortgage form would have asked if any money wasn't coming from the applicant, which should have flagged your interest in the property.
Glad you are able to move after all the stress.

mamafridi Thu 22-Aug-13 23:47:08

Thanks fiftyshades. I'm still boxing stuff up now. X

WafflyVersatile Thu 22-Aug-13 23:51:18

Good luck! Glad you got it sorted and found a second better solicitor.

mamafridi Fri 23-Aug-13 00:00:18

Thanks bella and waffle xx
Going to bed now surrounded by half packed boxes and a snoring dh on the sofa with a roll of tape gripped in his hand - wonder what he was planning to do with that?

flow4 Fri 23-Aug-13 08:37:28

Glad you got it sorted mama. smile

SpecialJK Fri 23-Aug-13 08:43:16

Really glad you got it sorted, and the deed of trust should give you extra security

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 23-Aug-13 11:38:09

mamafridi, a trainee isn't a qualified solicitor, which could be part of the problem. It's true that some firms routinely use trainees for this type of work but that doesn't change the basic duty of care and skill a law firm owes to its clients (which you were entitled to assume included you as well as your DH until you were informed otherwise). The trainee should have been supervised closely to ensure she was advising you and carrying out your instructions correctly.

If she wasn't being supervised adequately you might have grounds for complaint here. A solicitor should always make sure you understand the terms on which you are buying and you should have been advised well before exchange that you needed you own legal representation if you weren't going to be given an interest in the house.

The firm should have given you details of their complaints procedure so in your position I would use it - set out clearly in writing the issues, when they arose, and why you consider you were poorly advised/what you have lost as a result. Let them explain to you if they feel differently and take it from there.

OnTheBottomWithAWomensWeekly Fri 23-Aug-13 11:41:53

But since you are married and it will be the family home, as well as the fact that you could easily prove your contributions, I don't see why any of this matters, as such?

I spoke to my solicitor yesterday about this issue as my husband is mortgaging our new home and she said I would be on the title deeds as it would be the matrimonial home. My husband was advised to come in and write a will too.

TipsyandTom Fri 23-Aug-13 13:00:19

Glad it worked out OP. Hope the move is going well, and congratulations on your new home!

MinimalistMommi Fri 23-Aug-13 13:46:26

My D is the sole earner, he put the mortgage is both our names just as it should be. confused

acemay Fri 23-Aug-13 13:49:15

Congratulations OP! Enjoy your new home.

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