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?

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

Congratulations OP! Enjoy 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

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!

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.

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?

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.

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

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

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

Glad you got it sorted mama. smile

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?

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

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

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

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

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 23:43:48

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.

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.

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.

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

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

mamafridi Thu 22-Aug-13 23:08:53

Hiya fifty shades, at 5pm this afternoon the solicitor came back to me to say that they would not agree with me being put on the mortgage contract as second charge, but if I agreed to the original terms they would go ahead with completion so of course I agreed.
We move tomorrow and I can't tell you how relieved we are.
I have learnt a lot of lessons as a first time buyer. One of them being that I should choose a solicitor that will sit down and explain in simple terms what I am agreeing to before I sign anything.
And I will also make sure that we get a deed of trust drawn up asap.
Thanks so much for your advice - it really helped me get through 3 Horrendous days. X

Did you get things sorted mama?

I agree don't waste time and mental energy complaining at the moment and focus on the task in hand to try close the deal on this house.
Our mortgage offer came through in a about 4 days via a mortgage broker.

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Aug-13 14:59:17

My point was that sometimes making (politely) clear that you are very unhappy with a solicitor's performance and are prepared to take things further can focus their mind on resolving the problem. You don't then have to go through with the formal complaint.

I just mentioned it because this strategy has worked for me in the past.

flow4 Wed 21-Aug-13 14:46:51

Complaining would be a waste of time and energy imo. You need to put all your efforts into sorting out the problem, mama. After it is resolved, you can complain if you want - though I don't think the solicitor has actually done anything wrong - but if you try to do it now, you will have lost any chance of her helping you...

If the bank say 'no' today, don't despair. A good broker will probably be able to find you a new mortgage in hours, and you may be able to pay extra for a quick valuation. Brokers have access to deals that are not available to the public, and detailed knowledge of providers' conditions and flexibilities.

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Aug-13 13:42:22

Ugh. Is your solicitor part of a bigger firm? If so, worth asking her for a copy of their complaints procedure so that she knows you have your eye on her. Might focus her mind.

Boosiehs Wed 21-Aug-13 13:36:48

I think you are unfairly blaming the solicitor for you not understanding he terms of a mortgage you arranged.

Get a deed of trust drawn up (takes about an hour), or alternatively trust your husband an remortgage after completion.

Buying a house is complicated. You can't absolve all responsibility just because you think someone else should have told you something.

Erlack Wed 21-Aug-13 13:20:24

I think it would be pretty harsh of the bank to decline to proceed with the loan now, on the basis of what is more or less an misunderstanding of the terms! Good luck, I hope you get it sorted.

mamafridi Wed 21-Aug-13 13:17:47

I don't think I have ever felt this anxious in my life.

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