Conveyancing AIBU(5 Posts)
Will try to keep this brief, I've also posted in Legal but AIBU gets a lot of traffic.
My DH's nan died last year and my MIL has been dealing with the solicitors on behalf of the 4 siblings. They've had the probate sorted but the solicitors dealing with this (A) were rubbish so she used another solicitor (B) for the sale of her mum's house. Sorry if this gets confusing!
There was a charge on the house but when B contacted the bank they said A was already instructed and refused to speak to B. B carried on with the sale, exchanged and they completed on 9 December however the monies have still not been released due to the charge not being removed!
When MIL spoke to both solicitors to ask wtf was going on they both said they thought the other was dealing with it so nothing has been done. She's tried chasing the bank but ends up going round in circles and no one will speak to her and if they do they try to fob her off.
B has paid the estate agents and taken their own fees out of the completion monies but we don't think this sounds right.
MIL is very upset about her mum and having this worry over Christmas was awful and now she's had an email from B basically saying this is how it happened, we'll chase the bank but can't tell you when you're getting the completion monies.
AIBU in thinking this is utter bollocks and to be fuming for MIL? Surely B should have covered themselves and checked the charge was removed before exchange ?! The buyers are now in the property, everyone's been paid and MIL (and siblings) have been waiting on their money for nearly a month?!
If the charge is still on the property then the buyers have bought subject to the charge and indeed would have a claim against their own solicitors for negligently buying a property without having had the charge cleared before purchase. In fact your mum and her siblings are now quids in as they can refuse to clear the charge as it is attached to the property (and as mentioned it is the buyer's lawyers at fault if they have bought subject to the charge).
It is usual for a conveyancing solicitor (with instructions) to retain monies from the sale to pay their own legal bill and the estate agent's bill and I suspect this was covered in their initial engagement letter.
I suspect having realised the mistake B is hanging on to the money in case they do need to clear the charge. The distribution of the estate including sale proceeds will be dealt with by A though not B.
Sorry I missed a vital bit of info there, the charge was repaid years ago and should have been removed but for some reason the bank haven't done this.
The bank actually told my MIL her mum should have applied to have it removed but MIL's mortgage has been paid off and the charge was removed automatically and when she put this to them they were flustered so don't seem to know what they're talking about. The department that actually deals with removing charges isn't customer facing so MIL can't deal directly with them.
Not sure what the best course of action is, MIL is making herself ill stressing about it all and no one seems to be listening or doing anything. I've told her she needs lodge a complaint with the bank but I'm unsure where she stands with the solicitor. Seems to me he should have had it sorted before completion?
Who do the completion monies sit with? Your mums solicitor or the buyers solicitor. If it is the former you need to clarify on what basis they aren't releasing the funds to your mum.
If the mortgage has been repaid already it sounds like it is just a timing issue ie it will be sorted out in time.
Don't panic - as there is no record of the charge having been discharged, the solicitors will be keeping the completion money as they in effect act for your MIL and the holder of the charge to whom they agree to discharge any charges before releasing the completion monies.
It wouldn't hurt for your MIL to write a complaint letter to the bank. Have they got any records amongst the papers of your DH's grandmother to prove the charge was repaid?
Regarding the settlement of the estate agents bill and legal fees from the proceeds of sale - that is totally normal procedure
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