The place to come for unbiased independent Equity Release advice.

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

Northwest Equity Release

The Application Process.

Following your initial enquiry, and under normal circumstances pre-COVID, I’d arrange to visit you in your home to discuss what you want to achieve. I’d provide you with my business card so you have my contact details and another document, the Initial Disclosure Document (IDD). This confirms we work with the whole of the market and confirms we make a recommendation. We don’t ask you to choose. In other words, I provide advice and a recommendation after fully understanding your circumstances.

The IDD also mentions fees. There are no fees payable “upfront” and all the lenders are not charging for a valuation. The document explains we’re regulated by the FCA, what happens if you need to make a complaint and that you’re protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Next, I’d explain how Equity Release works, the features, benefits, available options and the possible disadvantages that you need to be aware of. With your permission, I’d complete a Fact Find to record your needs and circumstances and would use this information as the basis of my recommendation. This initial meeting is free with no commitments and normally takes about ninety minutes, depending on how many questions you have! It’s all about getting to know what you’re looking for, I don’t give any advice at this stage as I have to complete my research first.

During the current circumstances, February 2021, the first meeting could still be conducted face to face if you’re happy, with all social distancing measures taken into account. Alternatively, a Fact Find meeting could be conducted on the phone or using WhatsApp, Zoom or other application of your choice! So many people are using these forms of communication to stay in contact with family and friends these days.

I always encourage you to let your family know what you are considering. If you want them to attend the meeting, physically or virtually that’s great, everyone gets to hear the same message at the same time!

Following the first meeting I conduct my research across the whole of the market. There are more than 500 plans available with many variants to consider. I need to take into account your personal circumstances, what you want to use the money for initially, do you need access to funds in the future, are you looking to make any form of repayments and so much more.  During this stage, I’d normally phone to discuss my initial findings and answer any questions that may have occurred to you since our first meeting.

At our second appointment, I present to you three documents. Two that I’ve produced and one from the recommended plan provider. Again, there’s no charge for this appointment, there’s no commitment and this meeting can be face to face or “virtual”. Subject to local lockdown guidance, my preference is face to face so I can make sure you have all the facts and all your questions have been answered.

The first document I present is my Suitability Report. This confirms the information you provided and lays out the amounts you’re looking for. It also details my recommendation and why I’ve chosen that product and confirms our fees as were discussed at the first appointment.

The second document is an extract of the research I completed so you can see why the recommended plan has been selected.

The third document is the illustration from the provider and is called a Key Facts Illustration. (KFI). This is the document with all the detail of how the plan works, all the features, any limitations and risks. I’ll talk you through all these documents to make sure everything’s accurate and you understand.

If you’re happy with everything we go to application. There are no “upfront” costs to pay and all fees due will be taken from, or added to the money released on completion. Remember, if you use one of the specialist Equity Release solicitors, if for any reason you don’t proceed, there would be no charge, other than any disbursements they’ve paid for. All my fees would be waived. It’s worth pointing out at this stage the application is just speculation until we know the value of your home. In the Lifetime Mortgage world, the property is more important than the person and it doesn’t cost anything to find out so there’s nothing to lose.

The next steps are all “back office”. The first thing to happen is the lender will request and appoint an independent valuation of your home, normally within about seven days. Once complete the valuer reports their findings to the lender and if everything’s all right the lender will produce a formal offer. Lifetime mortgages are only dependant on property value and age of the younger applicant. Affordability and stress testing is not part of this process.

Once the offer has been made, the legal side of the application process will start. Again, in usual times, pre lockdown, the specialist solicitors would visit you at home to have the papers signed and to check you’re fully aware of what you’re doing. Since COVID, solicitors can deal with this step remotely or physically depending on lockdown guidance and your preferences.

When the legal paperwork has been filed, completion can happen. This is when the money’s released, net of all fees due.

We normally suggest the process takes between eight to ten weeks as a guide, it can be quicker but each case is unique.

You can call me at any time for a progress report. Once the offer has been made the legal process starts and your case handler at the solicitors will keep in touch and make sure you know where you’re up to.