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Archive for March, 2010

New Equity Release Sales Role Opportunity – Listed 8th April 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Due to the increased volume in quality equity release leads being generated, Equity Release Supermarket are now looking to expand its adviser roles to encompass a qualified & experienced industry professional.


Job Overview

We are looking for an experienced Equity Release Adviser to join our practice on a self employed basis. Excellent lead generation is provided via our innovative website; however an element of self-generated business is to be expected. Full admin and IT support will be provided.
Approached with the right attitude and self motivation, the position is highly rewarding with realistic targets and uncapped earnings.


Duties and Responsibilities

Main duties include contacting clients from leads provided, to arranging face-to-face or telephone appointments. Also, prospecting for self generated business from your own client bank or building professional relationships will be expected.


Skills / Qualifications / Experience Required

The ideal candidate will have gained CF1, CF6 and ER1 or equivalent, will be a positive and enthusiastic industry professional with a proven track record in a regulated environment.


For further information, please contact Mark Gregory on 0800 678 5159 or email your CV to mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


Equity Release on Divorce -‘A House is not a Home?’

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

An increasing phenomenon in later life is the number of couples who are now deciding to divorce.


Often having lived together but had separate lives for many years, retirement then can seem the final straw in their relationship. Perhaps the knowledge of the impending hours of greater social time together once retirement arises is the most common reason!


Nevertheless, statistics show increasing numbers are deciding to end their marriages in retirement and move on, once their children have left home. This works well for many people, but one of the major problems of divorce in retirement is dividing assets when you are approaching or have reached the end of your earning power.


Someone who was set for a comfortable retirement as part of a couple may well be struggling as a single person on half the assets. The marital home is often a bone of contention because it is usually the most valuable asset and often represents stability and security to the occupants.


However, pensions can also create many issues & this will be discussed in a separate article including pension sharing on divorce with offsetting & earmarking being the methods of distribution.


With reference to the marital home, equity release can often help in these situations. The person who remains in the marital home can release cash from the value of the property either by a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan to ensure that the spouse receives their share of the property.


In most cases, it would not be possible for the person living in the marital home to take out a conventional mortgage because they may not have enough income to support it. However, by taking out a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan, they know they can stay in their home for life without having to make repayments during their lifetime.


‘A house is not a home’ may be easy to understand in normal circumstances but in the context of divorce, particularly from a woman’s point of view, a home is where you nurture and provide for those you love and care for and where you feel secure. Divorce is a traumatic time when normal life is disrupted. If it’s possible to maintain some security by doing a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan to keep your home, many would take that option.


So How Can Equity Release Assist?

Well depending on the percentage split to each party, whether it is 50/50 or similar proportion, equity release could contribute either partial or in full towards the settlement. However this would be dependent on age. The size of the equity release is calculated based on the age of the youngest party & in some circumstances the health of the remaining party.


For example at age 60 the maximum release could only be provided by a roll-up lifetime mortgage & the percentage currently is only 26%. Nevertheless at age 65 a lifetime mortgage can release 31%, however a reversion scheme can also now be considered. As age increases, so do the percentages, to the extent that at age 80 one can release a maximum of 46% on a lifetime mortgage & 56% on a reversion scheme.


In circumstances of ill health, some lenders will even increase the home reversions 56% giving a more favourable lump sum based on an impaired life facility. Therefore, via a combination of negotiation of existing assets & the application of equity release could result in the remaining party not having to move or downsize at a distressing time.


This enables stability throughout the remainder of their retirement..or until a new partner is found!


For further information on raising equity on divorce call 0800 678 5159.

e: mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


Can You Take Out Equity Release With A Power of Attorney?

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The simple answer to this question is YES.


However, there needs to be an understanding of what type of Power Of Attorney (POA) is in force, when it was taken out & whether the Court of Protection have been involved in registering the document.


Prior to 1st October 2007, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was the registration document that was put in place to manage the affairs of someone who was lacking in mental capacity. This could be placed in operation prior to any onset of any incapacity with the permission of the party concerned.


Post incapacity, if no EPA was in place it could take months to get the Court of Protection to issue a POA, thus delaying any potential equity release plan. However, since 1st October 2007 it is no longer possible to create a new Enduring Power of Attorney as EPA’s have since been replaced by Lasting Power of Attorney’s (LPA’s).

Nevertheless, if a valid EPA was already in place it needn’t be revoked & replaced with a new LPA, unless there was a wish to change the appointment of the Attorney.


So what is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Powers Of Attorney are legal documents that authorise someone whom you trust to make decisions on your behalf. This includes aspects of your life such as your property and affairs or personal welfare. This would be in place for such time in the future when you may lack the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. An LPA has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.


Two forms of LPA exist; one is a Property and Affairs LPA and the other is a Personal Welfare LPA. The person or persons you appoint to act for you are called your Attorneys. It is paramount that you take extreme care when deciding on the appointment of your Attorney. You need to be confident that your Attorney will act in your best interests and that they will be able, and have the time, to carry out the tasks involved.


Where Does Equity Release Fit In?

As you can see the implications vary as to whether the POA is pre or post 2007 & whether the Court of Protection has been involved. Starting with pre 2007 POA’s, equity release lenders will accept Enduring Power of Attorneys as long as they have been registered with the Court of Protection. They will need sight of the original document or a certified copy signed in original ink by the solicitor on each page.


Depending on the reasons for the equity release, some lenders may need further evidence of the purposes of the release. There may be many reasons for capital requirements;

  • Meet expense costs so that one can remain in the home
  • Cover care cost issues at home including nursing & restbite care costs
  • Home adaptations – alterations to the home to improve motability
  • Repay costs incurred by family support


The list of reasons for releasing equity are many, but from experience the aforementioned are the main issues in relation to power of attorneys & equity release.


So How Do Lenders View An Equity Release Application & What Are Their Requirements?

This will depend on the use of the funds as detailed above. If the lender can see the requirements of the equity release are for the direct benefit of the beneficiary then there should be no issue with most lenders. However, occasionally some lenders may ask for further proof of the use of funds & may therefore ask the POA to obtain written court approval & require evidence of this. Obviously, this can cause further delay & possible additional costs, thus delaying the equity release application.


However from experience, companies such as LV= are not as stringent & as long as the conditions are met regarding POA registration & solicitor verification, then acceptance should be fine. This will vary from case to case & therefore it would be advisable to contact Equity Release Supermarket who can research individual cases on your behalf & find a suitable lender.


Regarding application, the POA will need to sign the equity release application form & associated documents required by the adviser. The lender will also need to evidence the original or solicitor certified copy of the Power of Attorney document. The remainder of the application stages will follow the normal equity release underwriting process through to completion & release of funds. It is therefore recommended that older citizens give further thought to what could happen to their finances if they lose their mental capacity.


It now becomes apparent why equity release schemes can play an essential role in funding such issues with care in the home & expenses met by remaining in situ by their own, or children’s wishes.


For any enquiries on Power Of Attorney’s or any issues discussed above, please contact Mark Gregory at Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


Stonehaven’s New Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage Lending

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Stonehaven, the innovative equity release lender that originally sourced its funding from Santander, should now benefit from the withdrawal from the market of the Halifax Retirement Home Plan.

Stonehaven now use various finance houses in order to release equity in this sector. Their Stonehaven Interest Select plan can provide an interest only mortgage  that will run for the rest of your life.


To provide peace of mind to their customers, the interest rates are fixed for life. Therefore you can be safe in the knowledge that your monthly interest only mortgage payment will never change, regardless of external interest rates.


The Stonehaven Interest Select plan  has been given the rare title these days of a self certification (self-cert) mortgage as NO income verification is required. Stonehaven class the payment of interest as a ‘contribution’ as such do not require proof of any income. The Stonehaven Interest Select plan also has the added facility of selecting the amount of interest you wish to pay. Stonehaven will allow a contribution of anywhere between £25pm upto the full interest payment so one can fit the monthly payment in with their budget.


Should not all the interest be repaid, then there will be an element of roll-up onto the original capital raised. The balance will therefore increase over the years, but not as great as otherwise would be if no payment was made at all. This could be great news for the children or beneficiaries who wish to maximise the amount they receive at the end of the day.
After the shock withdrawal of Prudential at the end of 2009, Stonehaven was one of only a number of remaining providers including Just Retirement , Aviva  & LV=  who expressed commitment to the sector.

Stonehaven’s existing lifetime mortgage customers have received continued good servicing & they have pledged to meet all the existing terms and conditions.


New applications, supported by relevant Key Facts Illustration can only be processed by qualified financial advisers such as Equity Release Supermarket & cannot be done direct. Applications must include a cheque to cover the valuation fee.


Offers made by Stonehaven are normally valid for a period 3 months & if you are considering an alternative to the Halifax Retirement Home Plan then the Stonehaven Interest Select plan can meet your requirements.
If you have any enquiries or questions you wish to ask then please contact the Equity Release Supermarket  team on 0800 678 5159.

Mark Gregory CeMap CeRER


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