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Posts Tagged ‘Equity Release Application’

The Importance of Annual Equity Release Reviews

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

 

Feefo 100% Trust equity release reviews

 

It’s always a thrill to call my clients when their equity release application finally completes. That’s the time when they’ll receive their equity release proceeds and have the necessary funds to meet their objectives, such as home improvements, new car, helping their family or simply repaying debts. Although the application process has now completed, it’s actually the start of what should be a long relationship between the client and myself.

 

How Equity Release Supermarket can assist…

 

Here at Equity Release Supermarket we pride ourselves on the quality of our whole service proposition. Therefore, following completion of any application we always invite our customers to provide feedback as a measure of how their equity release has been handled. An equity release application can take on average between 6-8 weeks and during that time there are many steps we manage on behalf of our clients to make sure it’s transpires as smooth and as quickly as possible.

 

Our feedback request starts at the first stage of the equity release process which is where we provide the independent equity release advice governed by the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority and following the Equity Release Council’s code of conduct. Thereafter, we ask for feedback regarding our administration team who process the cases and manage liaison between the client & solicitor & the lender. This aspect is of paramount importance to us as this governs the speed & efficiency of the whole application.

 

Feefo Equity Release Reviews

Feefo 100% Trusted Merchant

Our genuine online Feefo reviews illustrate our dedication to servicing equity release customers and its testament to the fact Equity Release Supermarket received the prestigious Feefo 100% Trusted Merchant Award for 2013. In fact during 2014 we are still on track for 100% positive Feefo reviews from our clients. By visiting the www.equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk website & clicking on the Feefo logo you can read how our customers view our excellent service & shows how our advisers will go that extra yard in order to provide their clients with our excellent customer service proposition.

 

As an example, one such review I received recently was as follows: –

‘I was really impressed how quickly Mark Rumney sorted things out for me and even though he was going on holiday this did not stop him. He made sure that everything was in place for me before he went, even well into the evening. So thank you Mark and I would definitely recommend your services.’

 

Continually Innovating – Equity Release

 

Today’s equity release schemes are very flexible, and clients circumstances can change, therefore I like to call clients annually to touch base, remind them of their options and review their situation. During the annual review I like to: –

 

  • Remind clients of the ability to make voluntary interest payments
  • Check whether any new products may be more suitable
  • Check whether interest rates have reduced and are still competitive
  • Check that interest only lifetime mortgage schemes are still affordable

 

Let’s look at each of these in turn…

 

Voluntary Interest Payments:

Both Aviva & Hodge Lifetime have equity release schemes which allow you to make voluntary interest payments of up to 10% of the original loan amount, once schemes have been in place for 12 months. This can dramatically reduce the outstanding balance at the end of the term, so it’s important we remind our clients of this and explain the mechanics of how they make ad-hoc payments to their lender.

 

New products:

New providers and products are often launched which may prove more suitable, although you need specialist advice when considering switching schemes. I offer a free initial consultation to complete a switch plan analysis in order to determine whether it is best advice to switch equity release plans.

 

For example, Pure Retirement launched a drawdown lifetime mortgage plan in 2014, which tends to offer the highest reserve on the market, with the possibility of receiving £1,100 in cashback that can cover all the remaining set up costs. This may therefore appeal to customers of older equity release schemes, as they can possibly switch to a lower rate at the same time as have a new cash reserve facility for future use.

 

We are also starting to come across former Halifax Retirement Home Plan mortgage customers where Halifax/Scottish Widows have declined further borrowings due to the new MMR rules on affordability. Fortunately, we have assisted some of these retirees with the new ‘interest servicing’ products from the likes of Stonehaven, More2life & the Hodge Retirement Mortgage. All these plans could be made available following a full equity release review, where if appropriate we can find a scheme that allows further funds to be made available.

 

Lower Interest Rates:

There are legacy equity release schemes out there from companies that formerly offered lifetime mortgages. These companies, however have since stopped offering new lifetime mortgage or home reversion plans. These equity release companies can include Norwich Union (now Aviva), Prudential, NatWest Equity Release, Portman etc.

 

Another legacy equity release scheme we commonly come across is Papilio UK Equity Release (formerly Northern Rock), where many existing customers could benefit from new equity release plans that offer lower interest rates. There are ex-Northern Rock customers that are being charged over 7% with Papilio UK. The Aviva Flexi Lifetime Mortgage Plan can currently offer equity release interest rates as low at 5.63% (5.83% representative APR). By switching equity release schemes I have saved my clients £1000’s in compound interest over the longer term. A good deal for them & their beneficiaries!

 

Check ongoing affordability

Some of my clients have taken out a lifetime interest only mortgage with either Stonehaven or More2Life. They’ve chosen to pay a fixed monthly payment for the duration of the plan. However, both plans offer the flexibility of being able to stop payments at any time and let the interest roll up. Similarly, with the Hodge Retirement Mortgage you’re also able to switch to rolled up interest when the younger borrower reaches aged 80. These are things that should always be discussed at annual reviews.

 

Overall, the annual review call that I make to clients can be really worthwhile. It’s always nice hearing how they’ve spent and enjoyed their money. It’s usually another common time when they ask me to call one of their friends and family who’d also benefit from my specialist advice, as their friends and family have seen how equity release has changed their lives.

 

Other areas where I receive many calls from existing clients, which impact the need for further equity release advice, can include:

 

  • Moving House
  • Death of one borrower
  • Additional borrowing

 

Looking at these in turn…

 

Moving House:

Most equity release schemes are flexible and allow you to move at any time. However, advice is needed with regards to value of you property you can move into. You’re also able to repay most schemes early but this could be subject to a variable, or fixed, early repayment charge.

 

Death of a borrower:

It’s obviously a distressing time when you lose a loved one. I often receive calls from the survivor asking what options they have or what happens next. I’m able to answer their queries and explain the simple process of informing the lender. The main query is whether the survivor can remain in the family home, where the answer is usually yes.

 

Additional Borrowing:

Most lifetime mortgage schemes are set up with an automatic drawdown facility where you can contact the lender when you need funds from an agreed reserve at outset. However, once this is exhausted, or if you’ve got an older scheme without a reserve facility, I often get telephone calls to check eligibility for additional borrowing. Here we can help & contact the lender to check whether further funds could be made available from the equity release company.

 

Summary

Remember, equity release schemes are designed as lifetime mortgage contracts and therefore you need to review your situation regularly. I pride myself in offering this unique bespoke service and many of my customers can vouch for the benefits.

 

Should you feel you may benefit from an equity release review of your existing plan, please contact me – Mark Rumney DipPFS CeMAP on: –

 

m: 07957 974826 or

e: markrumney@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

Switch Equity Release from Papilio UK – Time is running out

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Switch equity release from PapilioIn my last article on this subject in February 2013 I drew attention to the ease with which borrowers could escape the higher equity release  interest rates charged by Papilio UK, the successor to Northern Rock. I also reminded Papilio equity release borrowers that the option to take further loans from Papilio UK, an option Northern Rock originally considered, was no longer available.

 

Since my original Papilio article, Equity Release Supermarket have been inundated with enquiries leading to many satisfied clients switching to cheaper lifetime mortgages. And with many lifetime mortgage lenders currently offering free valuations and cashbacks, the costs of such transfers rarely exceed £1,500 – a sum that could soon be recovered through cheaper borrowing or funded by increasing the new mortgage.

 

Indeed, with fixed interest rates as low as 5.63% (5.83% representative APR) we have achieved savings for our clients of over 1.3% on their loans. With such low equity release interest rates, now is an excellent time to consider a remortgage from Papilio UK to a new provider.

 

Reasons to switch equity release plans

This could be for one of two reasons;

  1. To borrow additional funds & consolidate all old & new borrowings under one roof with a much lower interest rate.
  2. To simply swap equity release schemes on a like-for-like basis, but obtaining a much lower interest rate for the long term.

 

As an example in real terms, assuming that you remortgage a lifetime mortgage of £50,000 onto a fixed rate of 5.68% from a Papilio UK equity release mortgages rate of 6.99%, then after just 10 years the saving in interest charges would be in excess of £15,000. This would be not only beneficial for you if you require further borrow in the future, but also your beneficiaries who would now receive a larger inheritance.

 

Obviously, the larger the loan is, the greater the potential savings. This in turn would make large savings for your ultimate beneficiaries. Think of switching equity release schemes like any residential remortgage; you want to obtain the best rate for your outstanding debt, so as not to pay any more interest than necessary to the mortgage lender. The equity release switch principle works in exactly the same way.

 

New equity release schemes have greater benefits

In addition to the cheaper cost of borrowing, many lenders with whom you can swap equity release schemes to have now developed much more flexible lifetime mortgage plans.

 

For example, you could select a new lender with various penalty free options. The most recent innovations in the lifetime mortgage market are:

  1. Lifetime mortgage plans with Hodge Lifetime & Aviva where voluntary repayments of upto 10% per annum can be made each year. These ad-hoc repayments enable you to ‘control’ the future balance of the loan. This could be to maintain a level balance or even use it as a capital & interest mortgage by repaying the whole balance over a set number of years.
  2. Downsizing protection option from Hodge Lifetime which allows full repayment of the plan after 5 years by “trading down” your home. Therefore, if you move house & downsize you have the option to clear the whole mortgage debt & end up equity release ‘free’.
  3. Depending on the value of your property, you could remortgage to a new drawdown lifetime mortgage where a cash reserve facility could be established for ready access to further loans in case of future need ( a great way of protecting a surviving spouse on a reduced income)
  4. The option to protect a percentage of the eventual sale proceeds of your home with a guaranteed inheritance protection option for your children and beneficiaries.

 

So why consider switching from Papilio UK now?

The present economic conditions will not last for ever. Long term interest rates have started to creep up and the recent increase in property values in certain parts of the country might not be sustained. The Governor of the Bank of England warned over the weekend about the danger of the property “bubble” bursting, and this could remove from those with larger loans the opportunity to escape the higher interest rates charged by Papilio.

 

In our opinion, the time to act to escape Papilio UK equity release mortgages is NOW before interest rates increase and property values fall. And if you intend to take action then swapping equity release scheme from Papilio could be your recommended ‘escape route’

 

For further information, or to receive a FREE initial consultation, please contact me, Mike Vicary, on 07795 195302 or if you prefer email mike@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk where I would be more than happy to discuss your options.

 

The Papilio UK remortgage process

In the meantime it would be advisable to write to Papilio UK to obtain an up to date redemption statement to include all fees and the ongoing daily accrual of interest. Their address is:-

PO Box 1003, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 9UZ (Tel: 0844 8464716).

 

Armed with this information, I can then discuss with you your financial position and future plans and make a formal recommendation, if appropriate. You would receive clear details of the benefits to you of the Papilio UK remortgage and a full breakdown of costs.

 

Assuming you accept my recommendations, then we would complete the application paperwork at a mutually convenient home visit (preferably with family members present) or by post.

 

Following that Equity Release Supermarket would then oversee the valuation of your home by the new lender and we would instruct your solicitor on your behalf.

(We would strongly suggest appointing a specialist solicitor from our recommended panel to ensure that the transaction is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.)

 

Our new business administration department would then manage your equity release application through to a successful completion by liaising with your new provider, solicitors & yourself. Once arranged, the Papilio UK equity release mortgage would have been repaid & the outstanding balance transferred to your new lifetime mortgage company & taking full advantage of the new lower rate &/or additional borrowing.

 

The time to take action is now.

 

Please do contact me for a free consultation on 07795 195302 or email mike@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

Are you Releasing the Potential from your Retirement Apartment?

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Releasing equity on a retirement apartmentWith an ever increasing ageing population, more and more retired homeowners find that their properties are becoming too big to live in. In conjunction with this another significant financial burden is the ever increasing energy costs associated with heating larger properties.

 

This could mean that they make a choice whether to ‘eat or heat’.  An old cliché yes, but a very apt and true one.

 

Specialist housing, or retirement apartments have been around for more than 30 years and just 1% of over 60’s are estimated to live in these types of properties.  For most, moving to a retirement property can ease the pressure of excessive bills, plus give a new lease of life and community spirit.

 

For others though, a retirement apartment could be seen as not being financially prudent or comes with some uncertainty for a number of reasons:

  1. Location: Specialist retirement apartments may be more expensive than the value of your own home.
  2. Service charges: These are payable annually, and in line with inflation, they tend to be an increasing sum.
  3. Pension income: May suddenly be reduced upon the demise of an occupier.

If you already live in a retirement apartment, you may have the concern that with increasing costs and service charges, you may not be able to maintain your cost of living, and have the worry of potentially needing to sell.

 

Did you know however, that there could be a solution?

 

As an Equity Release Specialist, I have over the last 12 years been able to provide homeowners with an alternate way of being able to purchase a retirement apartment or to raise funds to cover on-going costs and services if you already reside in one.

 

Firstly, if you are looking to purchase a retirement apartment, by releasing equity, you could raise the shortfall between the sale of your current home and the purchase price of your proposed new property.  The equity release could be raised on your new property and would complete at the same time as your sale and purchase. The equity release application could also be on a roll-up, or even interest only lifetime mortgage basis to fit in with one’s inheritance requirements, or household budget.

 

Secondly, if you are already residing in a retirement apartment, you could have the option of releasing equity to cover your annual service charges.  This could be by way of a lump sum lifetime mortgage which additionally has the option of a cash drawdown facility. This would particularly suit those looking to take annual withdrawals to supplement their income & cover the costs of maintaining residence in their retirement home. The drawdown facilities with many equity release schemes can allow as little as £1000 withdrawals at a time to suit those not wishing to withdraw too much.

 

Case study 1

Mr & Mrs F lived in the West Midlands, but had always dreamed of retiring to the coast and live out their remaining years in the peace and tranquility of a property with a sea view.  Their 3 bedroom house was worth £175,000.00 and they wanted to downsize.  Mr F was not in particularly good health and he wanted to make sure that Mrs F didn’t have the financial worry or burden that their large home would have if he pre-deceased her.  Downsizing though didn’t necessarily mean down-pricing.  The purchase price of their dream apartment by the sea was £200,000.00, meaning a shortfall of £25,000.00 plus the associated moving costs.

By giving Mr & Mrs F full impartial equity release advice and recommendation, I was able to offer them a Lifetime Mortgage lump sum through a specialist interest only lifetime mortgage lender for £35,000.00.  This allowed them to cover both the £25,000.00 shortfall to facilitate the purchase, plus £10,000.00 for moving costs. Overall, this not only assisted with the purchase of their retirement apartment by the sea, but also enabled them to live there in financial comfort.

 

Case study 2

Mrs S was already living in her retirement apartment when there was the untimely demise of her husband.  Now just in receipt of her own pension, Mrs S was concerned that she would not be able to cover the on-going living expenses.

The service charges amounted to £2,704.00 per annum (£52.00 per week) and being on a reduced pension, Mrs S would struggle to maintain her standard of living plus pay her normal household expenses.  Being a specialist in equity release, I was able to advise Mrs S of her options, including a full benefits check.

 

Mrs S was just over the threshold for benefits, therefore I could look at the option of a drawdown lifetime mortgage.  Mrs S released an initial amount of £10,800.00 to cover four years’ service charges, leaving her with a remaining cash reserve of £21,600.00.  The drawdown facility allowed Mrs S to release sufficient funds each year thereafter to pay her service charges on an annual basis.

 

How Equity Release Supermarket can help…

Over the years, I have helped many clients in the same or similar situation and have such pride in doing the job I love and being able to assist purchasers and homeowners alike. Being independent lifetime mortgage advisers Equity Release Supermarket have vast experience in assisting its clients with retirement apartment purchases or releasing equity on them.

 

In addition we have access to the best equity release deals including cashback, free valuations and specially reduced interest rates. We always offer a free initial consultation, to see whether we can assist the over 55’s with retirement mortgages and financial help.

 

If you would like more information on how these equity release plans work, please contact Marcelle on 0800 783 9652. Alternatively, please email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

How Long Does the Equity Release Application Process Take?

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

The equity release market is currently at its peak with a record number of applications. For those aged over 55 and are considering releasing equity, here we review how the equity release application process works, how long it takes and the involvement required.

 

The equity release sales process is now the most streamlined since the product was originally conceived. Increased competition in the marketplace from new providers has resulted in equity release companies looking at ways to steal an advantage. As better interest rates for customers are now also on offer and today’s equity release plans are much more flexible than those available until a few years ago, never has there been a better time to consider a release of equity for the over 55’s.

 

Timescales

An equity release application usually takes somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks for a lifetime mortgage scheme and 10 to 12 weeks for a home reversion plan, assuming the title on the house is clear. The actual amount of time your equity release process takes, also depends largely on how efficient and experienced your solicitor is. Applying for equity release involves legal paper work, which needs to be handled by a solicitor and solicitors with expertise in equity release plans can help to avoid any potential delays in your application.

 

The First Steps

The whole process starts with completion of an application form which must come in conjunction with financial advice as NO equity release provider will accept an application without it. At this stage any fees required which would be clearly stated in the Key Facts Illustration (KFI) would need to be paid. Normally this would include the valuation fee made payable to the lender. Some equity release brokers do charge an advice fee on application; however Equity Release Supermarket would only charge their advice fee upon completion, so beware of paying unnecessary upfront fees.

 

Valuation

On completion of the application form, it is then submitted to the equity release provider who will instruct a local surveyor to complete a basic valuation on the property. The role of this surveyor is to complete a report which will advise the current market value based on a relatively quick sale. The surveyor’s role will be to assess the local proximity to the property and establish similar properties and the price they had sold for within the last 3-6 months. Additionally, the surveyor will ascertain whether any essential repairs will be needed should the property have material defects that could affect the long term structure or re-saleability of the property.

 

Legalities

At the same time as application submission, for speed of completion it is wise for the legal process to get underway. Unless a client specifically requests to use their own family solicitor, we would recommend an equity release solicitor from ERSA (Equity release Solicitors Alliance). One of the former members of ERSA is Goldsmith Williams, whose organisation offers a fixed fee agreement with Equity Release Supermarket clients of £395 +VAT & disbursements. Additionally, these solicitors will provide a ‘no completion, no fee’ agreement with our clients which should be considered for any future lifetime mortgage or home reversion application.

 

The solicitor’s role

Two sets of solicitors must be in place to carry out the whole process. Under Equity Release Council (formerly SHIP) rules different solicitors must be employed on behalf of the client and the lender. Once instructed by the client or broker, the solicitor acting on behalf of the client will send out an initial questionnaire requesting further information. This will include a request for information on whether any mortgage exists currently, the owners to the title, any restrictions, further tenants or major improvements that have been carried out with respective planning permissions. This questionnaire also provides the permission for the prospective solicitor to act on their behalf.

 

What about existing mortgages or secured loans?

Should any existing charges by way of mortgages or secured loans be present on the title deeds then they must be removed prior to, or upon completion. Any mortgage will usually be settled by the proceeds from the equity release scheme at funds release stage. However, another role of the solicitor will be to establish exactly how much will be required on the proposed completion date. This will be achieved by requesting a redemption statement from the mortgagee, who will provide the current balance and the daily accrual rate of interest being added during the interim period to completion date.

 

Provider requirements

For an application to proceed through to completion, the lender will carry out certain checks to meet money laundering and the consumer credit act requirements. This will be proof of ID including passport, driving licence or government backed evidence such as your annual state pension letter or Inland Revenue tax code notification. Should none of these be available most lenders will also require a birth and/or marriage certificate as satisfactory proof of who you are. Additionally, proof of address will be required, so a recent utility bill or bank statement will be necessary.

 

Equity release and adverse credit

Some lenders will carry out credit checks. You may ask why this would be necessary as NO monthly payments are usually required with a lifetime mortgage scheme. The lenders view is that if someone has been negligent with previous credit payments, then there may be a tendency to not look after their property, thus affecting the lenders security.

 

Nevertheless, there would have to be severe credit problems for a lender to decline an equity release application due to adverse credit. Most lenders will accept previously missed payments, defaults and even CCJ’s (County Court Judgements) on their credit file, unless they are significantly large. Even then, most lenders such as Stonehaven will accept the application as long as the applicant has been forthcoming with an explanation as to why the CCJ’s had been applied. Undischarged bankrupts would usually be unsuccessful with any equity release borrowings.

 

Latter stages

Upon successful valuation and title checks, the solicitor acting on behalf of the client will set the completion date. Once your equity release scheme has gone through, you can receive the money by having it paid directly into your nominated bank account, or if you wish to save the telegraphic transfer fee (approximately £30), you can receive the funds in the form of a cheque. Depending on the particular scheme, money can be borrowed either as a one-off capital lump sum or by taking ad hoc withdrawals from a cash reserve set up from the outset.

 

An equity release plan can be a great way to turn the equity tied up within your estate into something tangible and usable. But like any large loan, it has its own risks. Therefore, before you decide to release equity from your home, make sure you speak to your solicitor or independent financial adviser first.

 

Companies such as Equity Release Supermarket provide the ‘complete equity release service’ whereby we provide guidance to clients from the start to finish of the application process. If you have any questions with regards to the equity release application process please call 0800 678 5159 where a qualified adviser can discuss your requirements.

 

Equity Release – An Alternative Means To Generate Funds

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Equity release schemes offer optional loans to homeowners who wish to use their property as a source of income generation after their retirement. It is a type of flexible mortgage that offers tax free cash to homeowners secured against the current market value of their home.

 

Equity release schemes are available in two formats – home reversion or lifetime mortgage. If you are retired, over 55 years of age and own a property with a good market value, lifetime mortgage equity release scheme could be the ideal option for you.

On the other hand, a home reversion equity release scheme could be attractive for different reasons. It is only appropriate for homeowners above 70 years of age & is the only scheme where you can guarantee a specific inheritance for your beneficiaries. This can be useful if you have a specific attitude that you wish that at least some of your residual estate will pass to someone after your death.

 

With equity release schemes, you can either get the loan amount as a lump sum or in the form of monthly payment. Equity release schemes are fully regulated mortgages and as such come under the scrutiny of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). This ensures that you have full protection & recourse should inappropriate advice be given.

In addition to the protection offered by the FSA, you also will require the services of an equity release qualified solicitor. Upon processing your equity release application, your solicitor will be required to sign a SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) certificate. This will confirm that he/she has discussed your requirements & noted that you are happy & fully aware of the equity release scheme & its implications.

 

What if the value of the property falls?

If the value of your home drops, this will also affect the remaining equity in your property & have the knock on effect of reducing the amount your beneficiaries receive. The final equity release balance will be repaid once the property is sold after the homeowner passes away or moves into care. Nevertheless, you do have the assurance of the ‘no negative equity guarantee‘. This ensures that at final repayment, should the equity release balance be higher than that of the property value, the lender will receive no more than the property value.

 

All equity release companies have to provide a Key Facts Illustration (quote) to confirm the set up & associated costs including surveyor charges, legal charges, application fees and redemption charges. This document should always be discussed with a qualified equity release adviser who can explain the features & benefits of the scheme.

 

If you wish to request an equity release quote, contact Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Searching For Schemes Providing Financial Security? Opt For Equity Release

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Equity release is a mortgage scheme which allows homeowners (55+) to release equity against the value of their property. If you are worried about finances after your retirement then equity release could be a perfect solution for you. The best thing about equity release is that it allows you to live in your home for the rest of your life rent free.

 

Once the whole equity release schemes application process is complete, you will eventually receive your lump sum or regular income. This money is tax-free and there are no limitations on how to spend it. Many people considering making  improvements to their property, repay their outstanding debts, holidays, new car or even purchase a new caravan or motor home with this money.

 

How to qualify for equity release schemes

To apply for equity release, you have to be 55 or over and own a property with a little or no mortgage. The value of your home/property also needs to be greater than £70,000. The property ideally should be of standard construction with no trust attached.

Any leasehold period usually needs to be in excess of 70-75 years. However, if the term is less than this then a lease extension can be applied for, or even the option to purchase the lease can be undertaken. This can be applied for at the same time as the equity release application, so that the two aspects are running concurrently.

Hopefully, dependent on the landlord’s response with legal enquiries etc by the time the lease has been sorted, the equity release funds can be made available. Equity Release Supermarket have also had clients who use the equity release proceeds to pay for any lease extension or even lease purchase as this will undoubtedly add to the value of the property in the long run.

 

For a solicitor who specialises in both equity release & lease arrangements please visit Goldsmith Williams.

 

How to calculate equity release

Today, you will find several online sites which provide calculators. You can use these calculators to estimate how much equity can be released against the value of your property.

To find out, you have to enter your current age and the value of your property. If you have any mortgage then you have to also enter its amount as this figure will be deducted from the top line release figure. These details are enough to

find out the amount of cash you can get against your home.

 

The Equity Release Supermarket online calculator is available if you click here.

Due to different demands, financial institutions have come up with different equity release schemes. Home reversion plans and lifetime mortgages are the two most popular schemes present today.

 

To establish how much you can raise or use the calculator tool, or to discuss in greater detail please call Mark Gregory on 0800 678 5159 or email 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

 

Has Halifax’s Retirement Home Plan Seriously Been Overlooked As An Equity Release Alternative?

Friday, December 11th, 2009

At a time when the equity release market is downsizing with the withdrawal of many lenders, alternative funding sources need to be recognised to help widen the options available. It is in the generic mortgage market that some unique & flexible mortgage products can be sourced that offer an alternative to the traditional roll-up lifetime mortgage; it is one of these that I write about.

 

Upon gathering client details & ascertaining a generous disposable income, sometimes it can be evidenced that monthly payments can be afforded into retirement. However, there is a common misconception that someone in retirement cannot have a mortgage.

 

This is incorrect.

 

Providing income multiples can justify the borrowing requirements, then research can be sought that would provide recommendations of suitable mortgage products. However, providers that can lend into retirement have varying criteria with regards to age & the term permitted & here advice & a knowledge of the market comes into the domain of an experienced independent financial adviser.

 

The options available would be dependent on budget, but also on attitudes as to how much inheritance is to be left at the end of the day. Should it be imperative that the maximum inheritance remain, then a capital & repayment mortgage should be advised. Conversely, if this is not a major issue then an interest only mortgage can be recommended which will maintain the balance at the same level throughout the term of the mortgage.

 

Some of the major lenders such as Abbey & Alliance & Leicester do have a maximum age of 75, by which time the mortgage must be repaid. A few will lend to age 85 such as Leeds Building Society which does give more time for the mortgage to run, however, this may only be suitable for capital & repayment mortgages, not interest only mortgages.

 

Therefore, should you be looking for equity release in retirement, have surplus monthly disposable income, wish to ensure an inheritance for your beneficiaries & want the mortgage on an open-ended basis then look no further than the Halifax. It may come as a surprise that such a product may be available with a mainstream lender, however it has become more evident how this product can fulfill in-retirement needs.

 

The Halifax Retirement Home Plan can release cash over a maximum 40 year term, which for someone already near to, or actually in retirement, should be sufficient! They will only permit this product upto 75% of the property value, however this is not usually not an issue due to the amount of equity in retirees properties. Finally, dependent on whether a mortgage currently exists, we can also obtain for you a free valuation & free legal fees.

 

They will also allow the product to use the mainstream Halifax interest rates such as their 2 year base rate tracker at 2.79%, which for a £50,000 interest only mortgage would equate to a payment of only £116 per month. Obviously, consideration must be given to future potential changes that may affect the mortgage, such as the death a mortgagor which would reduce the household income & in turn affordability of the mortgage. However, this can be catered for with a life insurance policy which would repay the mortgage should either party die.

 

Alternatively, it should be borne in mind that if the level of borrowing is kept to within current equity release lending limits, then if one party did die, the surviving party could repay the mortgage with an equity release plan. This would resolve any affordability issues, as no monthly payments would be required thereafter.

 

Having completed several of these products recently, I can vouch for the speed of transacting this deal – 4 weeks, which compared to an equity release application is quicker too. Therefore, rather than just assuming equity release is the only solution, ensure you receive advice from an independent financial adviser – which Equity Release Supermarket can provide.

 

For further information & eligibility for the Halifax Retirement Home Plan please contact Mark Gregory on 0800 678 5159 or alternatively email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

 

 
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