Panel membership on lender panels is critical to the success of any conveyancing practice or business. Lender requirements are set out in the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook
Key compliance requirements:
- you must follow the Law Society's guidance relating to money laundering and/or that of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers as appropriate and comply with the current money laundering regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to the extent that they apply
- you are required to carry out additional checks designed to avoid mortgage fraud which are specified in Paragraph 3.1.6 and require verification of identity against certain specified documents. You are also required to verify signatures against the documents provided (Paragraph 3.1.7)
- if you are not familiar with the seller’s solicitors or licensed conveyancers, you must verify their identity (Paragraphs 3.1.4 and 3.2.3)
- you must take reasonable steps to verify that the assumptions stated by the valuer (and where applicable a home inspector) about the title (for example, its tenure, easements, boundaries and restrictions on its use) in the valuation and home condition report are correct (Paragraph 4.3)
- you must report to the lender where a borrower is not providing the balance of funds from his own resources even if he is not giving a second mortgage on the property
- if the lender does not arrange insurance, you must do so in accordance with that lender’s requirements (Paragraph 6.14.1)
The CML Handbook contains detailed provisions with which every lawyer or licensed conveyancer has to comply and the above list highlights only a few. Electronic ID checks which comply with AML requirements do not normally cover the full CML requirements. However, they do avoid the pitfall of failing to do an AML check at the outset of the case as required by law and should be an integral part of the CML requirement to avoid mortgage fraud. Passports (List A identification document) can be certified at the Post Office or by an authorised person to avoid attendance by a client at the office of the solicitor or licensed conveyancer.
Intelliworks™ ID Check and Intelliworks™ Conveyancing will assist you to comply with the stringent requirements of lenders and the reporting and audit facilities of each will help you in the provision of information to lenders which is increasingly being demanded as part of the panel assessment process.