Hefty price in deed for post delay

Our lawyer, Fiona McNulty explains the fees that may be payable when a mortgage deed is delayed
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Delayed deeds cartoon
© Merrily Harpur
Question: My husband and I were buying a property and sent our signed mortgage deed in the post to our solicitors who are based far from where we live.

It was delayed in the post and our solicitors would not use our mortgage money until they received the signed deed. We completed the purchase three days late and were charged interest for late completion by the sellers. Were our solicitors right to do this?

Answer: Your solicitors were correct not to use the mortgage funds until they had the mortgage deed executed by you in their possession, and it is arguable whether they should have even requested the mortgage funds.

Some lenders do not release mortgage funds until the solicitor confirms that the mortgage deed has been executed by the borrower and may also ask for a copy of the executed mortgage deed. (Executed means signed in the presence of an independent witness who must state his or her name and address).

It is a shame that your solicitor did not email you a duplicate mortgage deed, which you could have printed off, executed and then returned to your solicitor by courier, as, although a courier is costly, that may still have been less expensive than paying three days’ interest on the balance of the purchase monies under the terms of your contract for late completion. Indeed, you were fortunate you only had to pay interest to the seller and not damages as well.

What's your problem?

If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors www.ttuk.com.

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