Solicitors are vital in the bridging process but it is imperative they understand the process

Jonathan Sealey - Hope Capital
22nd November 2018
jonathan sealey hope capital
"Often, deals that should have a quick turnaround are held up by a high street solicitor who does not understand what is needed for a bridging case."

Like with any mortgage deal, solicitors are absolutely vital in the bridging process. A good solicitor can make the difference between a loan being completed in two days or two weeks or two months!

But unlike with a mortgage deal - where having the solicitor in-house makes the biggest difference - with bridging, it is all about their understanding of the bridging process.

The processes surrounding obtaining a bridging loan are very different from the processes surrounding securing a traditional mortgage, which means the legal requirements are very different too. This means that having a solicitor that understands bridging is imperative.

The borrower needs to be sure that their solicitor understands what both the lender and the lenders’ solicitors require – for example, the level of due diligence and the searches needed – in order for the finance to be put in place.

Often, deals that should have a quick turnaround are held up by a high street solicitor who does not understand what is needed for a bridging case. As a result, the bridging loan case either goes to the bottom of the pile and is unnecessarily delayed, or the lack of understanding means so much ‘back and forth’ that the case drags on.

So what do they need to do? Well, the first thing to say is that the borrower’s solicitor needs to make sure they fully understand what the lenders' solicitors require, rather than just assuming the documents they have will suffice. For example – do they need a full suite of property searches? What are the lender’s insurance requirements? Do they have their credit report system or does the borrower need to provide this?

In order to make the process as quick and as smooth as possible, the borrower’s solicitor needs to try and provide all the documents from the outset to avoid a drip drip approach which wastes time and money.

If the solicitor is well experienced in bridging, they will know what to expect and understand they need to work quickly, but if they haven’t, they may need to get used to working in a way that they haven’t before.

More often than not the lender’s solicitor is the one driving the process and having to do a great deal of ‘hand holding’ when it transpires that the borrower’s solicitor is simply not equipped to deal with the bridging process.

And, while a High Street solicitor may offer a cheaper option, their lack of experience may actually lead to delays and higher costs in the long run. Bridging finance does not have to be complicated or cause undue stress, but it is different, so ensuring you have the right people for the job is really important.

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