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  • FIRST POST
    • noybbb
    • By noybbb 1st Dec 17, 12:03 PM
    • 9Posts
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    noybbb
    FTB - solicitor says I can't claim Help to Buy ISA
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:03 PM
    FTB - solicitor says I can't claim Help to Buy ISA 1st Dec 17 at 12:03 PM
    Deleted post
    Last edited by noybbb; 01-12-2017 at 1:30 PM.
Page 1
    • rjw4
    • By rjw4 1st Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    rjw4
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    Surely the solicitor should know this! I'd blame the solicitor's lack of knowledge.
    https://www.helptobuyisaadmin.org.uk/conveyancers/the-scheme
    https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/faq/#199b24ea-e1f7-648f-8ce9-ff0000ad17aa
    • whatdoyouthink...
    • By whatdoyouthink... 1st Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    whatdoyouthink...
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 12:44 PM
    Maybe it should have been clarified to you by your solicitor, but you weren't under the impression you would at some point receive a cheque (or the like) from the government for the value of your bonus to spend as you pleased, were you?

    "when you are close to buying your first home, you will need to instruct your solicitor or conveyancer to apply for your government bonus. Once they receive the government bonus, it will be added to the money you are putting towards your first home.!The bonus must be included with the funds consolidated at the completion of the property transaction. The bonus cannot be used for the deposit due at the exchange of contracts, to pay for solicitor’s, estate agent’s fees or any other indirect costs associated with buying a home."
    • noybbb
    • By noybbb 1st Dec 17, 1:23 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    noybbb
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:23 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:23 PM
    No I was not...

    As a first time buyer I would especially expect my solicitor to advise me and look out for my interests.. that is what I hired them for. Otherwise, if it is expected to know every detail of the house buying process, there would be no need for a conveyancer and I would have done it all myself.

    Is the solicitor liable? Can I realistically expect compensation?
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 1st Dec 17, 1:43 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 1,254 Thanks
    Grenage
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:43 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:43 PM
    Hello everyone, just looking for a bit of advice.

    I completed on a purchase 2 months ago as a first time buyer, and am yet to receive my help to buy ISA from my solicitor.
    For the past 2 weeks I have sent multiple emails to my solicitor regarding this and they have all been ignored. Other emails relating to other matters have received replies in this time.
    This morning I called her and it turns out that the ISA bonus cant be claimed because I closed my ISA account 4 days after completion. Apparently the ISA has to be closed before completion...
    My solicitor never told me this... in fact in a previous phone call she told me that the ISA can be claimed up to 12 months after completion, and made no mention of when the ISA account needs to be closed. So based on this conversation I assumed there was no rush in getting the account closed before completion which is why I closed it 4 days after completion.

    Is the solicitor at fault here? Has she failed to advise me properly? Or is my ignorance at fault?
    Is there anything I can do to get my ISA bonus?

    I've also been trying to get the search results from her... after completion I know, perhaps irresponsible of me. But she never talked to me about these before or sent them to me. She will not send them to me and is ignoring all emails on this matter too.

    Thank you.
    by noybbb
    It's a bit tricky, but you might have a case if you have anything in writing where the solicitor stated that it didn't need to be closed in advance.
    • noybbb
    • By noybbb 1st Dec 17, 1:46 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    noybbb
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:46 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:46 PM
    Hello,

    I don't have anything in writing, the solicitor rarely ever replies to anything I email.

    Can I make a complaint to the law society?
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 1st Dec 17, 1:55 PM
    • 6,987 Posts
    • 12,583 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:55 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:55 PM
    If your solicitor literally advised you that you didn't need to close the ISA or apply for a bonus pre completion to be able to get the bonus, and that you would be able to spend it on whatever you liked a long time after completion (ie something other than buying a house... because you've already bought the house) ; that seems like the kind of mistake for which you would have a legitimate complaint.

    You may struggle to prove they advised you of that though, if it was just in some phone call.

    What is clear is that:

    - you saw how much of the house purchase and mortgage and stamp duty and fees was going to be covered by mortgage and your own cash - because you signed the form to apply for the mortgage and you put the balance of the money into the solicitor's account from your own account to allow them to do the deal.

    - so, you knew that the bonus funds were not going to be spent on the purchase, as you funded the entire purchase by alternative means (ie your own cash and the mortgage company's loan to you).

    - the terms and conditions of the ISA accounts say that the bonus is only available if it is used to fund the property purchase.

    - it was you that decided to open the ISA account some time ago in the hope of getting a bonus, so it is up to you to understand how it works. The solicitor didn't recommend or advise you to open up that account and may not be familiar with how they work because they may have never had one or dealt with one before, and it is up to you to give them the relevant instruction. They can't be intimately familiar with every financial product as they are legal advisors not financial advisors.


    As a first time buyer I would especially expect my solicitor to advise me and look out for my interests.. that is what I hired them for. Otherwise, if it is expected to know every detail of the house buying process, there would be no need for a conveyancer and I would have done it all myself.
    You are paying the solicitor to convey the property from someone else's ownership into your ownership and to carry out various legal and information checks to make sure the purchase is sound.

    You give them the cash (your cash plus drawn mortgage funds) to get it done. If you want free government money to help you buy the property you have to ask them to help you get that government money before it's time to buy the property as it involves making various declarations about how both you and the property qualify to get it. You can't get government money once you've already purchased the property.

    You are right of course that good solicitors will do their best to hand hold you through the process (though will probably charge accordingly). But they are there to take your instructions. If you want something specialist (like a collection of bonus money from the ISA scheme administrator) you usually have to ask for it. Only where they specifically advise "no, you don't need to apply for that yet, we will deal with it later" do you have a complaint.

    Is it possible you misunderstood what they told you? Clearly now after the fact you have a bunch of emails asking about it because you realise you have missed the boat. But if you had previous (pre completion) email enquiries that they hadn't emailed you a reply on, it is your choice to go ahead without the formal reply or not.

    As part of the buying process, you get a report on the mortgage, a final report on the purchase etc. It is up to you to read them and think, "... wait, how come it doesn't mention the bonus money being collected and used to pay some of the purchase price? Why am I paying it all myself? The T&C of the ISA product I signed up for say that the bonus funds can *only* be used to buy a first property, so how will I get them if I have already bought a property?".
    Last edited by bowlhead99; 01-12-2017 at 2:06 PM. Reason: Added a bit
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 1st Dec 17, 2:26 PM
    • 29,844 Posts
    • 55,818 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:26 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:26 PM
    Maybe it should have been clarified to you by your solicitor, but you weren't under the impression you would at some point receive a cheque (or the like) from the government for the value of your bonus to spend as you pleased, were you?

    "when you are close to buying your first home, you will need to instruct your solicitor or conveyancer to apply for your government bonus. Once they receive the government bonus, it will be added to the money you are putting towards your first home.!The bonus must be included with the funds consolidated at the completion of the property transaction. The bonus cannot be used for the deposit due at the exchange of contracts, to pay for solicitorís, estate agentís fees or any other indirect costs associated with buying a home."
    Originally posted by whatdoyouthink...
    So what CAN it be used for???
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    'Let me tell you this one thing. When you fall out, as you will, don't get blaming each other. Look inside yourself first'. - Hilda Ogden, to Sally on her wedding day to Kevin, Coronation Street 1986. '
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 1st Dec 17, 2:33 PM
    • 23,680 Posts
    • 89,641 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:33 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:33 PM
    So what CAN it be used for???
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    "The bonus must be included with the funds consolidated at the completion of the property transaction."

    By the way, OP has thrown ISA from pram.

    Thanks to Grenage original post included again here:

    Originally Posted by noybbb
    Hello everyone, just looking for a bit of advice.

    I completed on a purchase 2 months ago as a first time buyer, and am yet to receive my help to buy ISA from my solicitor.
    For the past 2 weeks I have sent multiple emails to my solicitor regarding this and they have all been ignored. Other emails relating to other matters have received replies in this time.
    This morning I called her and it turns out that the ISA bonus cant be claimed because I closed my ISA account 4 days after completion. Apparently the ISA has to be closed before completion...
    My solicitor never told me this... in fact in a previous phone call she told me that the ISA can be claimed up to 12 months after completion, and made no mention of when the ISA account needs to be closed. So based on this conversation I assumed there was no rush in getting the account closed before completion which is why I closed it 4 days after completion.

    Is the solicitor at fault here? Has she failed to advise me properly? Or is my ignorance at fault?
    Is there anything I can do to get my ISA bonus?

    I've also been trying to get the search results from her... after completion I know, perhaps irresponsible of me. But she never talked to me about these before or sent them to me. She will not send them to me and is ignoring all emails on this matter too.

    Thank you.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 1st Dec 17, 2:39 PM
    • 32,366 Posts
    • 17,376 Thanks
    kingstreet
    So what CAN it be used for???
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    In practice, it goes in the pool of completion funds with the deposit and the mortgage monies and it's distributed in paying for the property, SDLT, solicitor fees and so on, so there is no clear trail of where that particular sum went...
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • noybbb
    • By noybbb 1st Dec 17, 2:44 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    noybbb
    Why does everyone think I wanted the bonus to spend on whatever I like... I made no mention of this.
    It is clear that the way the ISA scheme is set up that you can't actually use it towards your deposit or completion unless you plan wayyyy ahead of time. In my case we exchanged and completed very without much time in between, so there would have been no way to claim and receive the funds in time for completion.

    Can I make a complaint against the solicitor? She has failed me in many way now that I think about it.. i.e. not presenting the search results to me before completion.. now that i have received them 2 months after completion i can see a few red flags.
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 1st Dec 17, 2:54 PM
    • 32,366 Posts
    • 17,376 Thanks
    kingstreet
    Complain to the solicitor.

    Then they will follow their procedure and if you are unhappy with the outcome, you can escalate to the next level, their regulator.
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 1st Dec 17, 3:06 PM
    • 17,474 Posts
    • 11,700 Thanks
    molerat
    My son had problems with their solicitor over their help to buy ISA as the solicitor "did not do computers", he kept asking about it and nothing happened. He complained and the solicitor coughed up the value of the bonus.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 1st Dec 17, 6:37 PM
    • 940 Posts
    • 1,650 Thanks
    thepurplepixie
    I do sympathise, my DD bought her first house the year, they asked about their ISA and suddenly a week before completion the solicitor said you need to close the account and get a letter confirming it. My DD was OK, her bank issued it straight away, her partner was with another bank and they said he would get the letter in a week to ten days. He had to phone their head office and eventually they agreed to e mail the letter. It does seem to be causing some confusion.
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