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Countrywide Conveyancing/HSBC - avoid like the plague if you want to complete

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Countrywide Conveyancing/HSBC - avoid like the plague if you want to complete

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
382 replies 141K views
baggage55baggage55 Forumite
4 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
We are trying to exchange on the sale of our house to a couple who have made the big mistake of taking out a mortgage through HSBC. We have just three houses in the chain, our purchasers are in rented and our sellers are moving to an empty property. We have solicitors, our purchasers have solicitors, our sellers have solicitors and our purchasers mortage provider, HSBC, for reasons known only to them, have appointed Countrywide Conveyancing to act for them. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. CC want every box ticked several times over, they want two days to turn round any piece of information, they insist on 11 working days between exchange (if only we could get that far) and completion. We agreed the sale in the first week in January, and the people selling to us had already got some way with their purchase as our original buyer pulled out just before Christmas. As far as all parties in the chain are concerned we have been ready to exchange for nearly 3 weeks but still CC manage to find yet more questions that need an answer. Meanwhile our purchasers have deposited a hefty deposit with their solicitors which is no longer in their own bank account. PLEASE TELL ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO IS THINKING OF TAKING OUT A MORTGAGE TO AVOID HSBC AT ALL COSTS - if they ever want to actually move into the property they find. I have moved house many times during my long life, this has been the longest and most stressful process I have ever experienced. The solicitors on all sides are totally exasperated by CC's involvement and cannot understand what HSBC are trying to achieve. BUYER BEWARE is the saying here.
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Replies

  • steve1980steve1980 Forumite
    2.3K posts
    This is classic Countrywide unfortunately. There is actually one solicitor to about 200 cases with the call centre staff taken the brunt of unhappy customers.

    As with everything you will find it all comes down to cost and they probably cost the less.
    Estate Agent, Web Designer & All Round Geek!
  • betmunchbetmunch Forumite
    3.1K posts
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    Its a known problem, theres loads of threads on here about it, and now one more!!!

    One poster had to pay an extra £600 to their solicitor as the solicitor charged him for the extra hassle of dealing with Countrywide! Another reported that his solicitor was now refusing to take clients that were buying with an HSBC mortgage!!!

    From my own point of view I will no longer recommend HSBC to my purchase clients.

    Its a huge own goal by HSBC!
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    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.
  • betmunchbetmunch Forumite
    3.1K posts
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    steve1980 wrote: »
    This is classic Countrywide unfortunately. There is actually one solicitor to about 200 cases with the call centre staff taken the brunt of unhappy customers.

    As with everything you will find it all comes down to cost and they probably cost the less.

    My experience is that they cost a lot more than the local guys (Dorset) but I suspect pay the least in salary to the poor monkeys that man the phones!
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    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.
  • Thank you for your 'support' and I realise we are not alone in suffering the fall out from Countrywide Conveyancing's involvement. My husband has today e mailed as many 'chiefs' at CC as he could find on their website in an effort to relieve his frustration - not that we can expect any kind of response as we are not CC's client, neither are our purchasers their client (as CC have continuously told them when our buyers have tried to ring to find out what the latest hold up is for), HSBC are their clients. Perhaps HSBC will take notice if there is a huge drop in the number of mortgage applications they receive. Let's hope so.
  • I am currently buying and selling. Mortgage is with HSBC so I too had to go with CC for my purchase, but decided to stick with my regular solicitor for the sale. I have now been informed of a completion date so fingers crossed it goes smoothly from here.
    However, I echo the point about numerous "enquiries". I got a list of 25 enquiries that CC raised to the vendor. Some were ridiculous and frankly embarassing (e.g. asking for a FENSA certificate for windows when this had clearly already been provided..)
    Cost wise I have found them essentially the same as what my regular Solicitor quoted me. However, I have found them to be slow in some respects and it is clear they have a pool of people working on a case. For example, I was sent a pack of documents which should have included the contract for signing but did not. I emailed my appointed person who apologised and emailed it to me. I then got a letter (obv a standard generic format) telling me I hadn't returned the contract... clearly I was aware of this and the one who bought it to their attention! A frustrating firm to work with IMO.
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • pinkteapotpinkteapot Forumite
    7.3K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    thebunny99 wrote: »
    I am currently buying and selling. Mortgage is with HSBC so I too had to go with CC for my purchase, but decided to stick with my regular solicitor for the sale.

    I thought that you could opt to use your own solicitor for the purchase as well, though it would mean paying a fee of £160+VAT to HSBC.

    Just clarifying for anyone reading who wants an HSBC mortgage but doesn't want to use Countrywide. But apologise if I've misunderstood. Read it on the page below, under 'legal fees':

    https://mortgages.hsbc.co.uk/mortgage-fees

    Personally, if I was buying, I would happily hand over the fee to HSBC and use my own solicitor. It's more important to have a good solicitor for buying than for selling.
  • Yorkie1Yorkie1 Forumite
    11.3K posts
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    Yes, you can opt for using your own solicitor.

    However, the problem with doing this, is that Countrywide then insist on double checking your own solicitors' work - and then send back lots of queries which have already had the answers provided, lose documents etc, and are very slow. They require 11 working days between exchange and completion - over 2 weeks - though I believe this may have been reduced recently.

    Just because your solicitor is good, doesn't mean it will be straightforward because the Countrywide element of the process will make it beyond complicated and drawn-out.

    Some solicitors are also charging own clients more on the conveyancing because of the extra time and hassle caused by dealing with Countrywide's inept and overworked staff - or even refusing business because they don't need the hassle. The fact that some solicitors are turning business away when they hear that their client has an HSBC mortgage will give you some indication of how awful it can be.
  • Sorry to hear that you had such an awful time with HSBC. However, I wouldnt say to avoid HSBC. I've found them very good and other friends have used them to.
  • I used my own solicitor BTW & most of my friends did too
  • ProxyProxy Forumite
    245 posts
    I'm currently going through HSBC. They have been fine. For costs sake decided to go through the countrywide panel, who appointed a solicitor near to me.

    It has been fast and hassle free.
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