Farm Legal Advice: My bank is closing and I need to move the mortgage on the farm

Failure to timely organise such things as life policies, direct debit mandates, identification, buildings insurance etc. can often cause delays
Farm Legal Advice: My bank is closing and I need to move the mortgage on the farm

With the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC from Ireland it is important that all customers take a proactive approach to their finances.

Dear Karen, 

I mortgaged my home that I built on the farm with Ulster Bank and I knew I need to move banks for some time but put it on the long finger. I am wondering if I have left it too late as I read that the interest rates are rising and that there are huge delays with switching banks because so many people are changing now. Can you advise as to what I should do?

Dear Reader, 

There is no need to panic. It is best to take a proactive approach in this instance and get advice now and take the necessary steps. The first move you should take is to contact a mortgage broker and advise them that you wish to switch banks and they can guide you through the best option or options available to you. They will also assist you with obtaining loan approval with the new bank.

The next critical step is to contact your solicitor as soon as possible as your title deeds will be held by your current bank. Your solicitor will require you to sign an authority to direct your current bank to release the title deeds to them to review title and allow them to put the new loan in place. It is best that this is done as soon as possible as it can take time for the deeds to be released, sometimes between 4 to 6 weeks.

While you are waiting on the new letter of loan offer to issue, you can be organising any extra documents your solicitor may require, such as evidence that the Local Property Tax has been paid on the property to date. If you have carried out any extensions, alterations, or developments to the property that may have required planning permission or compliance with the Building Control Act 1990 since you bought the house, you should advise your solicitor. 

Certificates

You would need to furnish your solicitor with the relevant planning permissions and a Certificate of Compliance with Planning Permission and Building Regulations from an architect or engineer, if necessary. Some banks are also seeking evidence that the property has a certain energy rating and it may be necessary to obtain a Building Energy Rating Certificate. Your solicitor can advise of what documents are required.

Once your new letter of loan offer is issued, it is important to ensure that the address of the property and the names of the borrowers are correctly referred to in the Letter of Loan offer and to read the special conditions. If it is incorrect, the letter of loan offer will need to be amended as soon as possible to avoid delays at a later stage.

Your solicitor will need to complete the mortgage paperwork. You will need to sign all the mortgage documentation with your solicitor. Your solicitor, once they are satisfied with the title, will send all mortgage documentation to your new bank and request funds. Your solicitor will then discharge your current bank loan and put the new mortgage in place.

A lender will also generally insist upon a Life Assurance Policy on your life for the value of the loan being taken out.

Avoid delays

Failure to timely organise such things as life policies, direct debit mandates, identification, buildings insurance etc. as required can often cause delays in completing a lending transaction.

Banks lend at the rate at the time a mortgage is drawn down, not the rate offered at the start of the process so it is good to be proactive now and start the process. Being organised yourself will go a long way to putting the new loan in place as soon as possible.

While all of the above may seem a little overwhelming it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible and your solicitor can advise you of what is required and guide you through the process.

Karen Walsh, from a farming background, is a solicitor practicing in Walsh & Partners, Solicitors, 17, South Mall, Cork (021-4270200), and author of Farming and the Law . Walsh & Partners also specialises in personal injury claims, conveyancing, probate and family law.

- Email: info@walshandpartners.ie - Web: www.walshandpartners.ie 

  • While every care is taken to ensure accuracy of information contained in this article, solicitor Karen Walsh does not accept responsibility for errors or omissions howsoever arising, and you should seek legal advice in relation to your particular circumstances at the earliest possible time.

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