The decision to take out an equity release mortgage is not a small one. It has major implications on your life, and as such, the decision should be taken with careful consideration, and with the help of expert advice. Fortunately, as the equity release market has matured over time, it has also become safer for consumers with independent regulatory bodies committed to maintain high safe practice standards.
Safe Home Income Plans is an independent trade body that aims to ensure transparency and consumer safety in the context of equity release plans. SHIP approved equity release providers adhere to certain rules that are designed to maintain transparent communication to consumers, as well as safety measures such as the no negative equity guarantee.
There are certain procedures that need to be followed while applying for an equity release mortgage on your house. Procedures include valuation and completing the application process as per required terms, which can be done by professional solicitors. There are solicitors that specialise in equity release schemes, and can therefore ensure that everything goes smoothly.
The role of a solicitor in the process of getting an equity release is not just to guide you through the paperwork, but more importantly, to guide you through the potential risks and rewards of equity release in your specific context. A solicitor who is an expert in equity release will have up to date knowledge about different options suitable for your particular circumstances. It is therefore vital to find an expert solicitor who knows the equity release market.
Some specialist solicitors firms have formed an independent charter known as the equity release solicitors’ alliance or ERSA. The objective behind this alliance is to uphold the importance of expert and specialist advice within the field of equity release mortgages and also to increase awareness of the public regarding this. If you require guidance about equity release in general or about specific equity release schemes and their suitability, it is necessary to take advice from an expert in the field.
While there may be a lot of information available on various platforms, such as the internet, when it comes to financial products such as an equity release mortgage, it is important to seek information from genuinely impartial sources. An independent financial adviser or solicitor can give fair and unbiased advice about a product, unlike any party affiliated with a particular provider or company.