Tuesday 13 September 2016

10 Reasons why Lawyers do not concern themselves with CML Handbook changes

Over the last few years I have visited and spoken with many firms of all shapes and sizes around the country. Given the nature of the technologies that Lexsure implements, it’s inevitable that the conversation turns to the importance of tracking and complying with lender requirements.

Lawyers I speak with often believe they’re on top of the changes but are then shocked to find out the scale and pace of variation. It’s bewildering. In the last 30 days, no fewer than 25 different lenders have made changes. On average, more than 12 section changes have been made to part 2 of the Handbook every single working day for the last seven years.

The truth is that it’s very easy to stay on top of the changes. For as little as £20 plus VAT per month, your firm can receive email LENDERmonitor notifications advising you of changes that take place to lenders’ requirements.

Whilst I am yet to find a law firm that says that CML Handbook requirements don't matter*, property lawyers often suggest reasons why their firms do not track updates or read the CML Handbook for each and every case where a lender is involved:

  1. “My firm receives email updates directly from the CML” Only two firms out of over a thousand have told me this. Both refused to send me copies of the notifications. The CML do not offer such a service.
  2. “If Lexsure could offer me the service for free I would pay for it and use it” Could one not make that argument in relation to every risk management tool?
  3. “I don't need updates. It is for lenders to update me directly and if they don't then that’s their problem. In any event … I have PI insurance.” Try telling that to your insurers.  
  4. “We receive updates directly from lenders.” No lenders offer this service.
  5. “To be honest I don't have time to manually check CML Handbook instructions on all cases and stay up-to-date. Any lawyer that says otherwise is lying.” Several thousand Lexsure firms are not lying - and they find it takes just minutes to keep up to date, with the help of tailored services from Lexsure.
  1. “CML Handbook instructions are common sense … I use my common sense” Would the lawyers who say this also advise their clients to save money on legal fees and just use their common sense, too?  
  1. “The CML Handbook is like the bible for conveyancers is it not? …If the bible has not changed for thousands of years then why should the Handbook?” This particular bible gets changed very frequently. In fact, the pace of change is… biblical.
  1. “I have a clean record and have not been sued in the past” Everyone who has ever been sued was once sued for the first time.
  2. “Part 2 changes are just admin as to whether the Lender will accept less than the rigid part 1 - thus not causing us any negligence issues warranting the service you provide.” This was from the head of conveyancing for a well respected, award-winning solicitors. It's simply not true and it's just as easy to fall into negligence issues with part 2 than part 1.
  3. “I resent having to pay for such a service. Lenders should be offering this service free of charge.” Maybe, but that’s not a great defence if faced with a claim. Perhaps if the lawyer feels this way they should remove themselves from the lender panel. After all, as is the case with many types of client, you don’t have to act for them. Better not to take instructions than it is to ignore them.

What is your excuse?

Feel feel to email me at cmlhandbook@who-gives-a.com

*the exception being firms who tell me that they are not on any lender panels.

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