In a last ditch attempt to find out where he stood, Roland Joint asked Crusader for help. Borrowing money this way, an option enabling older homeowners to unlock wealth in their homes, requires them meeting particular requirements. However it seemed that the treatment Roland received was neither the norm nor right. The pensioner had already taken equity release in 2015, which went smoothly through lender Pure Retirement. Last August he was approached again. “I’m over 75 now and eligible for additional funds. We wanted those as my wife had become disabled and we planned a ground floor wet room,” he explained.
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Broker Age Partnership dealt with the Pure Retirement application which included a property valuation and building quote. In order to comply with the latest electrical regulations Roland had improvement work costing £400.
“In December I received confirmation from Age Partnership the payment would be authorised. Sadly a few weeks earlier my wife had passed away. But our home has a lifetime of memories, I didn’t want to move and decided to proceed with the changes anyway,” he added.
But he then heard nothing more. After calling many times, he says he was informed “the broker is on paternity leave, no one else can deal with it, you will be contacted.”
He continued: “I was then told as my wife had died the alterations were no longer needed. The offer was withdrawn. But I was also advised against making a second application through another route as I could lose any chance of funds. I feel I could be left like this indefinitely.”
We highlighted Roland’s plight with both firms and he is now getting his funds. Age Partnership apologised “for the length of time taken to complete the equity release transaction”. It did offer Roland a goodwill gesture, but he has declined. He told Crusader: “I am very grateful to you.”
For others Simon Chalk, equity release specialist of Laterliving now! advises:
Use a broker for best choice of options. It takes about four weeks to get equity release, with an extra two to six weeks for more complex cases. Applicants ensure your deeds are registered electronically with HM Land Registry, full names correctly logged and all previous charges removed from the title. Know how much money you want and when required. Reject complicated offers. Loans already in place are not affected by the first borrower’s death or move into care. If the property was owned as tenants-in-common and partly now by others, further releases are at the lender’s discretion. If one of you dies in the course of completion, reflect if the offer is still right. www.laterlivingnow.com
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