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Free Legals under fire for poor service levels – Is cashback the answer?

When re-mortgaging either your main residence or a buy to let property, most Lender’s will offer to provide free valuation and legal (conveyancing) services as an encouragement to switch to them without any additional costs.

Unfortunately Free Legals came under fire this week for poor service levels, with brokers calling on lenders to either prioritise cashback as an alternative or complete before the legal process is over.

Several brokers have reported difficulties in contacting conveyancers about their free legal cases. Some say they often wait on the telephone to such firms for several hours to no avail, and send emails that go unanswered.

Free legal service levels are reportedly low because conveyancers are struggling to keep up with the volumes of cases as the market moves more towards re-mortgaging.

The free legal systems are victims of their own success. They are suffering from volume.

Service levels have become so poor that brokers sometimes struggle to do their job. The service levels vary from good to average to abysmal and is you don’t know which way it’s going to go until the application is in.

One solution is for lenders to take more responsibility for the issues created by free legals    where some lenders may have to complete without assurance of the legals having completed.

Another solution is for lenders to prioritise cashback over free legals, letting consumers use an amount of cashback that would actually cover the costs of solicitors of their choice

There is no guarantee that paying good money to solicitors will ensure they’re good and not abysmal.