It’s encouraging to see how lenders and solicitors have evolved their processes around Equity Release during the COVID-19 Lockdown.
Initially, there were challenges around remote working. Then there were challenges around property valuations and independent legal advice.
Some large provider such as Legal and General, LV and Aviva are now offering desktop valuations. Where accepted, this will negate the need for a physical valuation and will therefore mean that offers can be issued. Whether there will be issues around lower property valuations remains to be seen. However, at least this provides a route for some applications to progress.
The Equity Release Council issued a temporary update to the independent legal advice process during COVID-19 lockdown. It outlines how legal advisers can provide independent legal advice remotely. This negates the need for the advice to be given face to face, but there are still key duties that need to be met by legal advisers.
This is a challenging time for everybody, but for those who are considering equity release as a solution to financial concerns, it can be especially stressful.
It’s good to see continued innovation in the sector to ensure that money can get through to people, especially those who may need it most.