Lifetime Mortgages have been regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – now the Financial Conduct Authority – since October 2004. Home reversion plans have been regulated by the FSA – now Financial Conduct Authority – since 6th April 2008. Equity Release has attracted negative comments in the press, so it is natural to ask: Is Equity Release safe?
The regulation of these schemes gives borrowers greater recourse to compensation. They can turn to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they feel they have been mis-sold a product.
Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), an equity release trade body, has worked hard to achieve respectability for the sector since it was set up in the 1990’s. It re-launched in May 2012 as the Equity Release Council.
It has a voluntary code of practice. Equity Release Council members are offered guarantees such as right of tenure for life, a “no-negative equity” guarantee, and the right to move.
Alternatives to Equity Release
Equity release schemes can be helpful, but they are not suitable for everyone. All alternatives should be considered:
- Selling your current home and buying a smaller home or moving in with family.
- Claiming any State benefits you may be entitled to.
- Contacting your local council or other organisation to check if you could claim grants to pay for home repairs or improvements.
- Tracing any private pensions or investments of which you may have lost track.
- Consider using savings or selling any investments.
- Help from family.
- Rent out a room.
- Re-structure finances.
- Continue working.
- Discuss your needs with your adviser and family before deciding which route is best.
We provide a fast and friendly hassle free service. Why not call us now to discuss your requirements and request a quotation, or let us call you by requesting a call back.
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
A fee of £895 is charged for our services and £295 for a Further Advance, payable upon completion of your mortgage. We will also be paid commission from the provider.