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THE EQUITY RELEASE PRODUCTS WE OFFER ARE LIFETIME MORTGAGES. TO UNDERSTAND THE FEATURES AND RISKS PLEASE ASK FOR A PERSONALISED ILLUSTRATION.
The value of your home, minus any outstanding mortgage you may owe, can be described as your 'equity'. Equity release is the process of unlocking some of this value, turning it into a tax-free lump sum of cash. You could then use this to pay for one-off purchases, to improve your lifestyle or to help loved ones.
…Please be aware that all plans will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to state benefits. It is also advised that before taking equity release you consider if the following options may be suitable alternatives:
If you are a homeowner typically aged 55 or over, you could be eligible to take advantage of releasing equity from your property. Equity release can significantly improve your financial situation, giving you a more comfortable retirement.
However Equity Release Plans are certainly not suitable for everyone and you should ensure you understand and consider carefully all the risks before making any decisions.
Please be aware that all plans will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to state benefits.
How it works
Many schemes are 'Lifetime Mortgages' and with these the lender gives you a lump sum (the equity released from your home). You generally pay nothing as the interest is ‘rolled up’ into the loan. The amount borrowed plus this interest is repaid out of the proceeds from the sale of the property after you die. There are however options that allow you to pay some or all of the interest as you go to enable you to reduce the amount owed later..
How much you can borrow depends on the value of your home and your age. The older you are, the higher the percentage of your property’s value you can borrow. Generally, you will not be advanced more than 50% of the value of the property. Most loans are fixed-interest, so reducing risk.
Equity Release Council
We are proud members of the Equity Release Council (click on above logo to find out more) and as such adhere to their statement of principles and code of conduct which are set out as follows:
Statement of Principles
The members of the Equity Release Council uphold the following principles:
Exercise due skill, care and diligence in all that they do and uphold the standards set out by their professional bodies at all times
Always act with the best interests of their clients being paramount, treating customers fairly in all their actions
Code of Conduct
The Equity Release Council Code of Conduct set strict criteria to which members must adhere. This Code of Conduct puts in place safeguards for consumers to ensure that they can have confidence in Equity Release Council members and their products and services.
The Code of Conducts states that:
Customers have the right to remain in their property for life provided the property remains their main residence.
Customers will be provided with fair, simple and complete presentations of their plans. This means that the benefits and limitations of the product together with any obligations on the part of the customer are clearly set out in their literature. It should include all costs that the customer has to bear in setting up the plan as well as the tax implications, their position on moving house and the effects of changes in house values on their loan.
The client's legal work will always be performed by the solicitor of his or her choice. In all cases, prior to the completion of the plan the solicitor will be provided with full details of the benefits the client will receive. The solicitor will be required to sign a certificate to the effect that the plan has been explained to the client fully and that they understand the risks and benefits of the plan.
Customers have the right to move their plan to another suitable property without any financial penalty.
The Equity Release Council certificate will clearly state the main cost to the householder's assets and estate e.g, how the loan amount will change, or whether part or all of the property is being sold.
All Equity Release Council plans carry a 'no negative equity' guarantee i.e. you will never owe more that the value of your home.
This Code of Conduct offers peace of mind to the consumer; who can use Equity Release Council approved equity release products in confidence, knowing that they will be able to remain in their own home for the rest of their lives or until they enter long-term care. They can be sure that they will ever leave a debt to their family as all Equity Release Council members who provide equity release products give consumers a no negative equity guarantee, meaning that no matter what happens to the housing market, they will never owe more than the value of their home. The Equity Release Council also insists its members ensure that any customer buying an equity release plan has received advice from a fully qualified adviser who has gone through a full advice process.
Equity release has to fit with a customer’s needs, circumstances and preferences, where the benefits need to outweigh the drawbacks (including outweighing the adverse effects on the customer’s entitlement to means-tested State benefits and their personal tax position) and be more suitable than alternative methods of raising funds.
It is advised that customers seek independent legal advice before entering into a legally binding equity release contract.
The equity release products we offer are lifetime mortgages. We offer a comprehensive range of equity release products from across the market but not deals that you can only obtain by going direct to a product provider.