Equity Release Council
Incorporating SHIP (Safe Home Income Plan) standards is all about making Equity Release safe for you
The Equity Release Council aims to protect the customer by putting safeguards and guarantees in place so that the customer has better knowledge, treated fairly and able to confidential make their decision if equity release is right for them.
Likewise the members including lenders that sign up to the council have to abide by a code of conduct this is briefly;
1. Customers right to remain in property for life
2. Customers will be provided with clear concise paperwork which includes all set up costs, house move and changes in house values.
3. Clients legal work always preformed by solicitor of their choice. Solicitor is required to sign a certificate stating plan has been explained and clients understands the risks.
4. Customer can move plan to another property without penalty.
5. Equity Release Certificate states cost to the clients asset and estate
6. Equity Release carries a “NO NEGATIVE EQUITY GUARANTEE”
Equity Release Council is striving to meet the needs of the customer to maintain a fair and honest policy.
“We take standards very seriously. All our members have to sign up to our code of practice…These are all reasons why, when you choose one of our members like The Right Equity Release, you are in safe hands.”
Nigel Waterson, Chairman, Equity Release Council
Click here to read the full letter from the Chairman of the Equity Release Council.
What is Equity Release?
The term Equity in a property means the difference between any debt secured on it (ie. a mortgage) and the value of the property.
Equity Release is a means for homeowners aged 55 plus to release some of this equity in tax free cash.
What are its uses?
You can spend this money anyway you like you can take it in a lump sum to spend on a number of uses such as:
• Home improvements
• Car purchase-assist your family
• Or you can arrange to take sum of it in regular instalments to supplement your income
However as highlighted in a recent article by Jeff Salway in the Scotland on Sunday, homeowners are finding that as they near retirement they are likely to be left with a mortgage still outstanding. Most in part where this portion was designed to be repaid from an endowment plan which has, of course, been cancelled some years ago as a consequence of the endowment misselling scandal. With lenders pulling away from interest only mortgages and demanding that these mortgages be cleared at the end of their term, homeowners are turning to Equity Release as a potential solution.
Statistics reported tell us that 1 in 5 Scots taking out an equity release loan in the 4th quarter of 2012 used some or all of the equity released to repay their mortgage. Also the number of people using equity release to repay personal debts(credit cards,loans) increased by almost a 5th compared to the previous quarter.
With Equity Release Rates currently very low an Equity Release Mortgage may be the optimum solution.