Equity Release 

Equity release lending tool launched

Equity release lending tool launched

Online conveyancing portal SortRefer has launched an equity release legal tool for advisers. 

The product, which uses the expertise of specialist solicitors Birchall Blackburn and Equilaw, will be launched in two stages catering to remortgages first and then sale and purchases. 

Advisers using the service can access real time progress updates, advice from Equity Release Council solicitor specialists, home visits, and an instant ‘click and quote’ facility. 

The service does not charge its users if there is no completion. 

SortRefer stated it had seen increased demand from customers to release funds from their homes for things like home improvements or family needs. 

Chief executive Kevin Tunnicliffe said: "Equity release lending is seeing massive growth. We want to offer the same kind of legal support for equity release cases, as we already do for conventional mortgages.

"Not many legal practices have the working expertise in this area and it is vitally important that advisers have the confidence to recommend the right legal service to complement their mortgage advice.

"We have appointed two firms, Birchall Blackburn and Equilaw, both of whom are Equity Release Council members with the expertise and knowledge of the sector to ensure that the process runs smoothly and customer needs are addressed in a way that everyone involved has confidence in the outcome."

Equity release lending has soared in recent years reaching £3.94bn in 2018, according to the Equity Release Council.

Data published in January showed a record £136 of housing wealth was unlocked every second between October and December 2018.