Equity release advice making a positive impact

The subject of equity release schemes have been rising steadily up the news agenda for the last few years.

But it is also a result of the demographics and ongoing volatile financial situation. The UK has an ageing population and successive Governments have been working hard to put plans into place to help meet the growing pension bill. At the same time people's finances are also coming under pressure, with savings being eroded and pension pots falling.

As such more and more people in retirement are finding their finances are becoming stretched. They may need money to meet day to day living costs or for an unexpected or large expense. How they raise this money should the need occur is the big question. And more and more frequently the answer is coming back as an equity release scheme.

What this means is the need for expert advice is paramount. Taking professional advice as to whether an equity release mortgage is the right option is vital, and people need to speak to both a qualified financial adviser and a solicitor before making a final decision.

All equity release providers must give customers the right to use an independent solicitor of their own choice to conduct their legal work. The solicitor must be provided with full details of the benefits their client will receive prior to the completion of the plan, and the solicitor will only sign a certificate once they are satisfied their client fully understands the risks and benefits of the plan.

And that is where the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance (ERSA) comes in. There are relatively few solicitors within England and Wales that have acquired the necessary knowledge and practical expertise to deal with equity release in a truly impartial and authoritative way. However, ERSA is a group of established law firms who specialise within the field of equity release.

Each ERSA member has committed to a Charter which guarantees the best legal advice to consumers undertaking Equity Release transactions. All members offer an unbiased, fixed fee service which they will waive if the case does not complete.

This site is a portal designed to allow all homeowners to gain access to independent, specialist solicitors to guide them through the equity release process. 

You can follow us on Twitter and join in the debate, or read about our activities on behalf of the equity release industry in the news section. You can also read about our views on the equity release market and current issues on our blog.

Claire Barker, Chairman of ERSA

Claire Barker, ERSA

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