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
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
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
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
Read all our roles and our responsibilities
- We will communicate in plain English, not legal jargon.
- Clients will receive fair and balanced reports in writing.
- Clients will receive a personal consultation with a suitably
qualified member of legal staff.