Helping homeowners repay their Help to Buy loan

Homeowners should seek the support of a specialist solicitor when paying back their loans, says Nazreen Ali of Vincent’s Solicitors, as it’s more complicated than you might think.

Nazreen Ali, Vincent's Solicitors

The first of the government’s Help to Buy loans have now come to the end of their interest free period, and early adopters are starting to see their interest payments kick in. At this point, many people will take the opportunity to pay back their loans in full, having saved or remortgaged to buy out the government share.

The process involves the transaction of a large sum of money so it is vital to use a solicitor, just as when the property was originally purchased.

Following an independent valuation of the property, the amount needing to be paid back will be calculated and communicated to the solicitor through a government agency called Target. The solicitor ensures the paperwork is completed and filed correctly, and can manage the transaction, creating that all-important independent paper trail which provides the reassurance many of us appreciate when such large sums are involved.

The importance of this cannot be over-estimated when dealing with large organisations such as the government. One of my cases saw the Help to Buy loan repaid in December and the formal discharge did not take place until March; that’s four months of the client wondering where their thousands of pounds had gone!

Once the money has been received, Target will deal with the legal discharge documents, which are then sent to the Land Registry. A solicitor is needed to deal with that as quickly as possible, as the valuation is only valid for three months and a delay could result in the process having to start again, with additional costs.

With more than 140,000 people having used the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, there are many loans now to be paid back. Specialist solicitors with the right experience will be able to work with clients to make the process as easy as possible.

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