Equity is the difference between the amount of the outstanding mortgage and the value of the property. A transfer of equity occurs when one or more joint owners of land or property wish to transfer any interest that they may have in the land or property to another co-owner of that property. The most cost-effective way of dealing with this is to obtain a quotation for fixed fee conveyancing from a specialist mortgage solicitor.
There are several reasons for arranging a transfer of equity with a mortgage solicitor however the most common occurs upon dissolution of a marriage or when co-habitees decide to live separate and apart. In either case it is advisable to instruct a solicitor to use fixed fee conveyancing to deal with the transaction to ensure that any liabilities are known in advance. When a relationship comes to an end the parties usually want to finalise arrangements with regards to any property they may have jointly owned to reflect the change of circumstances. Dependent on the couple’s financial situation they may either want to sell the property and divide the net proceeds or one partner may wish to continue living in the property but may also want the property transferring into their sole name which is where a transfer of equity is often necessary.
A transfer of equity usually occurs following matrimonial proceedings however the transfer may be an outright gift with no money changing hands. In the case of disputed financial proceedings following divorce the couple may not have been able to come to agreement and a court order may be necessary to give effect to a fair and equitable compromise requiring a transfer of equity order.
If the property was subject to a mortgage which is intended to continue after the transfer of equity it will be necessary to obtain the permission of the lender who may not be willing to continue funding the loan, unless the transferee has sufficient income to pay the mortgage instalments in which case they may insist that the other former joint owner also remains liable on the mortgage after transfer of the equity. Alternatively, some borrowers may use this opportunity to arrange a new mortgage with a different lender often at a substantially lower cost. Unfortunately, if the property was purchased only recently by using a large percentage mortgage there may be no equity of value to transfer which means the outgoing owner will not receive any payment but will usually be released from his mortgage liabilities with the lender.