Deeds release me again…

Ramesh Sharma

February 11, 2006

Anna Bowes, investment manager at Chase De Vere, was unaware Woolwich had raised its fees by nearly 40 per cent at the start of December from £199 to £275.

She said the cost to clients is still relatively high, especially with a small remortgage.

“I hadn’t done a remortgage through the Woolwich for a while so I was shocked when it said it would cost £275 to get hold of the deeds even though there was no exit penalty,” she said.

Emma Keens, public relations manager at Woolwich, defended the rise. She said: “The fee reflects the amount of work we have to put in to process the claim in terms of servicing, liasing with solicitors, retrieving the deeds and so on. We think it’s a fair representation of the work we have to do.”

While Woolwich’s fee is one of the highest among the mainstream lenders, the average fee in the industry is climbing and clients can now expect to be charged over £200.

Alliance & Leicester (A&L) has charged £295 since August 2004 but Sally Lauder, spokesperson at A&L, believed that when taken into the context of the entire mortgage, A&L provides good value for money.

“All fees are clearly marked up on the KFI so everything is transparent. However, you can’t just look at the fees in isolation as you need to judge it against the total value of the mortgage and when you do this, A&L customers can see they are getting good value.”

Daniel Clayden, director of Clayden Associates, agreed brokers need to take an overall viewpoint when it comes to fees.

“If you’ve got a mortgage of over £200,000, the fee seems okay in comparison but if you only have one worth around £30,000, the client is going to struggle to save much money.”

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