Welcome to the Solicitor page
Here you will find the information and documents you require to get your Help to Buy case running smoothly.
Information for Solicitors
If the applicant you are acting on behalf of has been successful in their application for Help to Buy assistance you will require the following documentation:
Solicitor Form 1
Solicitor Form 2
It is important to keep in mind accuracy and timescales when completing these forms to avoid disappointment:
- ATP’s – 4 working days
- ATE’s – 3 working days
- CTD’s – 2 working days
I haven’t received my client’s documentation – what should I do?
We send the Authority to Proceed and accompanying documentation out to the solicitors contact information stated on the applicant’s Property Information Form and our own contact list. If you haven’t received any expected documents, contact the office and we will forward them on, and add you to the contact list for future cases. Similarly, we know that you may be instructed to take over a purchase after the ATP has been issued – in this case, we’ll need to amend our records and paperwork, so please notify us in writing.
The figures on the ATP don’t match my client’s mortgage offer – can I still proceed?
It’s important that all our documents match, so if the lender’s offer comes in at a different level to that specified on our ATP, we’ll need to issue an updated version. Amended ATPs have to be processed in the same way as first requests, and as we won’t be able to issue any further documents until this is resolved, it’s important we’re made aware of the correct financial figures as soon as possible. The same is true of other differences between our documents and the mortgage offer – particularly the address of the purchase property.
How do I request Authority to Exchange?
We ask the buyers solicitor to submit a fully completed, signed solicitor’s form 1, along with a copy of the full mortgage offer and the CML incentives form. We will process and issue the documents within 3 working days, but we ask you to submit the request 5 days in advance just in case any issues arise. We’ll cross-check the mortgage offer against the ATP and make sure the financial incentives confirmed on the CML form don’t exceed 5% of the purchase price.
At this stage, we will update the IMS and issue ATE to the developer and solicitors acting for both sides. If you’re having any difficulties with the forms you can always call the office for help.
What is IMS?
The Investment Management System (IMS) is the HCA’s payment system. Larger developers have access to the system themselves, and are able to request funds at any time after ATE has been issued.
Small developers (under 40 units) don’t have access to IMS and we’ll act on their behalf to add the property information, authorise exchange and to request funding for completion. We will request funds upon issuing CTD, which are then sent directly to the developer's solicitor within a standard timescale of ten days from approval.
What is considered a ‘financial incentive’ on the CML?
The scheme rules are clear that any financial incentives offered to the buyer may not exceed 5% of the full purchase price - it’s your responsibility to ensure this is the case, and you’ll be signing undertakings to this effect in the solicitor’s forms. We consider anything with a pre-defined monetary value to be a financial incentive, so this could include things like gifted deposits, stamp duty payments and contributions to legal fees. All financial incentives must be listed on both solicitors’ forms 1 & 2.
Why haven’t I received my ATE/CTD?
There are various reasons we may have been unable to issue the documents, such as missing documentation, incorrect figures or an error on IMS. If, by the end of our normal timescales, you haven’t received an email from a member of the team, either enclosing the requested authority or informing you of what we need, please call the office. Please note that ATEs are only sent to the developer and the buyer’s solicitor, so you’ll need to liaise with them to confirm exchange has been authorised.
What should I do if exchange is delayed?
The Authority to Exchange is only valid for the timescale stated on it. If this date has expired, we need you to send in a new request for a new timescale so we can issue a fresh ATE – please don’t exchange without a valid ATE. It’s worth remembering that we can issue the authority for any period up to 28 days and you don’t need to provide a specific date, so it may be worth allowing some leeway if you’re worried exchange may not take place within a certain deadline.
Where do I find the Confirmation of Exchange form?
The Confirmation of Exchange Form (CEF) is attached to the bottom of the ATE. We ask that the CEF is signed, dated and sent back to us within two working days of exchange taking place. If you also happen to know the expected completion date at this stage, we’d really appreciate you letting us know too. We won’t be able to issue Confirmation to Developer without a CEF on file, so it’s important they’re sent in to us within timescales.
What is Confirmation to Developer?
Confirmation to Developer (CTD) is essentially our authority to complete, and is our signal that we will be releasing funds on behalf of the HCA. Once we’ve received a satisfactory solicitor’s form 2 and Certificate of Title, we’ll send the CTD out to the developer and their solicitors, with a set completion date. Please note that CTDs are valid for the exact date only, and if this is missed, we’ll need a new form 2 to issue a new CTD.
How do I ensure funds are available for completion?
HCA funds are sent directly to the developer’s solicitor, and as larger developers access IMS themselves, they will either request the funds in good time, or will be happy to complete without. As we are responsible for IMS on behalf of small developers, we need to be made aware of the completion date 12 working days beforehand to allow us to arrange the funds in time.
What are my post-completion expectations?
Once completion has taken place, we expect you to forward a signed and certified copy of the equity mortgage document within five working days. We also expect to be in receipt of an AP1 form alongside this as evidence the registration has been submitted at the Land Registry, so it is important to work with the developer to secure the lease and/or transfer as quickly as possible. You will not be released from your undertakings until we have received satisfactory copies of the Title Document and Plan from the Land Registry so please ensure these are sent to us promptly upon completion of registration.
Why have I received a letter chasing documents?
We’re unable to close our files and pass the case on to the equity loan Mortgage Administrator until we’ve received the Signed Equity Charge and Title Information Document registering the HCAs charge. As a result, we have an obligation to follow up on documents which haven’t been received within the expected timescales. We appreciate there are delays at the Land Registry, and this is outside of your control – our letters are intended to serve as a reminder and a prompt for you to chase and monitor these cases wherever possible.
If you need further information you can call us on 0300 790 0570 or email email@example.com