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‘Breakthrough moment’: Land Registry to update lenders directly on mortgage applications

By Monidipa Fouzder >>

(17 January 2024)

HM Land Registry says it hopes to get lenders off conveyancers’ backs and save them thousands of hours on the phone by directly updating lenders about applications.

The registry announced yesterday it has embarked on a pilot providing 10 major lenders with weekly data on the progress of applications to register mortgage security. To be able to update lenders, the application must contain the lenders’ unique reference code, known as an ‘MD’ reference. The data will identify the application, property, and where the property is in the registration process, including completed and cancelled applications.

Mike Harlow, deputy chief executive, said: ‘Lenders want to know that their mortgages are either registered or in the proper process of being registered. This new direct service completes the picture of where the registration of their mortgage has got to. Now they do not have to chase conveyancers unless something is genuinely at risk. This should save the industry millions of pounds a year and give time back to conveyancers.’

HM Land Registry says it currently answers 20,000 calls a month to check on applications.

The pilot participants, representing over 85% of residential lending in the UK, are Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, Santander, Barclays, HSBC, Coventry Building Society, Yorkshire Building Society, Virgin Money, TSB, and panel managers LMS and Decision First.

Rob Stevens, head of property risk at Nationwide, said: ‘Getting direct access to mortgage application data is a breakthrough moment and is the culmination of many months of work between Nationwide, HM Land Registry and other lenders. It will really help to automate the unregistered charges process and save both lenders and conveyancers time by reducing the amount of back and forth between the two.’

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)