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Coronavirus and Equity Release

Updated 30/10/2020

We’re continuously reviewing the development of the recent coronavirus outbreak. We fully understand that this is a very challenging time. Our commitment to you is to continue offering you the highest level of support and regular updates, so we can work together to help your clients.

We would like to reassure you that we are taking this unprecedented situation very seriously. The landscape is changing frequently and we are reviewing the way you process business with us to adapt to the situation.

Acceptance of applications which are not signed by the customer

We have introduced a more streamlined process to accept applications without signatures which will take effect from 20 March 2020. Where a client signature is not possible we will accept either verbal or email consent from the client to proceed.

  • Our New Business team will email the application form directly to the customer and will ask them to respond via email with their confirmation to proceed.
  • If the customer doesn’t have access to email, our New Business team will be in contact via the phone to read the declaration form and accept a verbal confirmation from the customer.

We will adopt this process automatically upon receipt of any applications which do not contain a client signature.

In line with the recent legal advice guidance issued by the Equity Release Council to Stay at Home (SAH), we are now able to complete on cases where non-face-to-face legal advice has been given.

We will continue to assess the situation as this is a short-term amendment to the usual process and will only apply whilst the current lockdown restrictions are in place.

We currently have both desktop and physical valuation options available to customers. Following the recent lockdown restrictions, we still intend to carry out physical valuations in areas in any tier (including 3) of lockdown or firebreak (Wales), if the client and surveyor mutually agree it is safe to do so. It is essential that advisers select the correct product variant on the portal, in accordance with their customer’s wishes, otherwise the wrong type of valuation will be instructed.

The checkpoints between the surveyor and the customer prior to any physical valuation being conducted remain in place.

The safety of our customers is paramount to us, so please rest assured we’re taking all necessary measures to ensure our surveyors are aligned to the latest government guidance. Prior to any physical valuation being carried out, a full risk assessment will be undertaken as part of the surveyor booking process.

Please note that in some circumstances a physical valuation may not be possible. Here is a list of instances where a customer won’t be eligible for a physical valuation:

  1. The customer or anyone living in the property is self-isolating due to being diagnosed with or is showing symptoms of COVID-19, or because the NHS Test and Trace team has advised them to self-isolate.
  2. The customer is uncomfortable for a valuation to be undertaken at this time
  3. The adviser is aware of any other reason why a valuation should not be undertaken
  4. The property is in an area that is currently under local lockdown issued by the Government.

There is no need for you to confirm to us in writing that your client is not part of the restricted group as explained above. By submitting a Lump Sum+ or Drawdown+ application in relation to a physical valuation, you are confirming that none of the above applies.

Please note, if a physical valuation can’t take place, we can review if a desktop valuation can be instructed. However be aware that our desktop valuation solution carries a restricted lending criteria and reduced LTV’s.

You can access our lending policy for Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ lending criteria here.

We also have a short guide to our lending policy.

For a reminder of our Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ product details and rates across the various LTV options for physical valuations, take a look at Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ product details and rates.

Please note we are currently unable to offer desktop valuation for our Flexible Lifetime Mortgage product.

Submissions for desktop valuation eligibility

To enable us to review any new enquiries for desktop valuation eligibility, we will need you to complete this spreadsheet containing some simple property questions. Once completed, please email this to our Sales team at [email protected] and they will be in touch with you to confirm eligibility for a desktop valuation. If the property fits our criteria, we will send you a KFI for a desktop valuation, so you can proceed with the usual application process.

If the property is not suitable for a desktop valuation, we can still quote for a physical valuation if you have requested this and your client is prepared to wait.

Lending criteria

As part of the desktop valuation process there will be some temporary modifications to our lending criteria concerning – location of the property; LTV; value of the property; construction and build of the property; property type. The changes are clearly explained in our FAQ document which should answer most of your questions.

In line with the temporary changes to our lending criteria for desktop valuations; any cases which have previously been underwritten where the application has not been submitted, will need to be reviewed against the new criteria. This is only if your client wishes to proceed on a desktop valuation basis.

We will review all received applications where a physical property valuation has not yet been completed to determine if they meet our desktop valuation criteria. For those cases, we will be in contact to confirm the available options for your clients and agree how to proceed.

Unsuitable applications

For any submitted applications which are unsuitable for a desktop valuation, we will honour the quoted customer interest rate for an initial period of 6 months and the application will be placed on hold until we are able to undertake a physical property valuation. If we have been unable to issue an offer within 6 months of the date the application was processed, then we will review the situation at that point and get in touch.

Desktop valuation completions

Please be aware that for all cases that complete following the new desktop valuation process, a physical property valuation will be undertaken as soon as it is possible to do so. This will be arranged at no cost to your client. Should any issues arise following the physical valuation, we will work with your client to resolve any property challenges that require attention. We hope that there won’t be any situations where an application has been submitted with the knowledge that the property is not suitable for our criteria and if we were able to complete a physical valuation at outset the property would have been declined. Situations like this may result in future cases not being considered.

We are here to support and work with you during this difficult time.

In review of the latest government guidance, from Wednesday (3 June 2020) we will resume physical property valuations for new business applications for our Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ product.

Please note that in some circumstances a physical valuation may not be possible if the client doesn’t meet the exclusion restrictions in line with the government advice. You can find our more in our ‘Property valuation’ section.

We ask you to make your clients aware of the possible delays and the overall impact on their applications.

We recently launched a new desktop valuation solution for Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+. At the moment this option is available only for new business applications which meet our lending criteria. However, we are working hard to extend this solution to our existing customers too, so we can offer additional borrowing as part of the process. As soon as this is in place we will make the details available to you.

We’ll continue to provide you with regular updates as the situation develops.

LV=’s position regarding the coronavirus outbreak is under continual review and may change. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss a pre-application, please email our Equity Release Sales team at [email protected]. As you can imagine we’re very busy trying to answer all your questions and offer you support. We’ll try our best to respond within 48hrs.

Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited, registered in England with registration number 12383237. County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF, UK