The Validation Process allows us to determine whether your mortgage was sold, transferred or assigned by your lender. For a fixed cost of £260 including VAT, we will carry out a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) to your lender requesting specific information and documents that relates to the securitisation of your mortgage account.
In our experience an average DSAR is between 300 and 500 pages. Using our bespoke Legal Administration Review System (LARS) and the latest OCR technology we are able to review the documents provided by your lender and determine whether they have sold it, and if so, whether they retained the equitable and legal title to the charge they hold on your property. Once we have carried out the review you will be issued with a Legal Opinion based on our findings.
The Validation Process takes between 3 and 4 months to complete. This is due to the rules set out under the Data Protection Act 1998, which allows your lender 40 days to provide the information and allows the legal team sufficient time to review the data, request further information from the lender if needed and, enable them to provide a professional legal opinion on the results of the DSAR.
You can carry out a Data Subject Access Request yourself by submitting your request along with a £10 fee, however, once you receive the documents you will need to have a capable person carry out a review of the information provided, in order to determine whether there is any evidence of securitisation. Until the launch of the Legal Quest Mortgage Challenge and the LARS System, the cost of a legal review was prohibitive with quotes in excess of £4000.
For a comprehensive guide to submitting a DSAR by yourself
Our electronic sign up takes only minutes to complete. If you need any assistance one of our specialist affiliates are on hand to guide you through the process. This can be done over the phone or at an arranged appointment. Once we receive notification that you have signed up, you will receive your Welcome Pack including your secure log in details so that you can track the progress of your case.
To determine if your mortgage has been securitised we need to submit a Data Subject Access Request. Following sign up you will receive a copy of our Agent Authority Letter for you to sign, authorising us to deal with your lender on your behalf. We will also require a copy of Photo Identification for all people named on the mortgage and a copy of your latest mortgage statement.
Once we receive your signed Agent Authority and supporting documents we will submit the Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) to your lender. along with a £10 cheque. All requests are sent recorded delivery to ensure their safe arrival. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, once your lender receives the DSAR they are allowed 40 days to provide the requested information.
In most cases the DSAR documents are provided within the 40 day timeframe. Following receipt of the documents we will carry out a review to determine if there is any evidence that the account has been securitised. The review process is carried out using our bespoke OCR software which can scan and search for specific key words and phrases that indicates if your account has been sold, transferred or assigned.
Once the document review has been completed, the report will be reviewed by our Legal Team to determine if; a.) sufficient evidence was included to issue a Legal Opinion and, b.) if the documentation provided was complete. If during the Legal Review we feel sufficient evidence has been provided a Legal Opinion will be issued. If we feel the documents provided were incomplete we will send a further request to your lender allowing an additional 21 days.
Following a complete review of all documentation you will be issued with a Legal Opinion based on our findings. If you are issued with a Negative Opinion then you unfortunately do not have a case at this time. If you receive a Positive or Probable Opinion you will be invited to join the Legal Quest MSC Class Action against your lender. If you decide to proceed there are no further upfront cost, we will simply invite you to sign a No Win No Fee Agreement.
If you qualify for the Dispute Process and decide to choose us to represent you, you will be included in a Class Action against your lender. A Class Action Lawsuit simply means a group of people with the same case join forces. By doing this, we have much stronger negotiating power and can afford to appoint the highest level of legal representation.
In order to amortise (spread) the cost across the Class Action a minimum of 1600 participants are required before we would be able to proceed to court action. Discussions and possible negotiations, may however, take place before this is target is achieved.
The Dispute Process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, however, as this is a new concept, not yet proven in court, we are unable to provide definitive timescales. The timeline below details what we expect to be the process and estimated timescales from appointing us to settlement.
The Dispute Process works on a No Win No Fee basis. By signing a Conditional Fee Agreement for 25% plus VAT we will appoint the Legal Team to negotiate and represent you until a settlement can be agreed.
You can represent yourself or appoint your own legal team however please be aware the cost of legal action could potentially out way any gain on an individual case.
To view an example of a Conditional Fee Agreement
Following your Legal Opinion being issued you will be given the option to join our Class Action against your lender. Should you choose to instruct us you will then be given the option of being a Named Claimant or being a secondary, un-named claimant. Being a Named Claimant does not give your case any additional strength over other claimants, however, should the matter go to court and any additional damages are granted, they would only be awarded to the Primary Named Claimants.
Once we receive notification that you wish to proceed with Dispute we will prepare and send you the Conditional Fee Agreement(CFA). The CFA agreement, better known as a No Win No Fee Agreement, means you would only pay in the result of a settlement. The 25% plus VAT CFA relates to any award or benefit that is awarded. If a decision is made in your favour and the lender agrees to remove the charge at the Land Registry you would owe us 25% plus VAT of the outstanding balance of your mortgage at the time of settlement and 25% plus VAT of any additional damages awarded.
Following receipt of your signed CFA Agreement your name will be added to the Class Action against your lender. In order to begin negotiations and to be in a strong enough position to take your case to the High Court (if required), we need a minimum of 1600 claimants. It is expected that brief discussions will go ahead before this target is reached, however, in order to achieve any form of settlement and be able to arrange the ATE insurance, the minimum level would need to be achieved.
Once the minimum claimant numbers have been achieved we will instruct the lead Legal Team to prepare and review the 1st Class Action paperwork with 100 Primary Claimants. During this time, the preparation and execution of formal instructions for each of the Primary Claimants will be completed. The Legal Team will then begin to prepare the Notice of Class Action ready to submit to the lender.
Before notifying the lender of the dispute the Legal Team will arrange After The Event(ATE) insurance and/or 3rd Party Litigation Funding. ATE insurance provides indemnity for legal expenses in the event that our case is lost. The ATE insurance will typically cover the legal expenses incurred by the bank and the Legal Quest disbursements such as expert fees, counsel fees and court costs.
Once the ATE insurance is firmly in place the Legal Team will notify the lender that we are filing a Dispute and begin initial dialogue. During this time, our team will discuss our reasons for Dispute and outline the options for moving forward. We expect that, over an initial 3-month period, we will have a good understanding of how the case will progress and what options are available to achieve settlement.
If, following the initial discussions, it looks likely that an Out of Court Settlement can be agreed then we will continue the negotiations without any intervention from a third party. A settlement at this stage would be beneficial to the lender as we would possibly agree to a ‘gag order’, meaning the details of the settlement would not be allowed to be disclosed to the public.
If a settlement is agreed, we would simply request that your lender removes their charge at the land registry, meaning you would then be mortgage free. You will, however, have a liability to us for the Conditional Fee amount of 25% plus VAT of the outstanding mortgage balance. If required, the option of a new reduced mortgage on the same or better terms may be proposed to your lender to meet your liability to us for the CFA.
In the case that a settlement cannot be agreed during the Negotiated Settlement phase we would arrange for ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ to take place. This is also known as mediation.
An independent expert would be appointed to review the case on either a non-binding basis or alternatively on a final and binding determination. The expert will evaluate the likely outcome should the matter go to court. Once the evaluation has been given it is expected that the lender will see the legal and commercial sense in resolving the dispute.
If a settlement is awarded in your favour, then the same outcome would be agreed as with a Negotiated Settlement. If the final and binding determination is agreed, unlike arbitration, the decision is binding but does not require the supervision of the court and provides flexibility for both parties to come to a final agreement.
In the event that a settlement cannot be agreed Out of Court we will proceed to file the Class Action against your lender. An initial application will be submitted for discovery to compel the lender to provide specific evidence. Once the evidence is to hand an application will be made to the High Court requesting a court date. During the court case the Legal Team will provide evidence of the errors and omissions that have taken place and challenge your lenders rights to maintain their Land Registry Charge.
Should the court find in your favour the same outcome would be achieved, plus the possibility of additional compensatory damages and costs being awarded.