How long is a piece of string?

23rd March 2022

We just completed a bridging loan on Friday.  Our remit from our client was, by hook or by crook, the deal must be done on that particular Friday.  They had approached us after exchange, and when the completion had been set.

The reason for choosing this date was because it was Holi.  The property being purchased was no ordinary property, its usage was an ashram/retreat centre in the holy isle of Avalon, Glastonbury.

The purchase was being funded in whole by an English man.  He had been inspired to follow a spiritual path, and this was his contribution; something the lender’s lawyer could not get her head around.  Not that it should have been any of her business.

In order to expedite the transaction we chose a private bridger who dispensed with the need for a valuation.  Relative to the purchase price the loan was very small.  Nearly all lenders, private or otherwise, insist on doing a valuation.  The only question a lender is concerned with is in the event of a default and repossession can they get the principal and the interest back?  As long as the title is clear, and the loan to value is low enough there should be no issues.

We have done several transactions with this lender, for this very reason; a useful instrument to have in one’s arsenal especially when purchasing during a lockdown, when no valuer was prepared to come out for a valuation.  This could be the difference between doing and not doing a deal.

The lender’s lawyer had fired off 25 questions to the purchaser’s lawyer the week before, and simultaneously advised the completion should be postponed to later.

We have done a bridge in three days, which included a weekend; from Friday to Monday.  Therefore, this really wasn’t necessary in my opinion.  I feel that many of the questions are for the lawyer to cover themselves from forever being sued.  In my opinion, it seems this is their agenda, not always in the commercial interest of the client.

If you give them the extra time they desire, rest assured they will find a way to fulfil it, and be able to justify it.

If you stand firm with the completion date, and  drill down on each question, there could be a chance.  This was the stance taken.  Some of the questions were to do with the usage class, this frankly is not the lender’s lawyer’s business. It’s to do with the buyer and the council. This is not Westminster or Kensington & Chelsea.  It’s a pretty laid back part of the UK.

By switching our role to one of an assistant we were able to either dismiss the questions asked or get them addressed.  As this was a lender who was accessible and commercially minded we were able to progress through these quickly.

It was tight, but the deal was done on the desired, opportune day; just in time for the head guru to arrive on Monday to bless the premises.

Suresh Vagjiani

Suresh Vagjiani
Suresh Vagjiani
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