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 2018, which allows your lender 30 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, 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 payment (where required). All requests are sent recorded delivery to ensure their safe arrival. In accordance with the General Data Protection Act 2018, once your lender receives the DSAR they are allowed 30 days to provide the requested information.
In most cases the DSAR documents are provided within 30 days.. Following receipt of the documents, we carry out a comprehensive review to determine if there is any evidence that your 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 indicate if your account has been sold, transferred or assigned (‘securitised’).
Once the document review has been completed, the evidence is passed to the Legal Team at Camellus Law LLP to determine if; a.) sufficient evidence was included to issue a Legal Opinion and, b.) if the documentation provided was complete. If, during their Legal Review, they feel sufficient evidence has been provided, a Legal Opinion will be issued. If they feel the documents provided were incomplete, Legal Quest plc will send a further request to your lender allowing an additional 21 days for a response.
Following a complete review of all documentation, you will be issued with a Legal Opinion from Camellus Law LLP based on our findings. If you are issued with a Negative Opinion then, unfortunately, you do not have a case at this time. If you receive a Positive or Probable Opinion, you will be invited to instruct Camellus Law’s panel law firm to pursue your MSC Claim against your lender. If you decide to proceed, there are no further upfront costs*, they will simply invite you to sign a No Win No Fee* Agreement. * There may be a requirement for filing fees, third party expert reports and counsel fees to be covered by you under a no recourse, legal expenses funding facility, which is ONLY due and payable in the event of a successful claim. You have absolutely no liability if your claim is lost or abandoned by the law firm. Note: Cancellation Fees may apply once legal work has started on your claim.
If you qualify for the Dispute Process and decide to choose to instruct the Camellus Law panel law firm to represent you on an individual action basis, your ‘damages based’ MSC will be prepared and filed against your lender with a view to a successful outcome. If the lender chooses not to settle the claim ‘out of court’ or the lower courts do not find in your favour, you may be included in a future Class/Group Litigation Order Action against your lender. A Class/Group Action Lawsuit simply means a group of people with the same case join forces. By doing this, the Law Firm will have much stronger negotiating powers 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 you would be able to proceed to GLO. It is expected that discussions and possible negotiations may take place well before this is target is achieved and, as such, no Class/Group Action will result.
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 36 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 (Damages based)for up to 30% inc VAT the Legal Team will be appointed 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. * There may be a requirement for filing fees, third party expert reports and counsel fees to be covered by you or under a no recourse, legal expenses funding facility, which is ONLY due and payable in the event of a successful claim with absolutely no liability if your claim is lost or abandoned by the law firm. Note: Cancellation Fees may apply once legal work has started on your claim.
To view an example of a Conditional Fee Agreement
Following your Legal Opinion being issued, you will be given the option to take the matter further against your lender by filing an individual ‘damages’ based claim. The initial individual action will be dealt with by Camellus Law LLP and their panel law firm who has agreed to represent claimants against your particular lender. Should you choose to instruct them, you will then be given the formal claim documentation and client paperwork relating to your specific MSC, with all terms and conditions carefully set out in plain English so there are no areas for concern.. If the initial claim is not negotiated to a successful outcome, or the matter is referred to a higher Court, the option of being a Named Claimant or being a secondary, un-named claimant, will be presented to you for you to be included in a future planned Class/Group Litigation Order/Action. Being a Named Claimant does not give your individual case any additional strength over other claimants, however, should the matter go to the High Court and any additional damages granted, they may 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 Damages Based/Conditional Fee Agreement(DBA/CFA) together with all of the formal appointment of legal representative paperwork, as well as any other relevant documentation. The DBA/CFA agreement, better known as a No Win No Fee* Agreement, means you would only pay in the result of a successful settlement or outcome for your claim. The stated fee percentage (%) inc VAT CFA relates to any award or benefit that is awarded. If a decision is made in your favour and even if the only ‘win’ is for the lender to remove their charge at the Land Registry you would owe the DBA/CFA fees plus VAT of the outstanding balance of your mortgage at the time of settlement and the same % of any additional damages awarded or agreed. * There may be a requirement for filing fees, third party expert reports and counsel fees to be covered by you or under a no recourse, legal expenses funding facility, which is ONLY due and payable in the event of a successful claim with absolutely no liability if your claim is lost or abandoned by the law firm. Note: Cancellation Fees may apply once legal work has started on your claim.
Following receipt of your signed DBA/CFA Agreement, together with any additional paperwork required to appoint the law firm and deal with your individual claim, your name will be added to the existing damages based MSC’s Legal Quest plc has prepared the Part 35 Expert Witness Report for, specifically against your particular lender, with a planned filing date to be agreed for all similar claims to be filed on a given date, and subsequent date(s). In order to begin negotiations and to be in a strong enough position to take your case to the High Court (if required), we have been advised we need a minimum of 1600 to 2,500 claimants. It is expected that discussions with the lenders 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 and subsequent legal expenses/litigation funding facilities, the minimum level would need to be achieved to ensure the entire matter can be dealt with in the High Court and the adverse costs proportionately incurred. All claimants will be able to access the LARS portal at any time, for updates and current status reports. To reduce un-necessary costs and expenses, phone updates will only be given in exceptional circumstances. It must be understood that until there are new information updates, individual cases will not be discussed. Unfortunately that is the position for ALL claimants in a particular lender group. There will be no individual information or reporting until the latter stages, when the individual circumstances and quantum values will be negotiated on a claim by claim basis.
If instructed, Camellus Law LLP will instruct the lead Legal Team to prepare the individual MSC paperwork for the Claimants. Camellus Law LLP will provide the Legal Case Management team and Legal Quest plc as the administration team using LARS as the automated secure portal for all communication between claimants and the legal team. A complete set of formal claim paperwork will be sent to each Claimant by recorded delivery mail and the Claimants will be required to sign and execute them, returning the documents in the return mail envelope provided, in order for the law firm to be able to represent them in their individual claim(s). During the lead time from first notification of the formal claim going ahead to the Primary Claimants and, up to the first formal filing date, the preparation and execution of individual formal Letters of Claim and subsequent filing paperwork for each of the Primary Claimants will be completed. The Legal Team will then be ready to file the Notice of Claim ready to submit to the lender on the agreed first filing date, and each subsequent filing date for additional Primary Claimants.
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 or abandonned. The ATE or equivalent insurance will typically cover the legal expenses incurred by the bank and the Legal Teams disbursements such as expert fees, counsel fees and court costs. These will be paid by the legal expenses/litigation funders from the facilities arranged by Legal Quest plc/Camellus Law LLP and/or their panel law firm. At no time will the claimant(s) be responsible for the repayment of any funding until their claim is successful. * There may be a requirement for filing fees, third party expert reports and counsel fees to be covered by you or under a no recourse, legal expenses funding facility, which is ONLY due and payable in the event of a successful claim with absolutely no liability if your claim is lost or abandoned by the law firm. Note: Cancellation Fees may apply once legal work has started on your claim.
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 on both an individual basis as well as a global one for all Primary Claimants who have the same MSC against the particular lender, 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 and a precedent would not be established.
If a settlement is agreed, we would agree the best possible outcome, notify each claimant of the result of the negotiations with a strong recommendation to accept the settlement, on the terms suggested. What the actual terms of any such settlement will be is not something which can be determined at this stage, however, as a minimum a simply request that your lender removes their charge at the land registry, meaning you would then be mortgage free, is one such possibility. You will, however, have a liability to us for the Damages Based/Conditional Fee amount agreed, based on 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, until such time as the actual terms are negotiated, there can be no firm statements made. Legal Quest plc have agreed to confirm that if the matter is to be settled as part of a negotiated ‘out of court’ matter, that the minimum benefit to any Primary Claimant will be not less than 30% of the outstanding balance of their mortgage debt on the date of settlement and not more than 70%, this being indemnified by Legal Quest plc et al, from their own resources.
In the case that a settlement cannot be agreed during the Negotiated Settlement phase Camellus Law LLP and/or their panel law firm 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. It is likely, however, that any such decision will in most cases result in a higher benefit to the Primary Claimant.
In the event that a settlement cannot be agreed Out of Court and, all other remedies have failed, including any decision by a lower Court, we will proceed to file the Class/Group 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 which are, as a minimum, the right to maintain their Land Registry Charge as named proprietors having been paid in full, the legal charge satisfied and no further financial or equitable interest in the land/property remains.
Should the court find in your favour the same outcome would be achieved, plus the possibility of additional compensatory damages and costs being awarded.