Regardless of the reason why you choose to remortgage, you should always use the opportunity as a great way to save money.After all, although it is likely to be your biggest financial commitment, some people also view a mortgage as the 'cheapest' loan you'll ever have. ..
I have been undertaking equity release work since it became regulated by the then Financial Services Authority in April 2007 and have seen it progress from a mistrusted option at the time to a mainstream tool which has helped many individuals and their families to raise money safely and painlessly to satisfy various needs, which otherwise they would not have been able to do.
The usual reasons for taking equity release from a property would include debt repayment, home repair, holidays and helping other family members just to name a few. More recently, I have seen it being used as an estate planning tool and also to be used to postpone the time when someone has to submit to entering a residential care home.
If someone wishes to retain their independence in their own home but doesn’t have the funds to pay for carers for the assistance they need, equity release can provide those funds, and this can not only benefit the individual, but also their family, as often the cost of such care is much cheaper than the cost of a care home and doesn’t result in the depletion of assets as quickly.
I regard myself to be fortunate to be working in an area of work where the vast majority of clients are extremely satisfied with the outcome of the transaction, and say so. In many cases it is life-changing and the quality of life is greatly enhanced. The other side of the coin is that as equity release becomes a normal retirement tool, and I’m quite sure it will, this will impact on inheritances, but the next generation will no doubt then be taking out equity release in their turn, and then we will have a cyclic event! Equity release has come a long way and still has further to go.
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In late 2015, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealed that it was the government’s intention to scrap minor damages for whiplash claim and to raise the personal injury small claims limit to £5,000.00.
It needs to be considered how this proposal will affect members of the public and those working in Personal Injury firms that represent them.
For Claimant’s suffering ‘minor’ whiplash injuries they may still be reimbursed for medical appointments and loss of earnings but there will be no pay out for general damages.
If the injury is non-whiplash it is still possible to receive general damages but if the claim is worth less than £5,000 then it may become a real struggle for some to actually obtain what they are entitled to.
If you chose to instruct a solicitor to act for you in your personal injury claim; that is worth less than £5000, then you will no longer be able to recover your solicitor’s costs from the Defendant.This asks the questions as to whether it is financially feasible for a solicitor to take on your case.If not then a Claimant may find themselves up against the Defendant insurer will no representation.The insurance company will be well trained in these matters whereas the Claimant may find themselves intimidated by the process.
It is the duty of a personal injury solicitor to value a claim and get the best possible outcome for the Claimant.With no guidance on how much their claim is worth it is likely that a Claimant will settle directly with the insurer without any proper advice.This could well lead to a Claimant significantly under settling their claim.
And what about the personal injury solicitors?This could have a serious impact on the number of claims that firms can now take on and many smaller firms will be facing hard times.
The only real winners in this situation are the Defendant insurers.They will no longer be paying out on whiplash claims which will result in a substantial saving.It is likely that savings will also be made if they can get away with paying less damages for other claims.Of course the insurers have made a point of stating that these savings will be passed on to the public via lowering the cost of their insurance premium.This has been promised before so the public will have to wait and see if they will reap the benefit of the government’s proposal.Not surprisingly the general consensus is that we shouldn’t hold our breath...