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April 2016

Monthly Archives

Discharging a Mortgage – Tips & Advice

If you are selling your property and currently hold a mortgage you will need to let your current financier know that the mortgage they hold is going to be discharged and that your loan will be repaid. The seller must discharge their mortgage so the buyer can take unencumbered, legal ownership over the property.

Mortgage pic

In the excitement of selling sometimes this important process is overlooked.

Discharge requests can be slow to process. As you are leaving your financier the incentive to process your discharge may be low. Your financier can charge more interest money the longer the process takes with some financiers taking 28 days. A public holiday, an administrative error, a forgotten signature or a delay with the financier can result in an even more drawn out process. Fortunately, most will take only 12-14 days to process a discharge.

To ensure that your settlement will not be delayed we recommend you attend to this matter immediately, even though the contract may not yet be unconditional. If this contract does not proceed to settlement, for any reason, the financier can simply recycle the discharge request on the next contract. As such, there is no harm in signing the discharge request early.

The first step is to contact your broker/financier – ask them for a ‘Discharge of Mortgage Request’ form. If you have a personal business banker who takes care of things for you, you can seek his assistance with this matter. If not, it is recommended to visit your financial institution and complete the form with someone who can help and submit the form to the right department for processing.

There are two things you have to pay particular attention to on the ‘Discharge of Mortgage Request’ form:

1. that you put our office details in as your solicitors;

2. that you provide the correct account number to where the surplus funds are to be deposited upon settlement. If you do not do this the financier will not collect all the funds on settlement and you may then experience delays in receiving your surplus funds (if any).

Once you have filled in the discharge of mortgage form, sign it and return it to the financier via facsimile or in person.

It is important to confirm with your financier the status of your discharge of mortgage. We highly recommend that two days after the form was returned, you ring the bank directly and check they have received it, are actioning your discharge request and will meet your settlement date.

With receipt of the ‘Discharge of Mortgage’ form the financier will prepare a ‘Discharge of Mortgage’ document and will certify that your property is ready to book for settlement.

Kalkadoon elder

Just Us Lawyers supports clients in Battles with mining companies

Just Us Lawyers acted for a Kalkadoon elder in battling a Diamond Joe Gutnick’s Legend International Holdings in respect to a proposed phosphate mine in the Mount Isa region.

Our client was successful in the case by getting changes to the environmental conditions to meet his cultural concerns. He had expected to get an order for the costs of obtaining expensive expert reports to support his case but the Land Court ruled it did not have the power to award costs in challenges to mining and environmental permits.  Mr Hardie of Just Us law is quoted in an article published in the Guardian:

Future mining objectors who could not afford the reports needed to win their case would struggle to find law firms or experts willing to wear those costs on their behalf. The green movement are lauding that decision against Adani as a big victory,” Hardie said. “They’ve said costs shouldn’t be awarded against objectors for trying to review environmental authorities and I agree. But I think the disadvantages far outweigh the protections because it basically means if you’re a little fella battling a big company and you have to go and get your expert reports, you’ve got no chance because you can’t even say to the experts, ‘You produce this report and if we get a costs order, you’ll get paid.’ This means any little person that doesn’t have resources on their own is less likely to object – when they have a valid objection.”

Click here to read Joshua Robertson’s article ‘Indigenous elder who took on miner and won left with $70,000 in legal costs’ published on the Guardian website 

Please contact us if you have any questions in relation to Resource and Indigenous Law

Auction off the house

Are You Auction Ready?

Below is a checklist of tips to assist you with purchasing at an Auction:-

Do your homework

  • Prior to the auction the first step is to talk to Just Us Lawyers regarding pre-contract advice. Our experienced team of Conveyancers and Solicitors will be able to advise you of the contents of the draft Contract.
  • Investigate and undertake as many property searches which you think would be relevant for the property. Searches to consider would be Council Building Approvals, Qld Building and Construction Commission, Flood Enquiry, Main Roads, Planning and Development, QCAT Tree Register, Transport Noise Corridor and Contaminated Land just to name a few.
  • Organise a building and pest inspection with a licensed building and pest inspector to check that the property is structurally sound and is free of termites.
  • Be sure to attend the property viewing prior to the auction and compare the property against similar ones in the surrounding area.
  • Express your interest to the agent if you are prepared to bid on the property and request to be notified of any offers made prior to the auction.
  • Before the auction it is important that you establish a bidding limit for yourself. You should consult your banker or mortgage broker prior to attending the auction to discuss your financial situation. It is important that you do not get carried away on the day and bid beyond your means.

With this forward-planning and assistance from the Conveyancing team at Just Us Lawyers you’ll be well on your way to success at your next auction.