Frequently Asked Questions At Settlement Stage
Have you ever had a question about settlements? Our team has probably heard it before. Here’s the most common queries we get from our brokers at this crucial stage of the application process.
We work hard to make the Bluestone process as transparent and simple as possible for all our brokers and customers from application to settlement, and our teams try to anticipate most issues before they arise. But inevitably, there are a few questions that seem to come up across a wide variety of loans, so we’ve started rounding these up for your reference.
First up are some of the most common questions we receive at the final stage of the process – settlement. Delays at settlement stage can be particularly nerve-wracking as often there is a hard deadline fast approaching, potentially threatening high fees or even a failed purchase if it is missed. Our settlements team is always ready to clarify any issues you may experience at this stage. Below are some of the most common questions they answer for our brokers.
MY SETTLEMENT IS READY TO BE BOOKED, BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING. WHAT’S THE HOLD-UP?
Once a settlement is ready to be booked, Bluestone’s solicitors will contact all the parties involved to book the settlement. If the settlement is completed on the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), our solicitor will set up a virtual workspace and send invites to all other parties. If the settlement is completed via the traditional paper method, our solicitor will reach out to other parties to book a meeting for the preferred settlement date.
Particularly for PEXA settlements involving refinances, where the date for settlement is more flexible than it would be for a purchase, we may experience delays due to other parties’ internal work processes. Our settlements officers will continuously follow up with all parties until a settlement can be booked, but we can’t always influence when other parties will respond to our requests.
Your Settlements Officer will update you regularly throughout this time so you and your clients can stay informed on the progress of your settlement
DO MY CLIENTS REALLY HAVE TO SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE OR INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE PRE-SETTLEMENT?
If your borrower is a company, all guarantors must seek independent legal and financial advice before settlement. Each guarantor must seek this advice from a solicitor who is independent from the company, and is not also providing advice to the company.
Guarantors who are providing a Guarantee in their capacity as Directors of the entity borrowing the funds may elect to waive their right to seek independent advice unless obtaining this advice is outlined as a special condition on a conditional approval as part of the underwriting process.
For loans made out to trusts or individuals, independent advice may also be added as a special pre-settlement condition. In that case, it must be obtained prior to settlement.
Where independent advice is not a mandatory condition, the applicant(s) still have the option to obtain it if they wish.
SHOULD PAGE 9 OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BE COMPLETED BY ALL BORROWERS?
Page 9 of the loan agreement asks your borrower to either confirm that they have received legal advice from a solicitor, or that they have chosen not to.
If your borrowers have chosen not to seek legal advice, they must still fill out this page of the Loan Agreement.
HOW CAN I ESCALATE MY FILE WITH THE OUTGOING LENDER?
If your customers’ outgoing lender is slow to respond to the settlement booking request, it can be helpful for them to attempt to escalate the issue. We recommend that borrowers contact their outgoing lender, business banker or branch manager directly to escalate their file and provide us with any reference number they are quoted. Sharing the reference number will allow us to easily follow up on your customers’ behalf.
CAN I HAVE THE LOAN DOCUMENTS EMAILED TO ME?
In most cases, a hard copy of the loan documents is either mailed to the borrowers’ address or picked up in our solicitors’ offices. However, if you are dealing with an especially tight deadline, you can request the approved loan documents to be emailed to your customer with you copied in.
Requests to have documents emailed will only be approved if there is a genuine need, for example, if the borrower will receive a fine if settlement does not complete on a specified date.
WHAT ADDRESS DO I RETURN MY SIGNED DOCUMENTS TO?
Depending on which one of our Panel Solicitors is looking after your loan, signed loan documents should be returned to either
GPO Box 2699
Adelaide SA 5001
PO Box 66
North Ryde BC, Sydney NSW 1670
If settlement is urgent, documents can be delivered to our solicitors’ various offices around the country.
CAN I COLLECT MY LOAN DOCUMENTS TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS?
Yes, the loan documents can be collected from our panel solicitors’ various offices around the country. However, please advise the settlements team of this as soon as possible so we can make sure the documents will be available in your selected state.
Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions
Who can witness your documents depends on the state in which you’re applying for the loan.
In all states and territories except Queensland, documents can be witnessed by any person who is aged 18 years or older, and who is not related to the applicants in any way – including the broker!
In Queensland, all loan documents must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. You can find a Justice of the Peace near you via the Queensland government’s website.
If you’ve ever wondered about any of these points, hopefully, our answers have clarified the process. If you have any further questions or feedback for our settlements team, please feel free to reach out to them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 8115 5045, or get in touch with your BDM.