Equity release is a common way for people to improve their financial position, but there have been dozens of instances involving equity release that have gone wrong. However, instances of the courts overturning an agreement between people where this was made with the benefit of professional advice are very few.
Arrangements like these can be overturned in several circumstances, for example, if a contract constitutes an ‘unconscionable bargain’ i.e. a contract, which is so one-sided that it is unfair to one party and therefore unenforceable under law. This will become clear from the example of a recent case involving a woman who bought a property for £77,000 in 2001 and later got into debt. In order to pay off her debts of approximately £7,500, she entered into an arrangement in 2009 to sell it for £20,000.
The claim made by the woman was that she had been falsely told that she was entering into an equity release scheme, not a sale, that the arrangement was an ‘unconscionable bargain’as she was subjected to ‘special disadvantage’.
According to Curry Popeck solicitors in Harrow, there are many things special disadvantage can cover, for example, poverty or lack of education. So, in order to defeat the arrangement on the basis of ‘unconscionable bargain’, she needed to prove that she did have a special disadvantage and that this had been improperly exploited by the man who sold her the ‘scheme’. She also needed to prove the resulting transaction as ‘oppressive and overarching’.
The reason for doing so was that if the court found the contract to be unconscionable, it would typically declare the contract to be void. The defendant argued that the lady had taken professional advice with regard to the sale of her property, so, she had acted with the benefit of professional advice and hence could not claim to have undertaken the arrangement as a result of unconscionable bargain.
However, the womanopposed this by saying that she had only received advice from the solicitor about the conveyancing process, not with regard to the agreement.However, this was not considered sufficient to convince the County Court that the arrangement was not unconscionable.
The most important thing to learn from this case is that before entering into any significant transaction involving important matters such as property, it is always prudentto take expert and specific legal advice.
Equity release schemes, in particular, can contain unpleasant surprises in the fine print that can be a cause of problems in the future. So, if you are considering such a scheme and need expert advice on this or any other matter pertaining to property, consult Curry Popeck conveyancing solicitors in Harrow. They can provide you with far-reaching knowledge and expertise across a broad range of areas.
Having built their reputation up over the last 34 years, their expert team now regularly advises a broad portfolio of UK organizations and individuals. Curry Popeck’s specialist areas include Corporate Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Dispute Resolution, Property Law and Sports and Entertainment Law. So, contact Curry Popeck today to meet their experienced conveyancing solicitors in Harrow or their other experts, who will identify your requirements and provide a tailor-made, personal service to help you get the best outcome.
To schedule an appointment, visit-http://www.currypopeck.com/