This post is aimed at practitioners and financial institutions who transact in Western Australia and South Australia and will be affected by the 1 December 2017 change to the way the Discharge of Mortgage lodgement fee is paid.
Over the past four years, conveyancing has digitally transformed. With five states now completing property transactions electronically, industry recognises the importance of national alignment to fully realise the efficiencies that a digital settlement network provides. As a result, the next phase of national alignment will take place in Western Australia and South Australia with an alteration to the Discharge of Mortgage lodgment fee procedure.
In a PEXA settlement, the Incoming Mortgagee will provide the amount for this statutory fee, rather than the Mortgagee on Title or Proprietor on Title. Where there is no Incoming Mortgagee, the Incoming Proprietor will provide the amount.
It is still incumbent upon the seller to provide clear title. The seller must therefore allow a reduction on the balance of purchase monies. All states that complete property transactions online will then be aligned, reducing confusion and improving the digital settlement process for the entire network.
To maintain consistency across all scenarios, industry has decided to replicate this change for paper settlements.
All lenders who have an active presence in Western Australia and/or South Australia are working towards operationalising this change in readiness for the switch-over on 1 December 2017.
The buyer’s representative ensures that the seller’s representative has allowed for the Discharge of Mortgage Fee in the adjustments.
The Lodgement Fee for the Discharge of Mortgage is paid from the pool of source funds (e.g. loan proceeds or purchaser’s equity).
All parties can see the full loan breakdown and destination amounts for stamp duty and Lodgement Fees.
The breakdown to client is supported by the Settlement Completion Record.
This national solution removes the need for additional source line items and confusion when dealing with different banks.
Financial Institutions and their representatives will need to review consumer contracts, processes and systems to ensure they can adequately support the change to existing settlement processes by 1 December 2017.
The Joint Form of General Conditions already confirms that the vendor is obligated to give clear title, which remains the case. The change is in process, not to contractual terms. The process now is to debit the amount from the vendor pre-settlement, rather than have the vendor pay at settlement. Questions regarding the Joint Form of General Conditions should be directed to REIWA and Law Society WA as owners of the document.
If you have any enquiries about this change please reply to this post or e-mail us at: Angella.Chick@pexa.com.au (WA) / Daniel.Roesler@pexa.com.au (SA).