Our office has a policy of NEVER submitting Discharge Authorities to banks on behalf of clients. Why? Because doing so exposes us to criticism and complaint when a bank advises the client that the Discharge Authority was never received.
Our policy allowed one of my staff to send the following email to a client's bank recently:
"Dear Sirs, We advise that we act for XXX and XXX in the sale of their property at XXX. Settlement of this matter is scheduled to take place on 26th September, 2017. We advise that our clients have lodged the attached Request to Discharge previously and therefore we have today phoned the discharges/settlements department of the Bank and been advised by XXX of your office that the Bank has no record of the Discharge Request. This clearly is incorrect as our clients have lodged the request themselves. This means that XXX Bank have not processed the application for discharge which may now create a problem in that our clients may not be able to meet the requirements pursuant to the terms of the Contract of Sale. Please expedite the matter and confirm as soon as the Bank is in a position to book the settlement. We hereby give notice that in the event that XXX Bank is unable to meet the settlement arrangements then we will recommend to our clients that they make a claim against XXX Bank for all losses and extra legal costs that they sustain as a result of the Bank's non-activating this matter in time for settlement. Please contact me if you have any queries."
Our clients were bcc'd into the email, and thanked us for advocating on their behalf.
The bank suddenly found the wherewithal to sort things out and to settle on time, despite settlement being due the following day!
Everyone knows how this would have turned out if the clients were not in a position to confirm that they had indeed submitted the Discharge Authority some weeks before.