on 25-10-2017 04:48 PM
I recently encountered an issue when walking a firm through a spousal transfer for Victoria within the PEXA platform. Ultimately we couldn't complete the transaction because the solicitor had already stamped the transfer non-dutiable for a paper transaction, which couldn't be reversed through duties online. However we were experiencing some issues prior to this, namely:
This firm in particular completes a number of spousal transfers for Family Law and Estates. It is a regular occurrence that they will not get funds up front for a spousal transfer. They wanted to know if we could make it possible to select 'no' for a financial settlement, allow stamping non-dutiable (only where the property is the client's PPR) and make payment of the fees from their office account if they come in under a certain threshold. This would likely only be available in cases where the practitioners have a clear title, as once a bank is involved the fees/destinations become a little higher.
Obviously as more and more transaction types become available in PEXA we are going to come across these sorts of areas that have not yet been developed/not previously thought of and this firm, as well as a few others that I have spoken to, would be interested in exploring these options.
on 31-10-2017 08:43 AM
We have on our road map improvements for spousal transfers. We will add your comments and suggestion to the mix.
on 02-05-2018 08:41 AM
I had messaged Megan about this particular instance as Megan had been our trainer, and she directed me to this discussion.
We also find the issue when there is a Transfer of Land transaction where there is no financial settlement. For us this incorporates notes only the husband/wife transfer but a transfer to beneficiaries before it can be transferred to another party. Like the firm Megan referred to, we don't ask for funds up front on basic non dutiable transfers and our accounts department want us to be able to have the option to select to take pexa and lodging fees out of our office account in these instances. We would really appreciate Pexa exploring this possibility as soon as possible.
on 02-05-2018 12:57 PM
Under the MOR, PEXA (an Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN)) is not allowed to submit a lodgement a transaction that may be subject to duty without receiving a stamp from the jurisdictional SRO. If duty is payable, in VIC, PEXA must remit duty to the SRO at settlement.
It follows that in VIC, because PEXA in not positioned to determine if a given transaction type that is dutiable will in fact be subject to $0 duty, that all transaction types which are dutiable must include Financial Settlement.
While we have plans to improve the processes associated with spousal transfer, we do not have any plans to alter the requirement for financial settlement for all transfer transactions in VIC.
I do not wish to appear inflexible, but PEXA must comply with the rules.
Please let me @GeorgePolus know if you have more questions.
on 02-05-2018 02:57 PM
Thanks @GeorgePolus, appreciate your response.
I understand your reasonings, its just inconvenient and frustrating from a user point of view.
Hopefully things will continue to improve as we all move forward.
on 02-05-2018 03:45 PM
Thank you for you understanding.
We genuinely are working to continuously improve the experience for all of our members both within our own PEXA platform and across external platforms. Some changes will occur faster than others.
Please do continue to provide your feedback and input. While in this case we are presently limited in our options, we do listen and act where we can.
on 03-05-2018 09:27 AM
I think the main improvement they are looking for is the allowance to pay for a standalone transfer from office instead of trust, as many firms won't get funds up front from their client when lodging a standalone.
Even if this could be a minor improvement - regardless of removing settlement time etc. - that way the transaction won't be delayed. If there could be some sort of threshold where funds will be allowed to be drawn from trust. A standard standalone transfer will cost $307.00 in VIC - 2x PEXA fee and a non-monetary transfer of $85.90. This would improve the experience greatly for those family law and estate firms.
on 03-05-2018 09:42 AM
Thanks @MeganTenn that is exactly what I think would solve the problem. Happy to comply with all other requirements, such as settlement etc, just want to have the option to select 'office' account when we have no funds in trust, which is usually for stand alone transfers of land that are non dutiable.
Worth considering @GeorgePolus
on 03-05-2018 11:16 AM
Hi again Lyndal and Megan,
I most certainly do hear your requirement, and understand what you are looking for.
Unfortunately, once again. there are constraints by which PEXA is bound.
Financial Institutions cannot, and do not, allow anyone to send payment instructions to debit a Customer Account. Today, PEXA has special agreements in place and is authorised to initiate the debit of funds (via payment instruction) from practitioner trust accounts. But this authorisation is limited to practitioner trust accounts.
It is my understanding that banks in Europe have commenced enabling third parties to issue transaction instructions based upon client authorisation. However, this service is not yet available in Australia. I am not aware if this service is or is not being considered for Australia, or indeed if the 'New Payments Platform' will enable something similar. We will all have to wait and see.
As I said, we hear you and understand what you are looking for. But right now, constraints prevent us from enabling this feature.
Please contact me @GeorgePolus if you have more questions.
on 03-10-2018 02:54 PM
The current system for spousal transfers is very frustrating and a shortcoming of the PEXA platform. Our firm too generally paid the fees associated with a spousal transfer for no consideration directly from our office account and then accounted to the client once the transaction was complete.
We now have to request funds in advance to enable the transaction to proceed which is most inconvenient and can cause delays to an otherwise simple and straight-forward transaction.
I note @GeorgePolus says "Financial Institutions cannot, and do not, allow anyone to send payment instructions to debit a Customer Account". Doesn't this constitute a simple direct debit agreement such as when you pay your gym membership via direct debit? In such a case the bank is directed to debit an agreed amount from the customer's account pursuant to the agreement signed between the parties.
Surely PEXA could implement similar direct debit agreements whereby the law firm agrees with PEXA that certain fees may be directly debited from the firm's office account?
This area really needs some attention!