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About the loan

What can the loan be used for?

The loan is regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, and can be used to cover the costs of your case, including your solicitor's fees and any related disbursements (costs), such as barrister or forensic accountant costs. 

You may decide to use Novitas for part of your costs and agree with your solicitor a different funding arrangement for the balance.

How does the loan work?

The loan is a pre-approved facility. The money is used as it is needed, with your approval, and paid directly to your solicitor to settle outstanding invoices and costs associated with your case. You do not have to use the entire loan amount and interest only accrues once the money is sent to your solicitor’s account.

So, while funding is always available, you only pay for what you use. You do not need to service the loan. The loan is repaid at the end of your case from your settlement. The loan contract is between you and Novitas.

Your solicitor has an obligation to communicate to us any material facts that may affect repayment of the loan during your case and to pay off the loan from any proceeds received as part of your settlement. The remaining amount will be passed on to you. This is a fully recourse loan, which means that you, the borrower, are always responsible for repaying the money borrowed.

How much does the loan cost?

Our charges are transparent and straightforward. The set-up fee is £500 (or 1% of the facility if the loan amount is above £50,000). This can be added to the loan or paid up front. Interest is accrued only on the money you use, and calculated at a fixed rate of 18% per annum or 1.5% per month (not compounded).

It is due only when your case is complete and at loan settlement. We take the annual interest rate of 18% (1.5% per month), multiply by the amount you have used from your facility and divide by the number of days it has been drawn down.

For example, if you use £10,000 for 6 months, you will pay back interest of £900. There is no minimum loan period, no early repayment charges, and no minimum interest charge. Independent legal advice is typically circa £300 (and cannot be added to your loan). This is required to ensure you fully understand all the implications of the loan arrangements. Representative example: Total Amount of Credit: £50,000 Total Charge for Credit: £12,131, includes:

  • £300 Independent legal advice (estimate)
  • £612 setup fee (£500 set up fee plus £112 interest)
  • £11,219 loan interest (assumes full loan amount drawn down on day 1)

Rate of interest: 18% per annum (fixed) Duration: 15 months Total Amount Payable: £62,131 Representative APR 19.5%

How long do I have to repay the loan?

We agree a time period for each loan, often based on an event such as the sale of a property or a settlement. While we put a time period of 12 months on the loan contract from the date of the agreement, we understand that this needs to be flexible and will roll on the loan on a 30-day basis according to your individual situation. 

While your case is active

Do I have control over how the solicitor uses the money?

Yes. Your solicitor can only draw the money against invoices you have approved, so in the event of a disputed fee, you are protected. You will be emailed each time an amount is drawn down and can contact your solicitor directly if you have any queries.

How often can I make a drawdown from the loan?

The loan can be drawn down as many times as your solicitor requires, up to the limit of your loan. All drawdown requests are made by the solicitor.

Can I change solicitor?

The loan is linked to your current solicitor, so if another solicitor takes on your case we would have to approve them before transferring the loan, otherwise you will be in breach of our agreement and the loan will have to be repaid immediately.

There is no charge for transferring the loan. If you repay the loan you can apply for a new facility with a new Novitas approved solicitor.

What happens if I reconcile with my spouse?

Even if the legal proceedings cease, you are still obliged to repay the loan, under the terms of the agreement.

Can Novitas stop funding during the case?

Yes, there are circumstances which may mean we stop any further drawdowns from your loan, including but not limited to:

  • disclosure of subsequent material facts that adversely affect the case
  • your solicitor leaving your case
  • your solicitor not meeting the undertakings they give to Novitas
  • any of your own behaviour that gives rise to concern about recovering the loan
  • if there is an extension pending

Is it in my solicitor's interest for me to use a Novitas loan?

Your solicitor is independent so receives no financial incentive from Novitas and cannot recommend us to you. Our loan service is a funding option available for you to consider, and only you can decide to proceed with a Novitas loan.

What happens if my solicitor is suspended from practice by the Solicitors Regulation Authority during the term of the loan?

You can cancel your loan facility which will require immediate repayment or, with our written permission, transfer the loan facility to another solicitor. 

Settlement

Does the loan repayment come from the proceeds of my settlement?

Yes, you assign the proceeds of your settlement to Novitas by way of a Deed of Assignment when you enter the loan agreement. For example, any lump sum payments or proceeds from a property sale are used to repay the loan before being passed to you.

If I have insurance, do I still have to repay the loan?

Yes. Insurance is to cover the loss to Novitas if you do not repay the loan. Your debt will be passed to the insurer and they may then recover the outstanding debt from you.

Can I pay the loan back in instalments?

No, the loan needs to be settled in a single payment once your case has been settled.

Can I repay the loan early?

Yes. There are no penalties for repaying the loan early. We calculate interest daily so the shorter the time you have the loan, the less interest you will pay. If you wish to make partial early repayments, the amount would be applied firstly against the fees payable, secondly in payment of interest and thirdly in repayment of instalments.

What happens if I don’t use all of the loan?

Any unused loan facility is returned to Novitas and interest calculated on a pro-rata basis (i.e. applied only to the amount you have used).

Can Novitas ask for repayment at any time?

Repayment is at the end of your proceedings, but if you breach the loan agreement we may ask for repayment of the loan at any time. This can include, dis-instructing your solicitor without our agreement or failing to follow advice from your solicitor in any material way that impacts whether Novitas will be able to recover the monies loaned to you.