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Solicitors: Family law

Application process

    What is the application process?

    To begin the application process, you will need to complete an application form on your client's behalf. You can access this via your dedicated online portal which is available once you have signed the Global Terms agreement with Novitas. Your client will approve the application before Novitas will make a lending decision.

    If Novitas approve the loan application, loan documents will be sent to the client directly. The client is required to take independent legal advice (ILA), which they pay for directly, and they send evidence of this, and their signed documents to Novitas. 

    Once Novitas receive the signed documents (including the ILA document) there is a statutory 14 days cooling off period before the first draw down can be made, with your client's approval.

    If after the cooling off period your client chooses not to proceed with the loan, they will be charged the administration fee of £500 or 1% of the facility, whichever is higher.

    At what stage of the case can my client apply for a loan?

    We will look at loans at any stage of proceedings. If the loan is pre-Form E we may cap the amount drawn down until we have seen the full asset and liability schedule. In the case of financial proceedings, we require that a divorce petition must have been issued before an application is made to us.

    Does the firm have to prepare the legal agreements for the loan?

    No. Novitas is responsible for the loan contracts and legal agreements with the client. Once they are approved, Novitas deals directly with the client regarding the loan.

    Does the client have to take independent legal advice?

    Yes. Once the client has the loan documents we ask that they take independent legal advice. This ensures that they understand the loan and the implications if they do not repay it. This advice cannot be given by your firm, however you can suggest another firm. The client must pay for this advice directly.

    What does the client need to sign?

    Your client will need to sign the following: 

    • Pre-contract information
    • Adequate Explanations document
    • Consumer Credit Act regulated loan agreement
    • Deed of Assignment over proceeds of settlement
    • Authorisation letter, permitting you, their solicitor, to communicate with Novitas.
    • They will also need to provide a letter of independent legal advice.

    What credit checks do you do?

    We carry out standard  credit checks as part of the application. If the client has a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) to pay off an existing debt, we are unlikely to lend to them. 

    If you make the first drawdown more than two months after the Novitas loan is made live, or a loan extension is required, we will carry out a further credit check.

    Once approved, is there a time limit for the first draw down to be requested?

    The first draw down will need to be requested within one year after the cooling off period has been completed. If after two months the Novitas loan has not been used, we will carry out a further credit check.