Equity Release Council (ERC)

Who Are the Equity Release Council & What Do They Do?
Contributors: Nicola Date, Katherine Read. Edited by Rachel Wait & Reviewed by Francis Hui
The Equity Release Council is a Self-Regulated Non-Profit Organisation That Safeguards the Interests of Homeowners. They Represent over 180 companies.

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The Equity Release Council is a body formed in 1991 that oversees the equity release industry, ensuring a high standard of products and the protection of homeowners unlocking equity from their estate.

Listen up! You’re about to discover why equity release is truly safe.

With a troubled history fraught with scandal and debt, equity release hasn’t always been the best idea for retirees.

The question is, have things changed in Jul 2022?

Through this article, you’ll learn:

  • What does the Equity Release Council (ERC) do?
  • What are the Equity Release Council rules & code of conduct?
  • What standards does the Equity Release Council set?
  • How does the Equity Release Council safeguard homeowners?
  • Who are Equity Release Council members?
  • Who governs the Equity Release Council?
  • Where can I see equity release council reports & data?
  • Who are equity release council solicitors?
  • What are the Equity Release Council membership fees?
  • What jobs are available at the Equity Release Council?
  • What enforcement can the Equity Release Council take?

We’ve spent hours studying over 28 regulated plan providers, summarised the crucial role of the Equity Release Council, and put together this comprehensive guide.

Are you itching to fully understand the role of the Equity Release Council?

Let’s find out now!

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Equity Release Explained

Before you continue reading, we’ve summed up what you’ll want to discover about equity release products in this short video. Check it out!

What Does the Equity Release Council Do?

The role played by the Equity Release Council is to regulate legitimate equity release companies that are located in the UK and protect the interest of the homeowner.

4 of the Equity Release Council’s¹ responsibilities include:

  • Offering you all the information you might require on equity release and its products.
  • Protecting any consumers using equity release, and those who are considering releasing equity from their home.
  • Raising awareness on how equity release might be an ideal option after retirement.
  • Representing more than 180 member firms and more than 500 people in the equity release industry, from experienced financial advisers and lenders to representatives and surveyors.

The Council Regulates Legitimate Equity Release Providers

The Equity Release Council is there to help you recognise the equity release companies to avoid, such as:

  • Plan providers who don’t have a ‘no negative equity guarantee.’
  • Lenders who aren’t members of the ERC.
  • Providers who charge high interest rates.
  • Lenders who charge very high repayments and who charge them early.
  • Equity release firms that give you large loan amounts before they even assess your circumstances.

What’s Their Code of Conduct?

The Equity Release Council’s code of conduct includes your having the right to remain home for life and never owing more than the value of your estate.

Here are more details:

  • The borrower has the right to live at home until they pass away.
  • The borrower will be given clear, and concisely written paperwork which will includes details about setup costs and information on how changes in house values might affect the plan.
  • The consumer’s preferred representative steers any legal work. The borrower and their solicitor² will sign a certificate confirming the plan’s certification and that all the risks and jargon are understood.
  • The client can move their plan to a different property without facing penalties.
  • The Equity Release Certificate will detail the cost to the client’s asset and estate.
  • Equity release plans carry “no negative equity guarantees”.

Are you wondering what this means? Continue reading to find out!

Before You Continue Reading….

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What Is the ‘No Negative Equity Guarantee?’

The ‘no negative equity guarantee‘ is a clause by the Equity Release Council that ensures that you, or your estate,³ will never owe more than the property is worth when it sells.

Simply put, the no negative equity promise means that you (or your estate) will never be liable for more than the property’s value when it is sold.

Latest Equity Release News on Guaranteed Voluntary Repayments

In January 2022, the Equity Release Council announced that all new lifetime mortgage plans unlocked through member lenders must come with the option of voluntary loan and interest repayments.

Furthermore, homeowners can stop and start making payments whenever they wish.

Commonly Asked Questions

Who Are the Equity Release Council?

What Are the Product Standards Put into Place by the Equity Release Council?

What Are the Equity Release Council's Roles and Responsibilities?

How Does the Equity Release Council Protect Me?

In Conclusion

Spending time working out your finances and retirement plan can be quite draining.

Fortunately, the Equity Release Council is there to protect you, should you choose to release equity from your property.

The council will help prevent you and your heirs from spending too much money on interest and losing unnecessary cash.

It’s vital in Jul 2022 to use a regulated and top equity release provider and be aware of the equity release providers to avoid and release equity in a safe and life-changing way.

You can get in touch with your financial adviser today to start your equity release journey.

Make sure you use our equity release calculator and see the amount of equity you can release with a provider that’s a member of the Equity Release Council!

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Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the SovereignBoss advisor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. Sovereignboss may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.

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