Monday, 20 October 2008

Equity release may be the answer

We've launched a new service designed to help older people ease financial pressures by releasing equity in their homes.

Equishield has been created to guide people through the often complicated process, and it's important to take professional financial advice before taking the plunge.

Simon Wagner, from our Property Team, said: "Equity release has had some bad press in the past, and it is certainly not the answer for everyone. But innovative products are now coming to the marketplace which are helping to restore confidence."

Equity release is the process of unlocking equity in a home – either through a lifetime mortgage, where you receive a lump sum or regular income while interest grows; or through a home reversion scheme, where a company buys all or part of your home, and you receive the proceeds as a lump sum or regular income, or a combination of both.

"Our Equishield service has the added benefit that it not only helps people understand the legal process, risks and rewards of equity release, but that we can visit the client in their own home if they’d prefer," said Simon.

"More and more people are heading towards retirement living in a house they already own outright, yet finding they don’t have enough cash to live on, or to live the kind of lifestyle they would like. For an increasing number of them, equity release may have to be considered as an option to supplement their income or, given the current credit crunch, to consolidate debts – but this option should only be used as a last resort."

To find out more about the Equishield service, visit