I have recently acted for a number of purchasers of properties from mortgagees in possession. They will often impose impossible deadlines for exchange of contracts – sometimes a week or 10 days from receipt of contract documentation. The upshot is that searches cannot be made within the timescale, and the title cannot be properly investigated, let alone a mortgage offer received. Clients become anxious about losing the property if exchange of contracts is not within the timescale.

 Is it not time that a protocol was adopted to force lenders to adopt a more reasonable timescale in repossession transactions?

 Osian Roberts, Guthrie Jones & Jones, Denbigh