The UK’s most unusual accountancy firm has revealed a service that enables prison inmates to sell their homes when seeking to raise funds.
Called a forensic accountant, North Manchester and London firm HCA Consultancy says that although it helps people experiencing a range of debt or other financial crisis, this includes property vendors behind bars.
The firm’s team leader Lennie Harris, who also has experience of helping inmates challenge proceeds of crime orders, says he was instructed recently by a prisoner looking to fund an appeal.
He instructed an estate agent to value the property, agreed fees, and arranged viewings through the agent.
He says: “I discussed the marketing strategy and valuation with the agent, who advised a realistic asking price.”
Harris helped get the best price for the property by organising the clearing out of clutter from the property and for the garden to spruced up.
“I obtained confirmation of the outstanding mortgage from his building society and even arranged for a deferral of monthly mortgage payments under the financial assistance provisions during the pandemic,” he says.
“I instructed a conveyancing lawyer on his behalf after agreeing fees and then arranged for funds held in another building society by my client to be transferred to a new investment account in their name.
“The mortgage and property deeds were obtained and then passed on to the prisoner’s legal advisors.”
Working throughout with his client’s legal team who were handling his appeal, Harris arranged for surplus funds from the sale to be transferred to them to cover the appeal costs.