Homeowners left unable to complete sales as cyber attack on law firm IT provider CTS causes chaos

  • The cyber attack impacted between 80 and 200 law firms from last Wednesday
  • No sign that the issues have been resolved with many customers still in limbo
  • Property chains are falling apart due to some parties not being able to complete 

Home movers have been left unable to complete sales and purchases due to a cyber attack on a company that provides IT services to a large number of conveyancing firms.

Reports suggest that somewhere between 80 and 200 law firms may have been impacted by the cyber breach.

The company in question, CTS, was hit by the cyber attack on Wednesday last week and it is unable to confirm when normal service will be resumed.

Home movers have been thrown into limbo following a cyber attack on a company that provides IT services to a large number of conveyancing firms

The regulator for property lawyers, CLC, has confirmed that the conveyancing sector is currently experiencing some disruption to transactions as a result of the cyber breach.

One person contacted This is Money to say they had lost their mortgage offer thanks to the delays.

The issue also has the potential to affect customers who are not using solicitors involved with CTS. 

This is because long property chains of buyers and sellers all rely on each other to ensure they can complete on their own purchases. 

Delays to just one of the transactions could have knock on effects for the rest of the chain.

The person said: ‘We were due to exchange and complete last Friday as we had a mortgage offer expiring.

‘We were only told on Thursday evening last week that one of the solicitors in the chain was impacted by these IT issues.

‘We could not exchange and complete and the solicitor in question had zero willingness or capability to sort without the IT system being back online.

‘We had removal men at my property on the Friday morning which I had to cancel.

‘My mortgage provider extended my deadline until Monday, but I had to return the funds yesterday given we received no further update on the IT system.

‘In total, four parties and three properties in the chain are just on standby equating to £2million in total property value.’

A home mover on X, formerly known as Twitter, said it had been more than week since their last update and expressed concerns about whether their personal information was at risk.

They added: ‘My solicitor has just gone quiet and ignored email requesting info. It has been over a week with no updates other than generic “IT problems” emails from solicitor, no other comms at all despite chasing.

‘And if this was a hack, who has had access to our data? We have no idea! But the process of buying exposes a massive amount of personal data via solicitors including access to bank accounts.’

Anyone remortgaging at present could also be at risk from the cyber attack.

If a remortgaging customer is unable to seamlessly complete on the day their existing mortgage deal expires this means they will fall onto their current lender’s standard variable rate, which can be as high as 9.5 per cent.

CTS has been contacted for comment.  

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