General

29 Aug

Using a Mortgage Broker When You Buy Your Home. It’s not just the rate!

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

Here is some answers to frequently asked questions and excellent insight published by FSCO, the regulatory body for mortgage agents, brokers and brokerages in Ontario.

And NO, it does not cover your bank employees.. they are not required to be licensed or understand mortgages.

Using a Mortgage Broker When You Buy Your Home

Getting a mortgage is often the largest financial commitment Ontarians make and many homebuyers find that there are several benefits to using a mortgage broker or mortgage agent. Mortgage brokers/agents provide options and information to guide consumers through the mortgage application process. Some lenders will only work through brokers or agents.

What is a Mortgage Broker/Agent?

Mortgage brokers and agents are licensed professionals who work for a licensed mortgage brokerage and it is with the brokerage that you enter into a legal relationship. Mortgage brokers/agents can identify a large number of lenders and options for you, although many work directly with just one or two lenders.

Licensed mortgage brokerages and their agents and brokers can act on behalf of the lender, borrower or both. A borrower shopping for the best mortgage should first confirm with their prospective broker or agent that their role will be to act on their behalf. A licensed broker or agent is required by law to provide written disclosure to you about their relationship so that you can decide.

Depending on the type of license, the licensed professional you deal with may be a mortgage broker, or mortgage agent. Here, “mortgage broker” is used broadly to refer to either of these individuals.

Mortgage brokers:

  • Look at your finances to determine the right type of mortgage product for you.
  • Assess and compare proposed mortgages and determine if you meet the lender’s criteria and if the mortgage is suitable for you.
  • Gather whatever information and documents are needed, and make sure all the paperwork is complete and submitted for the lender to approve.
  • Negotiate with the lender regarding rate and term, liaise during the closing process, provide administration.
  • They can also explain the application and approval process and answer any questions you may have, and review the rate, terms and conditions of the mortgage.

Working with a Mortgage Broker/Agent

From your initial meeting with a mortgage broker to the closing of the transaction, mortgage brokers are subject to a series of regulatory requirements as well as industry accepted practice standards.

Establishing the Relationship

Mortgage brokers are expected to ensure that you, the borrower, understand the relationship you are entering into with the mortgage broker and the services to be provided to you. Mortgage brokers should provide you with information about their role as well as other key aspects of the transaction.  The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) recommends that you get this information up front so you have a good understanding of the mortgage broker’s/agent’s role, the fees that he or she will charge, the services that will be provided and the information that the mortgage broker/agent will need from you.

When entering into a relationship with a licensed mortgage agent or broker, this is the kind of information you should be asking of them:

  • The nature of the broker-client relationship
  • Who the broker represents in the transaction
  • What information you will need to provide
  • How that information will be used
  • How the broker will be compensated
  • The services the broker will provide
  • What is expected from you
  • Any applicable broker charges and fees

It is important to note that if your mortgage is for $400,000 or less, mortgage brokerages in Ontario cannot accept or require you to make an advance payment for any expenses or services that will be offered by the mortgage brokerage or one of its employees, until you sign your mortgage agreement or enter into a new mortgage renewal agreement.

Your mortgage broker may ask you to sign a written service agreement, which is the same as a borrower disclosure. Written service agreements are not mandatory in Ontario but if your broker provides one it will make clear the roles and obligations of the mortgage broker and client.

Qualifying You for a Mortgage

Mortgage brokers need to obtain information from you in order to advise you of your mortgage option(s) and obtain approvals from lenders.

Providing Mortgage Options

Mortgage brokers are expected to provide you with option(s) that are appropriate and suitable to your circumstances based on an assessment of the lender, the mortgage, its structure, its features and its risks in light of the information you have provided on your needs and circumstances.

The mortgage broker will also explain his or her rationale for the option(s) that have been identified, provide you with information that will assist you in determining whether you can afford the mortgage and give you material information on the nature, costs and the particular risks of the mortgage option(s) identified for you. This information will help you decide if the mortgage is right for you.

You may be asked to sign a written acknowledgement of the risks associated with the mortgage.

For further information on the risks related to obtaining a mortgage, please read Understand the Risks of Getting a Mortgage.

Submitting the Application

Mortgage brokers will assess and submit your information to the lender you select from their options for approval. For further information on the application process, please read The Mortgage Application.

The information your mortgage broker provides to the lender must reflect the decision you have made. It must be truthful and consistent with the information you have provided and must not leave out any required information.

Your mortgage broker must submit all the information to the lender in a timely manner. Providing the lender with this information at the proper time ensures they can make the appropriate decision regarding the mortgage.

Disclosures

Mortgage brokers must provide you with certain information to help you make an informed decision about your mortgage. Your mortgage broker will be required to provide you with disclosures that include information on the role of the mortgage broker, the risks of the mortgage, and any potential conflicts of interests.

  • An estimate of the total cost of borrowing for the term of the mortgage must be provided to you. The total cost of the mortgage depends on the terms and conditions for paying it back, such as the interest rate, fees and the amount of time it takes to pay off the entire mortgage (i.e., the “amortization period”). The total cost can be more than the amount you are borrowing.
  • In Ontario, mortgage brokerages, brokers and agents are required to disclose to you the material risks of your mortgage in writing and in a manner that is logical and likely to bring the matter to your attention.
  • All disclosure provided to you must be timely. Providing you with the right information at the right time will help you make an informed decision. In Ontario, there is a minimum two day cooling off period, unless waived. Take the time to review the details of the mortgage.
  • The information your mortgage broker provides to help you make a decision must not contain misrepresentations, untrue or misleading statements. The information provided should be accurate and clear.  If you do not understand any part of your mortgage transaction, you should ask your mortgage broker for clarification.

For further information on what licensed mortgage professionals are required to disclose, or what they cannot require you to do, please read Checklist – Working With a Mortgage Broker/Agent.

Documentation

Conflict of Interest

Mortgage brokerages, brokers and agents must ensure that actual or potential conflicts of interest in connection with the mortgage are disclosed in writing.

A conflict of interest occurs when the mortgage broker has an actual or perceived personal interest in the transaction. That personal interest could influence the broker to provide advice to you that is in their interests, not yours.

Many things can lead to a conflict of interest, including receiving fees or incentives from other parties in the transaction, being related to another party in the transaction, and acting as a lender or realtor in the transaction.

Mortgage brokers must disclose conflicts of interest and should not place their own interests above the interests of their clients. If the mortgage broker is only representing you in the transaction, he or she has to place your interests first. If you feel that any advice, options or recommendations provided by your broker are not based on your interests, for example that the broker has received an incentive, call the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) at (416) 250-7250 or toll free at 1-800-668-0128 and ask for the Contact Centre.

How to find a licensed broker or agent

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) licenses mortgage brokers, agents, brokerages and administrators in Ontario. Licensed mortgage professionals have met specific education, experience and suitability requirements.

FSCO maintains a list of all licensed mortgage professionals who have been approved for Licensing under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act (MBLAA). Further verification can be obtained by faxing 416-226-7838, Attention: Licensing & Market Conduct Division. Or, you may write to: Licensing & Market Conduct Division, Financial Services Commission of Ontario, 5160 Yonge Street, Box 85, Toronto, ON, M2N 6L9.

Before agreeing to work with a mortgage broker, you should ask these questions:

  • Are you a licensed mortgage broker? If yes, capture the license number.
  • Do you represent the borrower, the lender or both?
  • Do I need to sign a contract?
  • What services do you provide and how will you help me?
  • Do you charge a fee? How will you be compensated?
  • How many lenders do you work with? Was most of your business done through one lender last year?

If your mortgage broker has a service agreement (not mandatory in Ontario) be sure to read it and discuss the terms and conditions with him or her. It will help you understand the services the mortgage broker will provide and well as any fees, payments or possible reimbursements.

30 May

1 in 4 homebuyers had issues after purchase says insurer.

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

From our friends at Mortgage Brokernews,

Costly repairs could be awaiting homebuyers as a new survey shows that owners may be missing some important factors when renovating or carrying out maintenance.

Allstate Canada found that 58 per cent of homeowners are planning to do renovation work but 32 per cent of those are looking at cosmetic projects. The insurance firm says they could be ignoring risks.

“Picking out a wallpaper pattern is much more fun than having to remove it after-the-fact, so taking a step back to see if there are risks brewing under the surface and taking care of those first may help avoid a lot of headache and heartache,” says André Parra, Regional Claims Director at Allstate Canada

For buyers, missed damage such as water leaks, roof infiltration and electrical wiring hazards can mean costs and inconvenience for homebuyers.

A quarter of buyers surveyed said they had problems after buying a home with over half facing costs of at least $1,500. Almost a third said they would have gone about their homebuying experience differently if they could do it again.

24 May

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Relations
613-782-8782
Ottawa, Ontario
24 May 2017
Available as: PDF
The Bank of Canada is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.
Inflation is broadly in line with the Bank’s projection in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Food prices continue to decline, mainly because of intense retail competition, pushing inflation temporarily lower. The Bank’s three measures of core inflation remain below two per cent and wage growth is still subdued, consistent with ongoing excess capacity in the economy.
The global economy continues to gain traction and recent developments reinforce the Bank’s view that growth will gradually strengthen and broaden over the projection horizon. As anticipated, growth in the United States during the first quarter was weak, reflecting mostly temporary factors. Recent data point to a rebound in the second quarter.  The uncertainties outlined in the April MPR continue to cloud the global and Canadian outlooks.
The Canadian economy’s adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete and recent economic data have been encouraging, including indicators of business investment. Consumer spending and the housing sector continue to be robust on the back of an improving labour market, and these are becoming more broadly based across regions. Macroprudential and other policy measures, while contributing to more sustainable debt profiles, have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on housing markets. Meanwhile, export growth remains subdued, as anticipated in the April MPR, in the face of ongoing competitiveness challenges. The Bank’s monitoring of the economic data suggests that very strong growth in the first quarter will be followed by some moderation in the second quarter.
All things considered, Governing Council judges that the current degree of monetary stimulus is appropriate at present, and maintains the target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent.
Information note:
The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 12 July 2017. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR at the same time.  

27 Apr

New Rules effective April 24 2017, from our friends at the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

http://kcscherpenberg.ca/

Regulatory changes that would require home buyers in Ontario to provide comprehensive information regarding their citizenship and place of residence are poised to take effect this Monday (April 24), as the province inaugurates the Prescribed Information for Purposes of Section 5.0.1 Form.

The form will accompany the documents involved in land-transfer tax payment. The provincial government said that it launched the form as part of its drive “to support evidence‑based policy development with respect to Ontario's real estate market,” CBC News reported.

The rules, which were announced along with the economic statement last fall, will be applicable to anyone who purchases either agricultural land or a parcel that hosts between one and six single-family properties.

Information required by the new form will include:

  • the type of dwelling (detached, semi‑detached, condominium unit, etc.)

- whether the home is intended to be a principal residence or an investment property
- residency, citizenship, and permanent resident status of the individual buying the property
- for purchases involving a numbered company, information on the identity of the corporation’s owner

  • for purchases involving a person buying the property on behalf of another individual, information on the beneficial owner/s

To facilitate easier transition, the provincial government said that it will be providing a two-week grace period (April 24 to May 5), in which no penalties will be applied to those who fill out the new form incorrectly.

Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or concerns... 705 646 2777 or 705 333 2222 or kscherpenberg@dominionlending.ca We can give you expert professional advice right away for approvals, preapprovals, purchases, refinances, etc...

11 Apr

Big bank report points to importance of service brokers provide

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

by Justin da Rosa 11 Apr 2017

 

Brokers have for years boasted about their ability to find the best mortgage for clients — by considering more than just the best rate — and a new study suggests young homebuyers need that service now more than ever.

When it comes to buying a home, it’s in a purchaser’s best interest to consider all aspects of a mortgage – and not just the rate. But it seems many aren’t considering their mortgage from all angles, with a new study finding many regret taking on a mortgage that has left them house poor.

“It’s important to choose the house and mortgage that you can afford so that you can manage your cashflow and won’t end up with buyer’s remorse,” David Nicholson, Vice-President, CIBC Imperial Service, said. “A house can represent so much – a new start, independence, putting down roots, starting a family or building wealth. But, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons and crunch the numbers so it’s the right decision for today and tomorrow.”

Many Millennials regret purchasing their homes, according to a recent CIBC report.  A poll found 39% of Millennials have become homeowners; of those purchasers, 81% plan to sell in near future.

Of those, 63% cited housing costs making them cash poor; 57% are afraid interest rate increases will make it more difficult to meet payment requirements; and 36% believe renting is the better option.

The results speak to the growing need for the services brokers provide – which include in-depth advice about long- and short-term mortgage options that best suit individual financial goals.

“One of the problems you have with Millennials is they figure they can get all the information they need online as opposed to the information from people like brokers. The internet is no different from a dictionary or encyclopaedia,” Bill Macklem, a BC-based broker with Dominion Lending Centres, told MortgageBrokerNews. “You can research how to build a car or a plane but building it is another matter. You need to have someone that is going to be your advocate, who is going to see what you’re doing and help you plan it out. We don’t have enough financial education and I think brokers provide that.”

15 Mar

Deadline is here.. CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

OTTAWA, January 17, 2017 — CMHC is increasing its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums effective March 17, 2017. For the average CMHC-insured homebuyer, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment.

“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI’s new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1st of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital. Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long term stability of the financial system.

During the first nine months of 2016:

  • The average CMHC-insured loan was approximately $245,000.
  • The average down payment was approximately 8%.
  • The average gross debt service ratio (GDS) was 25.6%. To qualify for CMHC insurance, a homebuyer’s GDS should not exceed 32% of their total monthly household income.
Down payment between 5% and 9.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $2.82 $4.70 $6.59 $8.47 $10.35 $15.98

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

*Premiums in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are subject to provincial sales tax — the sales tax cannot be added to the loan amount.

Premiums are calculated based on the loan-to-value ratio of the mortgage being insured. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum but more frequently is added to the mortgage principal and repaid over the life of the mortgage as part of regular mortgage payments. Additional details and scenarios are included in the backgrounder below.

CMHC regularly reviews its premiums and sets them at a level to cover related claims and expenses while also reflecting the regulatory capital requirements.

CMHC is Canada’s most experienced mortgage loan insurer. Our mortgage loan insurance enables Canadians to buy a home with a minimum down payment starting at 5%. As a Crown corporation, CMHC is the only mortgage insurer whose proceeds benefit all Canadians.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For additional highlights please see the attached backgrounder.

For more information, follow us on TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on This Release:

Karine LeBlanc
Media Relations
613-740-5413
kjleblan@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Backgrounder

  • CMHC’s standard mortgage loan insurance premiums will be changing as follows:
Loan-to-Value Ratio Standard Premium (Current) Standard Premium (Effective March 17, 2017)
Up to and including 65% 0.60% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.75% 1.70%
Up to and including 80% 1.25% 2.40%
Up to and including 85% 1.80% 2.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.40% 3.10%
Up to and including 95% 3.60% 4.00%
90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment 3.85% 4.50%
Down payment between 10% and 14.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $4.94 $8.23 $11.52 $14.81 $18.10 $27.98

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

Down payment between 15% and 19.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $7.06 $11.75 $16.46 $21.16 $25.86 $39.96

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

  • During the first nine months of 2016
    • Nearly 50% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of less than $300,000
    • Nearly 95% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of less than $600,000
    • Less than 1% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of more than $850,000
  • CMHC follows OSFI guidelines for federally regulated mortgage insurers in Canada.
  • Calculating the gross debt service ratio (GDS) allows potential homebuyers to estimate the maximum home-related expenses they can afford to pay each month.

GDS = Principal + Interest* + Property Tax + Heat
Monthly Income

*Interest is calculated using the qualifying rate

  • Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
  • CMHC’s new premium rates will be effective for new mortgage loan insurance requests submitted on or after March 17, 2017. The current mortgage loan insurance premiums will apply for applications submitted to CMHC prior to this date, regardless of the closing date. As is normal practice, complete borrower and property details must be submitted to CMHC when requesting mortgage loan insurance.
  • The changes do not impact mortgages currently insured by CMHC.
10 Mar

TD bank employees admit to breaking the law, In the name of record profits! Independent Advise is only A call away!

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

‘We do it because our jobs are at stake’: TD bank employees admit to breaking the law for fear of being fired – Business – CBC News

‘We do it because our jobs are at stake’: TD bank employees admit to breaking the law for fear of being fired

Hundreds of current and former employees respond to CBC report with stories of pressure to upsell customers

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CBC’s Go Public received hundreds of emails from current and former TD Bank Group employees after its report earlier this week about the pressure front-line staff say they’re under to sell customers products and services they don’t need. (CBC News, Reuters/Mark Blinch)

3.1k shares

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A CBC report earlier this week about TD employees pressured to meet high sales revenue goals has touched off a firestorm of reaction from TD employees across the country — some of whom admit they have broken the law at their customers’ expense in a desperate bid to meet sales targets and keep their jobs.

Hundreds of current and former TD Bank Group employees wrote to Go Public describing a pressure cooker environment they say is “poisoned,” “stress inducing,” “insane” and has “zero focus on ethics.”

Some employees admitted they broke the law, claiming they were desperate to earn points towards sales goals they have to reach every three months or risk being fired. CBC has agreed to conceal their identities because their confessions could have legal ramifications.

TD insists all its employees are to follow the company’s code of ethics, but many employees who contacted Go Public said that’s impossible to do given the sales expectations.

“I’ve increased people’s lines of credit by a couple thousand dollars, just to get SR [sales revenue] points,” said a teller who worked for several years at a TD branch in Windsor, Ont.

He admits he didn’t tell the customers, which is a violation of the federal Bank Act.

TD bank in Windsor, Ontario

A former teller at this TD branch in Windsor, Ont., admits he increased customers’ lines of credit without their knowledge to meet his sales targets.

Another teller with over 20 years’ experience at an Ontario TD branch said she has increased customers’ overdraft protection amounts without their knowledge, and increased their TD Visa card limits on the sly — all to earn units towards her sales revenue target.

Many TD workers wrote to say they are on medical leave, suffering from anxiety and/or depression because of the constant pressure to upsell customers.

One teller on sick leave described how a manager stood behind her three times a day, pushing her to sell more.

‘They just really stress you out … I’d be be thinking … ‘What can I do tomorrow to try and get sales?” – TD teller 

“They just really stress you out and say, ‘You’re not doing good. I need you to do double the amount you’ve been doing.’ I couldn’t sleep. I’d be thinking … ‘What can I do tomorrow to try and get sales?'”

She admits to upgrading customers to a higher-fee account without telling them.

“Because that gives us sales revenue. And the customers don’t have to sign for it.”

‘I wouldn’t have noticed the $29.95’

Bev Beaton believes she’s been a victim of a TD teller desperate to generate sales revenue.

In January, she noticed a service charge on her account for $29.95. When she called TD to ask about it, she was told it was because she was in an account that required her to keep a minimum monthly balance of $5,000 or she would be charged that monthly fee.

Bev Beaton

Bev Beaton says a teller at her TD branch in Victoria moved her into a higher-fee account without her knowledge. (Bev Beaton )

“I said, ‘I did not ask for this account. There’s no way I would have asked for this account.’ And [the bank employee] said, ‘You must have.'”

When Beaton checked her statements, she saw that she’d been moved to the higher-fee account last May, but only noticed when her balance dropped below $5,000 for the first time in December and she was hit with the service charge.

“I was very annoyed,” Beaton said. “And I think it’s dishonest. Because if I wasn’t looking at my statement closely, I wouldn’t have noticed the $29.95.”

Financial advisers also admit deceit

TD employees tell Go Public the pressure to deceive customers extends beyond front-line staff to workers handling wealth management.

‘I have invested clients’ savings into funds which were not suitable, because of the … pressure.’ – TD financial adviser 

“We do it because our jobs are at stake,” said one financial adviser in Ontario.

She admits she acted in her own interest rather than that of her clients after being put on a Performance Improvement Plan — a program that involves coaching and could result in termination of employment — because she wasn’t meeting her sales targets.

“I have invested clients’ savings into funds which were not suitable, because of the SR [sales revenue] pressure,” she said. “That’s very difficult to admit. I didn’t do this lightly.”

‘I was forced to lie to customers’

A former TD financial adviser in Calgary says he would downplay the risk of products that gave him a big boost towards his quarterly goal.

“I was forced to lie to customers, just to meet the sales revenue targets,” he said.

“I was always asked by my managers to attach unnecessary products or services to the original sale just to increase the sales points — and not care if the customer can afford it or not.”

A financial adviser who worked for six years in Nanaimo, B.C., before quitting says “people eventually snap, or lose all sense of themselves and do anything to close sales.”

“I have had multiple conversations with branch and district managers. These conversation lead to my being asked if I was still the right fit for the job.”

Employees must abide by code of ethics: TD

In statement provided to Go Public, TD spokesperson Daria Hill wrote every employee must “act ethically and … not allow a focus on business results to come before our focus on customers.”

In an internal letter written to TD employees and obtained by Go Public, Andy Pilkington, executive vice-president of branch banking, wrote, “We don’t believe the [CBC] story is an accurate portrayal of our culture,” but said the report was an opportunity “to pause, reflect and ask ourselves … how we can do better for our people and our customers.”

One TD teller balked at Pilkington’s letter, sending an email to Go Public that says, “Maybe if they stood back for a moment and thought about how they have put so much pressure on employees (with ridiculous sales goals) they wouldn’t be in this situation right now!”

Concern for seniors

News that bank employees are required to meet what they consider to be extreme sales goals — with some even acting underhandedly — is a concern to Wanda Morris, vice-president of advocacy for CARP, a national advocacy association for people over age 50.

“As people age, there’s a little bit of decline in their cognitive functioning so they trust others and are potentially at risk from somebody who doesn’t have their best interests at heart,” she said.

Wanda Morris

Wanda Morris of CARP, an advocacy group for Canadians over age 50, wants legislation that requires bank employees to act in a customer’s best interest. (CBC)

“Canadian banks are some of the most profitable companies in this country. I hope we’ll see … some more empathy towards both employees and customers.”

Calls for government intervention

Democracy Watch founder Duff Conacher says the fact that hundreds of bank employees have written to express concern over their high-pressure sales environment is an indication that Ottawa needs to act.

“We need the federal government to put rules in place and stop being so negligent — allowing the banks to get away with this unethical gouging and unethical sales practices,” he said.

Duff Conacher

Democracy Watch co-founder Duff Conacher says now is the time for people to push the federal government to improve bank regulations because the Bank Act is currently under review.

“The fact that the CBC is revealing this as opposed to [the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada] or the ombudsman for banking services shows just how much the government has failed to ensure that those protection watchdog agencies have the powers, have the mandate and the resources to do their job.”

Conacher says now is the time for people to pressure Ottawa to tighten bank regulations because the federal Bank Act is currently under review.

“I just find it amazing that we haven’t seen any political party or politician stand up and say, ‘We’re going to make these key changes to ensure that banks are required to serve everyone fairly … and look out for their customers’ best interests and not just try and gouge them.'”

with files from James Roberts 

3 Feb

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage?

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

Great insight from our colleague Pam Pinkert,

 

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage? – Dominion Lending Centres

3 Feb 2017

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage?

What Does It Actually Mean To Co-sign For a Mortgage?There seems to be some confusion about what it actually means to co-sign on a mortgage and you know that where there is confusion, your trusted mortgage professional seeks to offer clarity. Let’s take a quick look at why you may be asked to co-sign and what you need to know before, during, and after the co-signing process.

So why are you being asked? Last year there were two sets of changes made to the mortgage world which can likely explain why you are receiving this request in the first place.

The first occurred early in 2016 whereby the overall lending standards were increased in regards to an individual’s management of their credit and the resulting responsibility of Canada’s financial institutions to ensure they are lending prudently. We have seen an increase in requests for co-borrowers to help strengthen applications when credit or job stability is an issue.

The second happened just in October. A new ‘stress test’ rate applies which has especially impacted borrowers with less than 20% down. They must qualify at a rate of 4.64% though their actual interest rate is much lower. This has decreased affordability for many which means they could be looking for a co-borrower to increase how much home they can qualify for.

If it was me, I would ask questions as to exactly why the applicant needs a co-borrower. If it is a credit issue then you need to assess if that an acceptable risk. If it is a matter of not enough income, you need to assess that instead. What is the exit strategy for you all from this joint mortgage?

What can you expect? You will be required to complete an application and have your credit pulled. As you are now a borrower the banks will ask you for all the documentation that the main applicant has already provided. This can include but will not be limited to:

  • Letter of employment
  • Paystubs
  • 2 years Notice of Assessments, Financial Statements and complete T1 Generals
  • Mortgage statements on all properties you own
  • Bank statements if helping with the down payment
  • Property tax bills
  • Lease agreements
  • Divorce/separation agreement

So you get the idea. You are now a full applicant and will be asked for a whole bunch of paperwork. It is not just a matter of saying yes. Once the application is complete and all conditions have been met with the mortgage, you will have to meet with the lawyer as well.

What do you need to be aware of?

  1. This is now a monthly liability according to the world. You will have to disclose this debt on all your own applications going forward. It can affect your ability to borrow in the future
  2. Each lender is different in their policy as to how soon you can come off the mortgage. Familiarize yourself with this. Are you committing to this indefinitely or only for a couple of years?
  3. Mortgages report on the credit bureaus so you could be adversely affected if there are late payments
  4. If the main applicant cannot make the payment for whatever reason, you are saying that you will. Make sure your budget can handle that for a few months.

A few things you may want to consider if you do agree to co-sign:

  • Ask for an annual statement to be sent to you as well on both the mortgage and the property taxes.
  • Consider a joint account for mortgage payments so that you can check in every so often to ensure all payments are being made on time
  • Talk about life insurance! If the worst occurs, then at least have enough of a policy in effect, with yourself as the beneficiary, to cover a year of mortgage, taxes and bills so that you are not hit with an unexpected series of expenses until the property sells.

So though you just want to help your loved one into their dream home, you are all better served if you know exactly what you are getting into and are prepared for the contingencies. We here at Dominion Lending Centres are ready to help!

Pam Pikkert

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Pam is part of DLC Regional Mortgage Group based in Red Deer, AB

20 Jan

Some great insight on all the mortgage changes from our colleague Kristin Woolard

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

20 Jan 2017

Summary of the New Mortgage Market

Summary of the New Mortgage MarketThere have been a lot of changes in the mortgage market over the past few months so many Canadian’s plans regarding homeownership may have shifted quite a bit from last year.

First, new qualification rules came to pass in October where even though actual contract rates are sitting at about 2.79% all Canadians have to now qualify at the Bank of Canada Benchmark rate of 4.64% to prove payments can still be met when rates go up in the future. That has taken about 20% of people’s purchase power out of the equation.

The second round of rules were implemented at the end of November with the government requiring banks to carry more of the cost or lending having to do with how they utilize mortgage insurance and the level of capital they have to have on reserve. This means it is more costly for banks to lend so they are passing some of that cost to Canadians.

We now have a tiered rate pricing system based on whether you are “insurable” and meet new insurer requirement to qualify at 4.64% with a maximum 25-year amortization (CMHC, Genworth, Canada Guaranty are the 3 insurers in Canada) or are “uninsurable” where you may have more than 20% down but can’t qualify at the Benchmark rate or need an amortization longer than 25-years to qualify or are self-employed so can’t meet traditional income qualification requirements. Canadians who are uninsurable will be charged a premium to their rate of anywhere from 15-40bps. So your rate would go from 2.79% to 2.94% at the very least.

Then in BC there was the announcement of the BC HOME Partnership Program (BCHPP) in January. We have finally had some clarification on how this works but the benefits are not as grand as the BC Government would like them to appear.

The BCHPP is a tool to assist First Time Homebuyers supplement their down payment by the government matching what they have saved up to 5% of the purchase price. While this may help some clients bring more money to the table we have to factor a payment on that “loan” into the debt-servicing mix so they will actually qualify for less by way of a mortgage. They have more down payment but can not get as high a mortgage so it’s very close to a wash.

Lastly, as of mid January, CMHC announced they are increasing mortgage insurance premiums on March 17th. Genworth and Canada Guaranty are likely to follow. The insurance premiums are based on a percentage of the mortgage amount requested and how much you have to put down. For people with 5% down the premium will go from 3.60% to 4.00% and if you want to take advantage of the BCHPP program the premium will go from 3.85% up to 4.5%

What does this all mean? Overall it is more costly and more confusing to get a mortgage today than we have seen in many years. With the complexity of the new mortgage market, now more than ever buyers need someone with extensive knowledge to help them sort through their options – such as your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

If we can be of assistance to you or someone you know, please do not hesitate to contact us 705 646 2777

17 Jan

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

General

Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

OTTAWA, January 17, 2017 — CMHC is increasing its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums effective March 17, 2017. For the average CMHC-insured homebuyer, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment.

“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI’s new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1st of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital. Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long term stability of the financial system.

During the first nine months of 2016:

  • The average CMHC-insured loan was approximately $245,000.
  • The average down payment was approximately 8%.
  • The average gross debt service ratio (GDS) was 25.6%. To qualify for CMHC insurance, a homebuyer’s GDS should not exceed 32% of their total monthly household income.
Down payment between 5% and 9.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $2.82 $4.70 $6.59 $8.47 $10.35 $15.98

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

*Premiums in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are subject to provincial sales tax — the sales tax cannot be added to the loan amount.

Premiums are calculated based on the loan-to-value ratio of the mortgage being insured. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum but more frequently is added to the mortgage principal and repaid over the life of the mortgage as part of regular mortgage payments. Additional details and scenarios are included in the backgrounder below.

CMHC regularly reviews its premiums and sets them at a level to cover related claims and expenses while also reflecting the regulatory capital requirements.

CMHC is Canada’s most experienced mortgage loan insurer. Our mortgage loan insurance enables Canadians to buy a home with a minimum down payment starting at 5%. As a Crown corporation, CMHC is the only mortgage insurer whose proceeds benefit all Canadians.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For additional highlights please see the attached backgrounder.

For more information, follow us on TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on This Release:

Karine LeBlanc
Media Relations
613-740-4513
kjleblan@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Backgrounder

  • CMHC’s standard mortgage loan insurance premiums will be changing as follows:
Loan-to-Value Ratio Standard Premium (Current) Standard Premium (Effective March 17, 2017)
Up to and including 65% 0.60% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.75% 1.70%
Up to and including 80% 1.25% 2.40%
Up to and including 85% 1.80% 2.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.40% 3.10%
Up to and including 95% 3.60% 4.00%
90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment 3.85% 4.50%
Down payment between 10% and 14.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $4.94 $8.23 $11.52 $14.81 $18.10 $27.98

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

Down payment between 15% and 19.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $7.06 $11.75 $16.46 $21.16 $25.86 $39.96

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

  • During the first nine months of 2016
    • Nearly 50% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of less than $300,000
    • Nearly 95% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of less than $600,000
    • Less than 1% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of more than $850,000
  • CMHC follows OSFI guidelines for federally regulated mortgage insurers in Canada.
  • Calculating the gross debt service ratio (GDS) allows potential homebuyers to estimate the maximum home-related expenses they can afford to pay each month.

GDS = Principal + Interest* + Property Tax + Heat
Monthly Income

*Interest is calculated using the qualifying rate

  • Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
  • CMHC’s new premium rates will be effective for new mortgage loan insurance requests submitted on or after March 17, 2017. The current mortgage loan insurance premiums will apply for applications submitted to CMHC prior to this date, regardless of the closing date. As is normal practice, complete borrower and property details must be submitted to CMHC when requesting mortgage loan insurance.
  • The changes do not impact mortgages currently insured by CMHC.