8 Feb

Big-Bank Mortgages Are Comfortable, Popular And The Worst Deal Around!


Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg


Big-Bank Mortgages Are Comfortable, Popular And The Worst Deal Around

Why do we stay with them??? Complacency is a big reason. A lack of knowledge is another.

02/07/2019 11:43 EST | Updated 22 hours ago

Justin Thouin Co-Founder and CEO of Lowest Rates

RBC. TD. BMO. Scotiabank. CIBC. National Bank of Canada…. The Big Six.

Whenever one of these major Canadian banks tweak their mortgage rates, it makes headlines. Like last month, when RBC dropped its five-year fixed-term mortgage rate by 0.15 percentage points (or 15 basis points) to 3.74 per cent. Every major news outlet in Canada picked it up.

But here’s the thing about the bank’s posted mortgage rates — they shouldn’t matter. The big banks never offer the lowest mortgage rates in the market and those are the ones you want to pay attention to.

Canadians pay attention to the big guys, however, because they’re either too comfortable to make a change or simply not aware they’re being taken for a ride. The banks have a 90-per-cent stranglehold on the Canadian mortgage market and we’ve been slow to start paying attention to the alternative — often cheaper — options out there.

Complacency is a big reason. A lack of knowledge is another.

See, there’s a whole industry of smaller, more competitive mortgage lenders and brokers who never make headlines. They’re often just as established, they’re absolutely just as reliable, and they’re significantly more affordable. So why do we stay with the big banks? Complacency is a big reason. A lack of knowledge is another.

In every unhealthy relationship, there comes a time to say “enough.” And unless you enjoy funding the mega-profitable Big Six, there’s no better time to say it than now.

Here are the two reasons you should ditch your big bank and try out the plethora of smaller lenders out there.

Brokers and smaller lenders often drop their rates first

In a nutshell, here’s how mortgage rates work: lenders (whether big banks or small lenders) lend money to homebuyers in the form of mortgages. Even big banks have to borrow money at times to ensure they can lend money out to meet demand, and they always borrow at a lower rate than they lend it out at. That’s how they make a profit.

Beginning this past fall, the rates that lenders were borrowing at began to fall. For example, in November 2018, a five-year government of Canada bond was costing lenders 2.5 per cent in interest — it’s now costing them around 1.75 per cent. That reflects the cost of lending in the bond market, which helps influence fixed-rate mortgages. But the big banks are only recently starting to pass these savings onto Canadian consumers.


Smaller lenders and brokers began lowering their mortgage rates ahead of the big banks in January — when they should have. But you didn’t hear about those rate change, because small lenders don’t make headlines.

Brokers and smaller lenders had lower rates to begin with

Even if we put aside the fact that the big banks were inexcusably late with the recent rate drop, it still doesn’t make sense to stay with them. That’s because smaller lenders and brokers consistently offer mortgage rates that are way better than those posted by the banks.

Case in point: RBC’s news-making five-year fixed rate of 3.74 per cent would mean a monthly payment of $2,560 on a $500,000 mortgage (assuming a down payment of at least 20 per cent to avoid CMHC insurance, and a 25-year amortization period).

If you took that same buying scenario ($500,000 mortgage, no CMHC insurance, 25-year amortization period) and mapped it onto rate available in the market — which happens to be 3.23 per cent, at time of publication — you’d be looking at monthly payments of $2,426.

That’s monthly savings of $134. Might not seem like much, but over the course of the 25-year mortgage? You’re looking at saving $40,200 by ditching your bank.

So here’s the headline that you should see, but you never will: Canadians are overpaying by staying with their big bank.

23 Jul

Did You Fib On Your Mortgage Application?


Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

Documenting income can be done in different ways, talk to your broker, he is in the know!

Did You Fib On Your Mortgage Application? There May Be Trouble Ahead

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. wants better income checks to prevent mortgage fraud.

Daniel Tencer – Huffington post.


With house prices rising sharply in some Canadian cities, the pressure on homebuyers to get into the market has grown intense. We are a homeowner society, after all, and for many people, a house or condominium is the ultimate status symbol.

But with housing moving out of affordability range in Toronto, Vancouver and nearby cities, some buyers are taking dubious shortcuts.

A 2017 survey from credit rating agency Equifax found 13 per cent of Canadians say it’s OK to tell a little lie on your mortgage application. Fully 16 per cent believed mortgage fraud is a “victimless crime.” (Just to be clear: Lying on a mortgage application is, in fact, a crime.)

Watch: Surprising number of Canadians lie on mortgage applications (story continues below)

And plenty of people are acting on this ethos. Equifax found a 52-per-cent spike in what they term “suspicious mortgages” between 2013 and 2016. The vast majority of the increase happened in the provinces with the priciest markets — Ontario, with two-thirds of all suspicious mortgages, and British Columbia, with 12 per cent.

To get a sense of just how big this problem is, researchers at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. compared incomes reported on mortgage applications to incomes reported with Canada Revenue Agency, and found that mortgage incomes are systematically higher than incomes reported to CRA, according to a report at the Financial Post.

The researchers found that increases in house prices were linked to an increase in the incidence of “possible income misstatement.” They also found a correlation between this sort of fraud and higher default rates on mortgages.

And that’s the rub: Mortgage fraud is dangerous to our economy, especially in our current era when so much of Canada’s economy is dependent on the long-running housing boom.

If something happens to slow the economy and many households stop paying mortgages, banks will suffer losses and will cut back on lending. That will reduce the amount of money available with which to buy homes, and the whole thing collapses like a house of cards (see: U.S. housing bubble, circa 2008).

Well, now the CMHC wants to do something about it. According to documents obtained by Reuters, the federal housing agency has asked the CRA to take a “more direct and formal role” in verifying incomes.

Unlike in the U.S. and U.K., Reuters noted, Canada’s tax agency doesn’t confirm incomes of mortgage applicants, even if applicants agree to it. The CRA told the news agency it’s now “exploring different avenues” for securely sharing income data with lenders.

If these government agencies come through, lying on your mortgage could become a bit more difficult. Which is a very good thing.

For years in Canada, we patted ourselves on the back for avoiding the U.S.’s housing bust of the last decade. We reminded ourselves constantly that our lending is more responsible than U.S. lending.

But in the wake of the U.S. housing bust, lenders there pulled back and tightened their standards. In Canada, in the intervening years, we’ve done the opposite. Subprime loans — the riskiest kind — have seen an explosion on this side of the border.

No wonder the Bank for International Settlements has repeatedly named our country as a top candidate for a banking crisis. No wonder CMHC wants tighter verification of incomes on mortgages.

If this overpriced housing market comes crashing down one day because too many borrowers couldn’t make their payments, mortgage fraud will prove to be far from a victimless crime. We will all feel that pain.

30 May

Bank of Canada makes interest rate announcement, variable and LOC rates stay put!


Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

Bank of Canada makes interest rate announcement

By Craig Wong

OTTAWA _ The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate target on hold Wednesday, but hinted that rate hikes could be coming as it noted the Canadian economy was a little stronger than expected in the first quarter.

The central bank held its target for the overnight rate _ a key financial benchmark that influences the prime lending rates at the country’s big banks _ steady at 1.25 per cent.

“Exports of goods were more robust than forecast and data on imports of machinery and equipment suggest continued recovery in investment,” the Bank of Canada said in a statement.

“Housing resale activity has remained soft into the second quarter, as the housing market continues to adjust to new mortgage guidelines and higher borrowing rates. Going forward, solid labour income growth supports the expectation that housing activity will pick up and consumption will continue to contribute importantly to growth in 2018.”

The central bank also said global economic activity remains broadly on track, but added that ongoing uncertainty about trade policies is dampening global business investment and stresses are developing in some emerging market economies.

It noted that recent developments have reinforced its view that higher rates will be warranted to keep inflation near its target, but added that it will take a gradual approach and be guided by the economic data.

“In particular, the bank will continue to assess the economy’s sensitivity to interest rate movements and the evolution of economic capacity,” it said.

Economists had predicted the Bank of Canada would keep its key rate on hold Wednesday, but many have suggested the rate may be headed higher later this year.

The central bank’s decision to keep its trend-setting rate on hold came as inflation sits above the two per cent midpoint of its target range of one to three per cent and core inflation has crept past the two per cent mark for the first time since 2012.

It noted that inflation will likely be a bit higher in the near term than was forecast in its April monetary policy report due to recent increases in gasoline prices, but that it will look through the transitory impact of the fluctuations at the pump.

The central bank has raised its key rate three times since last summer, increases that have prompted the big Canadian banks to raise their prime rates which are used to set the rates charged for variable-rate mortgages and other variable-rate loans.

Its next scheduled interest rate decision is set for July 11 when it will also update its outlook for the economy and inflation in its monetary policy report

29 Aug

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


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.


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.


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.


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


Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg

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


Posted by: K.C. Scherpenberg


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


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


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


  • 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!


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


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)



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