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Stop Mortgage Fraud

Beware of mortgage fraudsters….

Stop Mortgage Fraud

I wrote that back in 2006.  Since then we have seen some provincial governments step in with laws to help protect unsuspecting homeowners.  You can also purchase Title insurance or an alternative method of protection.

A couple of years ago, Toronto police said a woman used fake ID to get a $300,000 mortgage.  The unsuspecting homeowner only discovered a mortgage had been fraudulently registered on their home when they received mortgage documents in the mail.

This is not a new scam. It’s happened many times in the past. Here’s a big one from 2010 that involved $140million and hundreds of people.  This one was huge.  Most are not this big or elaborate.  It’s the smaller ones, like the recent one for $300,000, that are more common place.

HOW IT’S DONE

Continue reading “Beware of mortgage fraudsters….”

Federal govt finally takes action on Collateral mortgages.

handcuffsTD Almost 4 years ago, I reported that TD was about to make one of the biggest changes in mortgage history.   They were about to register all their mortgages as a collateral charge.    Consumer advocates spoke out against the collateral charge as they recognized it would limit a borrower’s future options.

A collateral charge is always used for secured lines of credit products.   The charge does not require an amortization which allows the credit balance to go up and down.   Using a collateral charge for ALL mortgage products gives the Banks more power.   It allows them to attach other unsecured debt to your mortgage…  Unsecured credit products such as loans, credit cards, unsecured lines of credit or other unsecured Bank debt.  I bet most people don’t know that?    Continue reading “Federal govt finally takes action on Collateral mortgages.”

CBC Marketplace exposes TD’s collateral mortgage

TDhandcuffs FINALLY!!!!!   A major TV news program calls out TD Canada Trust’s collateral mortgage.  CBC Marketplace aired an episode called ‘Busting the Banks’ on January 25th.  Hey, it’s only taken 2 years but who’s counting??… Lol!    If you want to skip to the video link, just click here and scroll to the 8:00 min mark. (by the way, I should point out my contributions to this episode. I was contacted by the producers of CBC Marketplace for my opinions and advice during the filming of this episode….over the past 3 months, I assisted with some of the research. Hope you find the info useful).

During the program, CBC took a hidden camera into a TD branch….the reporter posed as a potential mortgage borrower….   Only when questioned for the 4th time did the TD banker disclose their mortgage was a collateral charge….  but they didn’t seem to explain the difference between a conventional mortgage and a collateral mortgage… The Banker only agreed that the collateral charge was a disadvantage. Continue reading “CBC Marketplace exposes TD’s collateral mortgage”

Scotiabank closes ING Direct mortgage broker division… but who cares?

Scotia and ING In an email sent to Mortgage Brokers today, ING announced they will close the Mortgage Broker division February 16, 2013.   My first reaction was one of sadness.  In the mid 2000’s, ING was a strong Lender and partner with Mortgage Brokers.   They offered some great products, competitive pricing, a fair prepayment penalty calculation and had an excellent team of employees, including their senior management.

Yes, I was sad to hear they would close the Broker division… But then I asked myself how much would this affect me?  my clients? How much business was I referring to ING these days?  The answer soon made me realize that there isn’t any reason for sadness.    I soon realized that since they made the switch to registering all their mortgages as a collateral mortgage charge, back in December 2011, I all but completely stopped recommending them to my clients. Continue reading “Scotiabank closes ING Direct mortgage broker division… but who cares?”

Fed govt, BIG SIX BANK’s pushed us into Fixed rates!…part 1 of 2.

Mark CarneyVARIABLE RATE MORTGAGES WERE THE BEST OPTION

For years, I’ve promoted the merits of Variable rate greedy bankermortgages vs Fixed rates.   To me, it was a no-brainer.  Historical stats showed that you would save over 1.00% on your mortgage, per year, every year (some years had savings of over 3.00%!).   Do the math…  That works out to $1,000 to $3,000 per year for every $100,000 of mortgage.

And for years, the BIG SIX BANKS, the Bank of Canada, the Federal govt and other fear-mongers pointed out that Variable rates fluctuated and your rates would change and possibly go up…

If  you were able to block out these warnings, do a little research, then you may have been lucky enough to enjoy the huge savings that Variable rates gave us over the last 15 years…  Fortunately, over 80% of my clients listened to my advice and chose Variable rate.  But even at the height of Variable rate popularity,  just 45% of Canadians were ever in a Variable rate product at any one time. Today, it’s less than 15%.

In 2008, the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis hit.   Financial markets were in turmoil.  New Variable rate mortgages were either pulled from the shelf or were priced so high as to make them an unattractive option (prime plus 1.00% with some Banks).

BEGINNING OF THE BANKS HIGHER PROFITS

The Banks actually liked this.   After all, the most profitable mortgage product is the 5 year Fixed rate.  Not hard to figure out.   The lower the interest rate, the less the Bank’s make.   This became a great opportunity for the Banks to reduce their Variable rate exposure…  And so began the great campaign to force us into 5 year fixed rate mortgages.  (by the way, these inflated Variable rate prices only lasted around 6 months…we’re not back to the good old days of Prime less 0.90% but anything at Prime less 0.50% or better is worth a look….it’s worth noting for the record that I still didn’t recommend 5 year fixed rates to my clients during this time… I recommended shorter term fixed rates ranging from 6 months to 3 years and then went back to Variable rate… history has shown that this was the right strategy).

Flaherty and HarperStarting in late 2008, and continuing today, Bankers would call, email or write letters to their Variable rate mortgage clients to warn against higher rates coming…  and they should consider locking into a 5 year fixed rate mortgage.   There were many reasons given… a bad economy… uncertainty in the financial markets… or my favorite, a special rate offer (it was special alright! Lol!!)… And the media jumped in too.  TV, radio, newspapers, major news websites…how many times have you have heard the warnings about rising mortgage rates??…or record personal debt levels??   This created an even higher level of uncertainty and fear… Mr. Potter would be proud!

Think about it… The Banks were strongly recommending that Variable rate clients go from a rate of 3.25% or better, and into a 5 year fixed rate of 5.50%!!? (November 2008).   And the worst part about all this is that hundreds of borrowers listened and did it… and have regretted it ever since!!!  Where’s your Banker now?…

watch for part 2 of 2… FED GOVT, BIG SIX BANK’S pushed us into Fixed rates!… tomorrow!

Getting a mortgage today?  Speak with a Mortgage Broker…and think twice about sticking with your BANK…. you could just save yourself $thousands.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Let me know if I can help.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

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