Long term contracts have a price… nothing has changed from 2010

Originally posted in 2010…. some things never change..  enjoy and beware.

Here’s a great article written by consumer advocate, Ellen Roseman.  She points to different industries where signing in for the long term protection can be very costly and expensive.

Ever wanted to change cell phone providers?  How about internet providers?  Move your investments or rrsps?  Cancel that hydro or gas contract because you moved?

And how about mortgages?  When interest rates started heading downward about 12 months ago, thousands of borrowers in fixed rate mortgages wanted to get out of their higher rates and start benefitting from the record low interest rates we have been seeing.

But they were shocked to hear of unbelievably high early prepayment penalties… the example Ellen uses is about a $46k penalty on a $530k mortgage with a major bank…  I’ve seen dozens and dozens of situations like this.

Beware of long term mortgages… with the average person moving or refinancing about every 3 years, choosing a 5 year fixed rate term is usually not the best option.  It could cost you more than you think… always seek professional advice from a reputable mortgage broker before selecting your mortgage.

(Just a personal note… It sure would have been nice to see some mortgage relief given to the average homeowner during the recession.   CMHC used to cap their penalties to 3 months interest but removed this cap in 2000…quietly, all financial institutions are free to charge a higher penalty…and they all do.. the longer the term, the greater the penalty…)

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Another example of BIG SIX BANK inflated penalty calculation.. $13,634.00! Wow!

big-six-banks1 If you still think your local BANK is your best friend, think again.  Last week, one of my client’s discovered it would cost them $13,634 to exit their mortgage early.  Compared with only $2736 if they had chosen a BETTER mortgage Lender.

Here’s the details..  The clients had a $395,000 mortgage balance remaining.  Renewal date was October 2018.  Original term was 5 yrs and their rate was 2.77%.  The rate is competitive, but not any better than what I could have offered at that time.  There had to pay the mortgage out.

Penalty quote is $13,634.  That’s equal to over 14 months interest!!  Wow!  Incredible.   $13,634 compared to $2736.

I’ve shared many examples similar to this in the past.  It’s really simple.  DON’T FOCUS ON THE RATE!.   There is so much more to choosing a mortgage than just rate.  The average Canadian changes their mortgage ever 3 years.  And there are many reason this happens.. change of job, marital status, family issues, health issues, etc.

And if you are expecting your Banker to show you other products to compare, well, that’s just not gonna happen.  It’s like expecting Ford to send you to Toyota for a new car.  Not gonna happen. Do yourself a favour and speak with an unbiased, neutral professional. Speak with an experienced Mortgage Broker that deals with dozens of Lenders.  You’ll be glad you did.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Historical low mortgage rates mean RECORD HIGH penalties for BIG SIX BANK clients!

greedy bankerMortgage penalty calculations continue to mystify Canadian consumers.  For years, I’ve posted numerous articles on penalties…  how they affect us… how they are calculated…..why you need to understand them.. and most importantly, HOW TO AVOID THEM!!

Today, I’ll give you explicit details on the great mortgage penalty mystery…

I’ve shared dozens of horror stories about average Canadians being hit with mortgage penalties of $12,000, $15,000, $20,000, $30,000 and more.   These examples aren’t from some obscure small financial institution. It’s your BIG SIX BANK.   Yet, the attitude from Consumers is that it won’t or doesn’t affect them….until it’s too late.

I’ve also shared the solution on how to avoid this… and I’m going to share that with you once again..  If you want to know how to avoid monster penalties, then take a few minutes and read this.. It could save you untold $$thousands…. Read the rest of this entry »

RBC charges homeowner $8900 penalty, or 15 months interest charge!

RBC-BankPicture this… Your mortgage is with the biggest Canadian Bank in Canada.  You feel sBankstersafe.  You got a great rate at the time… 2.99%.   What could go wrong?  Well, for these clients, and hundreds others, plenty!

Check out the RBC Discharge stmnt oct 2014 showing an Interest Rate Differential (IRD) prepayment penalty of $8912 on a mortgage balance of $213,562.   Now, $8912 is a lot of money, but you’ve seen me expose even higher penalties in the past.   Penalties as high as $35,000 and $40,000.   But, put another way, that’s over 15 months worth of interest penalty being charged.   And that’s just ridiculous!

NEWS FLASH!  This type of inflated prepayment penalty calculation isn’t exclusive to RBC, the rest of the BIG SIX BANKS use a similar calculation.   And they’ve been getting away with these outrageous penalties for over 14 years!  (actually, this isn’t a new story.. I’ve been writing about these nightmare, or bankmare, penalties for years.)

Let me put this another way…. Read the rest of this entry »

Mortgage Penalties exposed… an in-depth study, part 2…the update.

greedy banker Two years ago I published, what would become, my most widely read article.   Mortgage Penalties exposed…. an in-depth study reveals unjust penalties was written to show just how unfair penalties had become.   The surprising results showed that the BIG SIX BANKS were the leaders when it came to charging the highest penalties in Canada.   If you had a Fixed rate mortgage and thought your mortgage penalty could only be a 3 month interest charge, you were in for a huge shock.

Consumers were experiencing $10k, $15k, $20k and even $30k in prepayment penalties and more! Ridiculous amounts.   Put another way, these penalties equaled 12, 16, 20 months worth of interest and sometimes more!   But we also discovered some good news..   There are better alternatives to the BIG SIX BANKS.!  There are several other Lenders that don’t use the same inflated and unfair prepayment penalty calculation as the BIG SIX BANKS.   There are other Lenders with competitive, and often better, interest rates, and with much lower penalties.  That original study opened the eyes of Canadian borrowers. (another eye-opening stat…the BIG SIX BANKS reported a record $30billion in combined profits for 2012.)

Two years later, with more consumers being forced into Fixed Rate products, we thought it was time to revisit Mortgage Penalties and see what changes had been made, if any…

Read the rest of this entry »

Mortgage Penalties exposed…. an in-depth study reveals unjust penalties.

On November 26, 2010, we reported that a good source told us the govt would not follow through on their promise to standardize mortgage penalties until this spring, at the earliest.

On December 15, 2010, we also reported that discounted Fixed mortgage rates were going up but Posted mortgage rates were staying the same… we stated that your mortgage penalty would not decrease as it normally does when rates go up.

We received some inquires about this article.   Questions like ‘shouldn’t my penalty go down if rates are going up?’ and ‘how could a mortgage penalty be more expensive if the Bank’s didn’t increase their posted rate?’

Okay, here’s my shocker statements….  A $200,000 mortgage taken in December 2008 will cost you $16,800 to get out of today…. but 12 years ago it would have cost you approximately $8,340 and even today, it should only cost $11,640.      Got your attention?   Please read the entire report to better understand. Read the rest of this entry »

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