26 Feb

DON’T WAIT TOO LONG IF YOUR MORTGAGE IS BEHIND

General

Posted by: Ron Price


With increasing regularity, people are coming to us at the eleventh hour to help them get out of a power of sale situation. Many of them have significant equity in their properties that they stand to lose when it is completely unnecessary.
Homeowners miss payments for many reasons. Often the situation is temporary and can be fixed in the short term, whereas others such as divorce, acute health problems, job loss resulting from an industrial plant closing requiring re-education and/or new job training take much longer.
Unfortunately the banks do not care about your problems, the amount of equity in your home etc., or to work with you to do what is called a 'Workout' designed to help you remedy your situation. You miss 3 payments and they go legal the costs of the action against you mount up very quickly, and your equity drops like a stone.
It's a cruel world anymore folks when money is involved. There no longer is much compassion (any compassion from the banks) or desire to do what's right by helping the client find a solution.
Folks we constantly write about banks exposing their practices that you should be aware of. The above is one great example of why consumers should avoid getting a bank mortgage by choosing us instead. We will find you a mortgage with a non-bank lender who cares to do a workout with you should you run into trouble. We can assist you if you have a high ratio mortgage by liasing with CMHC or Genworth who both have workout programs and will intervene when a lender does not. We can get you a private mortgage to cure your problems. Unfortunately the banks use a sledgehammer to crush a bug so to speak. When you choose us, we also give you the best advice, most flexible solutions that will save you money, more compassionate lenders, better than bank rates, no collateral mortgages, lower penalties etc.
'Informed' consumers now choose experienced mortgage brokers over the banks because our services overwhelmingly protect your interests and save you money. It's a slam dunk decision and if you are one of our regular (informed) readers, then please remember to tell your loved ones and friends about us. We love this business, and it shows! Thanks much.
13 Feb

PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR THE FINE PRINT!

General

Posted by: Ron Price

 

For those of you who read our articles regularly, you understand that we are Mortgage Consumer Advocates. If you are reading us for the first time, please allow us to explain that someone must be on the consumer’s side, looking out for your best interests. Someone must protect you, right? 

We decided to take on this role about ten years ago, and this role is more important than ever. Yes we are biased, biased in your favour largely as a result of bank practices that not only can have a negative effect on you, but also since the big banks more than ever, are introducing clauses IN THE FINE PRINT that they do not disclose to you. 

So when you go to a bank for your mortgage without any knowledge or expertise in what you are getting into and signing, well let’s put it this way, it can cost you, not just money but great heartache. 

We speak often about the new collateral mortgage product all the banks are using. In our view, it is a mortgage product that is best avoided. We have written about the ‘fine print’ clauses that can be absolute killers, clauses that you are never told about like punitive bank penalties, fees and practices. 

A more recent example is TD’s altering of a clause in their variable mortgage contracts that ‘triggers’ you to make a lump sum payment if your mortgage balance exceeds 80 per cent of fair market value. Previously any ‘trigger’ was set at 75 per cent, and it was at the suggestion of the bank that the borrower pay a lump sum to bring the loan back in line, or have the property appraised at the client’s expense. Another option was to convert the mortgage to a fixed rate with equal payments. 

The new clause now ‘requires’ the borrower at bank notice to obtain and pay for an appraisal within 30 days of notice to determine if a trigger point has been reached. If it has then you ‘must’ (it is no longer an ‘option’) make a lump sum payment, convert to a fixed rate mortgage or increase your payments to an amount sufficient to amortize the outstanding principal amount.  Now here’s the really bad part. If you do not do what is ‘required’ the bank can demand payment in full of the total outstanding principal plus costs. In other words THEY CAN GO ‘POWER OF SALE’ even if you have missed no payments. 

This is but one of many many examples that people are unaware of that can be potentially devastating to you in future. As professional mortgage brokers we help you avoid institutional policies like this that are not in your best interests by recommending mortgage lenders who have much more favourable ‘terms’. This is why the ‘Terms’ are every bit as important as the ‘Rate’. 

 PLEASE

5 Feb

CELL PHONES AND MORTGAGES-HOW ARE THEY CONNECTED

General

Posted by: Ron Price

 

Well they weren’t until last summer when Bell Mobility and Rogers began reporting their accounts to Equifax. 

Now, your repayment history of your cell phone account can negatively affect your ability to obtain a mortgage. 

Disputes happen all the time with cell companies who are known for overbilling and other tactics designed to make an extra buck. We can pay our bills on time, but when we have been wronged and dispute the charges including deciding to withhold payment, it now can backfire on the consumer. 

Unfortunately mortgage lenders do not look at ‘who’ the creditor is, nor do they consider the ‘amount’ of any payment missed. The subject of arrears is totally black and white. There is no grey. You can have an excellent repayment history, but if you have a ‘current’ R2 or R3 or worse, that can be attributed to a dispute with your cell provider, lenders may decline your mortgage application or they may approve you but at a higher rate. Either way you are penalized. 

Why did the cell companies start reporting to credit bureaus? Because they know they are more likely to be paid by you when non-payment hurts your credit. Quite frankly, generally speaking, none of the telcos have customer friendly billing practices. They can be pretty ruthless and are usually the quickest creditors we see to send an account to collections, even when they know you are right. 

Sending their accounts to credit bureaus effectively gives cell companies more clout or a greater ability to be paid. You see mortgage lenders require any arrears to be paid before they will advance funds. 

You can have a genuine dispute for as little as fifty dollars, and it can now severely damage your credit and impair your ability to get approval for a mortgage. Silly but true. 

Our advice to you if you have a dispute with your cell bill is to pay it ‘Under Protest’ in a letter to them, write to the ombudsman, to the consumer protection agency and file a complaint with the CRTC. Then you have done everything you can to win your case without having your credit damaged. 

5 Feb

CELL PHONES AND MORTGAGES-HOW ARE THEY CONNECTED

General

Posted by: Ron Price

 

Well they weren’t until last summer when Bell Mobility and Rogers began reporting their accounts to Equifax. 

Now, your repayment history of your cell phone account can negatively affect your ability to obtain a mortgage. 

Disputes happen all the time with cell companies who are known for overbilling and other tactics designed to make an extra buck. We can pay our bills on time, but when we have been wronged and dispute the charges including deciding to withhold payment, it now can backfire on the consumer. 

Unfortunately mortgage lenders do not look at ‘who’ the creditor is, nor do they consider the ‘amount’ of any payment missed. The subject of arrears is totally black and white. There is no grey. You can have an excellent repayment history, but if you have a ‘current’ R2 or R3 or worse, that can be attributed to a dispute with your cell provider, lenders may decline your mortgage application or they may approve you but at a higher rate. Either way you are penalized. 

Why did the cell companies start reporting to credit bureaus? Because they know they are more likely to be paid by you when non-payment hurts your credit. Quite frankly, generally speaking, none of the telcos have customer friendly billing practices. They can be pretty ruthless and are usually the quickest creditors we see to send an account to collections, even when they know you are right. 

Sending their accounts to credit bureaus effectively gives cell companies more clout or a greater ability to be paid. You see mortgage lenders require any arrears to be paid before they will advance funds. 

You can have a genuine dispute for as little as fifty dollars, and it can now severely damage your credit and impair your ability to get approval for a mortgage. Silly but true. 

Our advice to you if you have a dispute with your cell bill is to pay it ‘Under Protest’ in a letter to them, write to the ombudsman, to the consumer protection agency and file a complaint with the CRTC. Then you have done everything you can to win your case without having your credit damaged.