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Industry News

 The final IRD clarity measures came into force this month.


In March 2012, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) announced improvements to the disclosure of mortgage prepayment charges.


Those improvements were designed to make life easier for people needing to assess the cost of an early refinance or mortgage termination.


The first set of enhancements arrived last September. Among other things, they required banks to develop online educational material about IRD charges and online prepayment charge calculators.


Click here for more on the latest IRD measures courtesy of


Last week’s federal budget included few mortgage changes. One exception was a new proposal to restrict the use of default insurance on low-ratio mortgages (ie, those with 20% or more equity).


The Department of Finance says it will gradually prohibit lenders from bulk insuring low-ratio mortgages unless those mortgages are part of a CMHC-backed securitization program.


In addition, the government said it eventually intends to prohibit insured mortgages from being used in any non-CMHC sponsored securitization program.


Click here for what this may mean to borrowers and lenders from


The Conservative government’s Budget 2013 barely eked out a passing grade from Canada’s business operators, according to an Ernst & Young survey.


The poll found 57% of respondents thought the document deserved a “C” grade at best, while 43% gave it a “B” or slightly higher.


“Not unlike the Canadian political scene itself, the response to the budget was somewhat polarized,” said Ernst & Young’s Gary Zed.


Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget, released March 21st, garnered 44% backing from those who believe it would stimulate jobs and moderate growth. But only 1% said it would provide a strong stimulus.


In contrast, 46% did not think measures in the budget would “drive results in these still-struggling areas,” Ernst & Young said.


Click here to read more from the Financial Post.


Want a mortgage rate lower than those advertised by lenders? Ask and you shall receive.


In a Globe and Mail survey of more than 300 mortgage holders, 82% said they were able to get a rate better than the lender’s official posted number when they last negotiated their mortgages.


Of the survey respondents with five-year fixed-rate mortgages, interest rates varied widely, and those who haggled for a rate lower than what their lenders advertised paid less overall. Among the group that bargained with their lenders, 45% said their interest rates were 3% or less, compared to 32% of those who did not try to get a deal. Similarly, only 5% of the hagglers were paying more than 4% in interest, compared to 16% of the group that didn’t dicker. 


It’s definitely worthwhile to negotiate, says Sarah Yu, who bought a house in Vancouver last year. She wrangled a three-year fixed-rate mortgage at 2.79%.


“It wasn’t tough to negotiate at all. It was just nerve-wracking as it was my first time purchasing a home,” she said.


Click here for more from the Globe and Mail.


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