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Lender News

There is no shortage of detractors when it comes to the Canadian economy these days. The often heard view is that Canada faces a day of reckoning resulting from over-valued housing markets and excessive household leverage.


TD Economics put out an Observation report called Debunking Doomsday Predictions for the Canadian Economy to counter some of the bad news reports.


Mortgage brokers’ prayers may finally have been answered – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is raising the possibility that he will attack the credit card problem from a regulatory front.


This move by Flaherty comes on the heels of a major case brought against Visa Canada and MasterCard that was dismissed by the Competition Tribunal – a decision that came with the suggestion a “proper solution” will have to come from the government.


“I will be carefully reviewing the Competition Tribunal’s decision and also monitoring any potential appeal,” Flaherty told reporters after the anti-trust body rejected the Competition Bureau’s arguments against the credit card giants. The bureau had alleged that they were imposing undue fees on retailers.


Brokers are all-too familiar with Ottawa’s intervention in the mortgage sector over the past few years through ever-tightening regulations. Requests to ease or reverse previous decisions from associations like CAAMP have slowed that pace. Nor has the government directly answered criticism levelled at the major banks about a “laissez-faire attitude” towards consumer credit cards.


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It may be stressful to think about it but higher mortgage rates are on the horizon.


The question for homeowners is whether they can handle a hike in interest rates.


Bank of Montreal says consumers should stress test their mortgages a couple of ways, considering higher interest rates and a shorter amortization period.


Canadians new to the home market can be particularly vulnerable to changes in the mortgage market.


“First-time buyers should stress-test their mortgage to ensure they are well financially prepared for home ownership and a potential upswing in interest rates, not only to manage costs but also to pay off their mortgage as soon as possible,” said Frances Hinojosa, a mortgage expert with Bank of Montreal.


Click here for the full Financial Post article.


Want to make a few extra bucks renting out your home when you’re out of town?


Or maybe you have a cottage you’d like to rent out when you’re not using it?


Click here to find out what you need to know to turn your property into a money-making vacation destination courtesy of MoneySense.


Last month CanadianMortgageTrends wrote about the challenges mortgage professionals are facing as a result of changes to mortgage underwriting guidelines. Based on the responses to the article, this topic clearly struck a chord. Some readers felt the changes were long overdue, while others were concerned about adapting to them.


To address that latter point, CMT contacted some mortgage underwriters. The mission was to collect their advice on how to get deals quickly approved in this new environment.


Click here for five common-sense tips on how to get deals quickly approved, courtesy of


A new poll suggests that more Canadians are in debt this year and taking longer to settle their accounts.


The study released today by the Bank of Montreal found that 83% of Canadians surveyed admit to having some form of debt – an increase from 74% a year earlier.


But the poll also found that the average amount of monthly debt repayment has fallen by 13% from a national average of $1,138 to $986. Regionally, those in Alberta had the highest amount of debt payments each month at $1,225, while those who live in Quebec reported the least amount at $768.


BMO VP Janet Peddigrew says these results could indicate two things: either people are having more trouble making high monthly payments, or they’re in no hurry to pay down their debt due to current low interest rates.


Click here for more from The Star.

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