Who Governs Mortgage Brokers in Ontario?
I would love to assume that in a perfect world, and in all lines of work, you would have customers who use services from professionals, and always have extremely satisfying experiences. You would think that having a satisfied client is what keeps people coming back, and therefore all professionals in business would want that result. But in reality, there are bad apples in every business, and with that comes dissatisfied clients.
So when a friend asked me about who governs my business, and where does someone who has had a bad experience go to report it, I figured this was a great opportunity to let people know.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) licenses mortgage brokers, agents, brokerages and administrators in Ontario. The “Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act” requires all individuals and businesses in Ontario who carry out mortgage brokering activities to be licensed with FSCO.
See the site link below…
In the center of the page under “How the mortgage broker law protects you”, and “Resolve a complaint about a mortgage broker, agent, brokerage or administrator” you will find explanations about the responsibilities and rules governing mortgage professionals. You will also find the procedure for filing a complaint regarding a mortgage related transaction. You can even search the name or licence# of a mortgage agent or broker on this FSCO site to confirm that they are in good standing.
As a mortgage professional, we are licenced as either a Mortgage Broker or a Mortgage Agent.
A mortgage broker, requires more educational requirements than an agent, longer work experience, and is able to apply to operate their own brokerage.
A mortgage agent is only licenced to operate through a mortgage brokerage.
If you ever have a complaint, your first call or letter should be to the owner/operator of the brokerage that your mortgage professional works under. The owner of the brokerage (the broker of record), has in his/her interest to resolve any complaints of the agent or brokers who work under him/her, as it is their licence that could be impacted by his/her employee’s actions.
If you are not satisfied after dealing directly through the brokerage , your next step would be to make the complaint directly through FSCO.
The wrong or incomplete advice given to that friend of mine, I’m afraid can still happen today. Even with the stricter guidelines of disclosure today, if the mortgage professional chooses not to follow them, trouble can arise. The reality is, as in her case, she is told one thing in a general statement, not in writing, and the end result becomes different and costly. Someone’s life impacted by one bad apple.
So in summary, all I can say again is to read carefully what you sign, and if concerns about anything, get it in writing.
Most importantly, ask questions if you don’t understand what you are told.
If you are using a mortgage broker or agent, google them, and search for reviews on the individual. The likelihood is greater that if you have good reviews on a business or individual, your experience should also end well.
Our job is to provide a mortgage service that always ends with a positive experience for you the borrower. Then and only then will you come back personally or refer us your friends and family.
As always, feel free to call and ask questions “almost anytime” on my cell, 613-222-2624.