MORTGAGES AND PAPERWORK

General Allen Cripps 1 Dec

Paperwork-it’s a fact of life. You need it and we as mortgage professionals also need it. Below is a list of must have documentation BEFORE you start going through the mortgage approval process.

Personal Information
This will be the basic information we require to start your mortgage process. It will include your age, marital status, and number and age of kids. For this first step, a divorce/separation agreement if you are going through a divorce or were previously divorced will also be required.

Employment Details
Your employment details will require more paperwork than your basic details. This will include:

  • Proof of income (T4 slips, job letter, paystubs, and/or personal income tax returns – T1 Generals)
  • Notice of Assessments from the last two years

If you are self-employed then you will also need to provide any incorporation documents, financial statements and submit full personal tax returns (T1 Generals) as well as a CRA Notice of Assessment (NOA) for both the corporation as well as you personally. If you don’t have these documents on hand or can’t find them, we highly recommend using a document service like Easy NOA. We have had clients use them with fantastic results and no hassle on your end. Check them out by visiting their website – easynoa.ca.

Other Income Sources

  • Typically, this is a statement on your part but the lender might ask for back-up documentation. This may include:
  • Pension documentation and information
  • Rental income property income documentation
  • Part time work paystub with job letter
  • Child Tax Benefit documentation
  • Child/Spousal support documentation
  • Investment Income documentation
  • Disability income documentation

Documentation of current property
If you already own a property, you will need to have a copy of your current mortgage statement on your current property and a copy of last year’s property tax statement. You may also be asked to provide this year’s up to date property tax statement.

Keep in mind that every person’s situation is unique and this list only outlines the traditional documents required to pursue your mortgage. For example, if you receive child support you will need to have proof of that (i.e. copy of your separation/divorce agreement and the last three months bank statements showing the payment of the child support to you) or if you have experienced bankruptcy you will need to provide a list of debts paid off with a copy of your bankruptcies discharge papers.

Again, we know that sometimes things get lost or misplaced (we have been there too!). If you find yourself scrambling to find one of these documents or another document that your mortgage broker has requested, a service like Easy NOA can have it delivered to your inbox within 24 hours. Having these documents on hand in preparation for going through the mortgage approval process will make the entire experience run much smoother—and make it an enjoyable one! If you have any questions, give your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist a call.

GEOFF LEE

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Geoff is part of DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.

MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL IS NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT

General Allen Cripps 30 Nov

Although going through the pre-approval process is more important than ever, the actual term ‘pre-approval’ is often misleading. It really addresses just a few variables that may arise once in the middle of an actual offer.

The pressure in many markets has never been greater to write a condition-free offer, yet due to recent changes to lending guidelines by the federal government, the importance of a clause in the contract along the lines of ‘subject to receiving and approving satisfactory financing’ has also never been greater. (There are variations to be discussed with your Realtor around the specific wording of such clauses.)

Often clients are reluctant to write the initial offer on a property without feeling like they are 100 per cent pre-approved, an understandable desire. The risk being that many clients then falsely believe they have a 100 per cent guarantee of financing, and this is not at all what a pre-approval is.

A lender must review all related documents, not just the clients personal documents, but also those from the appraiser and the realtor as the propety itself must meet certain standards and guidelines.

The pre-approval process should be considered a pre-screening process. It does involve review and analysis of the clients current credit report, it should also include a list for the client of all documents that will be required in the event that an offer is written and accepted. Ideally your Mortgage Broker will review all required documents in advance, but few lenders will review documents until there is an accepted offer in place.

Clients should come away from the initial process with a clear understanding of the maximum mortgage amount they qualify for along with the various related costs involved in their specific real estate transaction. Equally as important; a completed application allows the Mortgage Broker to lock in rates for up to 120 days.

Why won’t a lender fully review and underwrite a pre-approval?

  • Lenders do not have the staff resources to review ‘maybe’ applications – they have a hard enough time keeping up with ‘live’ transactions.
  • The job you have today may well not be the job you have by the time you write your offer. (ideally you do not want to change jobs while house-shopping)
  • If more than four weeks pass then most of the documents are out of date by lender standards, and a fresh batch needs to be ordered and reviewed with the accepted offer.
  • The conversion rate of pre-approvals to ‘live transactions’ is less than 10 per cent, and this alone prevents lenders from allocating resources to reviewing pre-approvals.

It is this last point in particular that makes it so difficult to get an underwriter to completely review a pre-approval application as a special exception. Nine out of ten times that underwriter is spending their time on something that will never actually happen.

The bottom line is that a clients best bet for confidence before writing an offer is the educated and experienced opinion of the front-line individual with whom they are directly speaking, Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker. Although this individual will not be the same person that underwrites and formally approves the live transaction when the time comes, they likely have hundreds of files worth of experience behind them. That experience is valuable.

It is due to the disconnect between intake of application and actual lender underwriting a live file that having a ‘subject to receiving and approving satisfactory financing’ clause in the purchase sale agreement is so very important.

Without a doubt the most significant factor in recent years which has undermined clients preapprovals is the relentless pace of government changes in lending guidelines and policies. Change implemented not only by the Government also by the lenders themselves. It is very easy to have a pre-approval for a certain mortgage amount rendered meaningless just a few days later through changes to internal underwriting guidelines. Often these changes arrive with no warning and existing pre-approvals are not grandfathered.

So, while it is absolutely worthwhile going through the pre-approval process before writing offers, and in particular before listing your current property for sale it is most important to stay in constant contact with your Mortgage Broker during the shopping process.

Be aware that aside from the key advantage of catching small issues early and securing rates a pre-approval is NOT a 100 per cent guarantee of financing.

If more than four weeks pass then most of the documents are out of date by lender standards, and a fresh batch needs to be ordered and reviewed with the accepted offer. The conversion rate of pre-approvals to ‘live transactions’ is less than 10 per cent, and this alone prevents lenders from allocating resources to reviewing pre-approvals.

TRACY VALKO

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Tracy is part of DLC Forest City Funding based in London, ON.

BUT THEY SAID IT WAS PORTABLE…

General Allen Cripps 30 Nov

The question most often asked: ‘Is my mortgage portable?’

The answer most often given: ‘Yes.’

This answer is increasingly wrong.

In reality you qualify to move ~80% of the balance… maybe.

If you are thinking of:

  • Moving (upsizing or downsizing)
  • Locking a variable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate product

… you would be well served to keep reading.

The above question is incomplete. To be fair, you would have no way of knowing this. The person answering it should know better than to give you a one-word answer.

The proper question: ‘Do I need to re-qualify for my current mortgage to move to a new home?’

The proper answer: ‘Yes, your mortgage is portable, but only if you re-qualify under today’s new and more stringent guidelines.’

The person answering the portability question should only be your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist. They alone can answer the question accurately, and only with a complete and updated application, along with all supporting documents to confirm the maximum mortgage amount under current guidelines.

Too many clients learn this lesson the hard way. They sell their existing property before speaking with their Mortgage Broker, and in some cases they also enter binding purchase agreements under the mistaken assumption they can just port their mortgage.

Key Point – Do not ask if your mortgage is portable (99% of them are). Ask if you currently qualify to move your mortgage to a new property.

Key Point – The federal government has created a dynamic in which there are two different qualifying rates for mortgage approvals. And the one used yesterday to get you into a five-year fixed rate mortgage is not always the same one that is used if you want to move that same mortgage to a new home down the street, even just one day later.

Key Point – One day into your five-year fixed mortgage, you are now subject to the stress test. In a nutshell, the stress test applies the higher qualifying rate and effectively reduces your maximum mortgage approval by ~20%.

Meaning that you may only be able to port 80% of the current balance to another property… just one day later.

So, what’s the fix?

The best fix – The government could add a simple sentence to their lending guidelines along the lines of ‘If a borrower qualified for their mortgage at the five-year contract rate at inception, then the borrower shall be allowed to re-qualify at that original rate when moving their mortgage to a new home.’

Currently this fix does not exist.

The current fix – Well it’s no big deal at all. You simply pay a penalty to break your current five-year fixed mortgage and then apply for a new five-year fixed mortgage. Said penalty amount? Typically, around 4.5% of the mortgage balance – i.e., a $14,000 penalty on a $300,000 mortgage balance.

Seems reasonable, right?

It’s entirely unreasonable. This is a horrible ‘fix’, because it is not a fix at all. If you bought with 5% down, and then a few months later were transferred to another province and had no choice but to move, this represents your entire down payment vanishing due to an oversight by the federal regulators.

If you have been personally caught in this ‘portability trap,’ it felt more like total devastation than it did ‘anecdotal’. And by all means you should make your voice heard. Share your story with via www.tellyourmp.ca

DUSTAN WOODHOUSE

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Dustan is part of DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts based in Coquitlam, BC.