Category Archives: debt

Everybody wants to help you buy a house

Pointed out by southseacompany: all the major political parties want to help you buy a house and the promises are piling up.

They all love the idea of taking taxpayer money to drive up house prices, the current government even wants to get in on the speculation and help out with a 5-10% shared equity program.

The government also confirmed that, because the program gives it an equity stake in the mortgage, it will share any gains or losses in the value of the home over the life of the loan. Any money the government makes on the program will go back into general revenues.

Read the full article here.

Mortgage brokers stuck in the middle

Mortgage brokers make their money by getting people mortgages. In a softening market this can present a challenge.

FICOM is the agency that regulates mortgage brokers and they are issuing a warning:

Brokers should not overleverage their clients; this may be done by fudging applications – overstating the income of a borrower to obtain a bigger loan (and hence a bigger commission), said Carter, who also warned brokers of working with unregistered fixers.

Carter told brokers in Vancouver that the days of “how to get to yes” are over with new market uncertainty, and slumping sales and prices. Now, brokers need to be extra vigilant and learn “when to say no.”

He said Canadians could be in for a rude awakening if real estate prices fall and they’re still saddled with big mortgages and even loans against their equity, suggested Carter. And the brokers who brought loans to those homebuyers will face extra scrutiny, he said, which is why he’s calling on the industry to ease back the throttle on new mortgages that may be contrary to the best interests of the public.

Read the full article here.

CRA Freezing and Seizing Tax Cheat Assets

The CRA is now using ‘proceeds of crime’ provisions to freeze assets and seize property of tax cheats.

Tassé said the proceeds-of-crime provisions can also be used to seize property outside of Canada. For example, if the CRA believes that someone has engaged in offshore tax evasion and used the proceeds to buy a vacation home or a yacht, the CRA could freeze or seize those assets.

Using the proceeds-of-crime provisions also can block tactics used by some tax evaders, such as declaring corporate bankruptcy to avoid paying the taxes, said Tassé.

Read the full article here.

Bank of Canada warns of housing market vulnerability

The bank that cried wolf: Housing market vulnerabilities are still high.

Vulnerabilities in the Canadian housing market are still high despite rising interest rates and tighter mortgage rules, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday.

It also released results of a model it said showed Canadian banks’ capital positions would not be affected by a 20 percent correction in the housing market, with the biggest declines in Toronto and Vancouver.

Read the full article here.