Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good News ! - Alberta Mortgage Arrears decreasing

Mortgage arrears data came out today. A very reassuring trend is developing. Mortgage arrears are decreasing. Arrears is when you are behind on your mortgage payments by 3 or more months. This is usually a sign of financial distress. Illness, loss of a job , or lossing your overtime hours can all create stresses in a family's finances. The graph here shows that while Alberta enjoyed low mortgage arrears in 2008 of .30% or 1/2 of 1% , this number "rocketed" up to .84% during the past couple of years. Down arrears are trending downward and now sit around .60%. This is a good sign of a recovering economy. People are back to paying their bills and mortgages on time. One thing that is helping is that people are renewing their mortgages are much lower rates today. If you would like to explore the option of renewing your mortgage early contact me to discuss the different ways I can help you. Alberta Mortgage Arrears
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Mortgage Fraud:How to protect yourself when purchasing or refinancing a home.

CMHC recently published a number of article meant to educate the public. I want to share this information with my readers. Here is the CMHC article in its entirety.

What is Mortgage Fraud?

Mortgage fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information on a loan application, to obtain mortgage financing that likely would not have been approved if the truth had been known. There are several different forms of mortgage fraud. One of the most common is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as a “straw buyer.” A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application for a home that someone else will be buying.

Mortgage applications for straw buyers also often misrepresent other important information as well, such as their income, occupation and the real source of a down payment. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. While the promise of an easy payday may be tempting, consumers should be aware that in most cases, the fraudsters are the ones who walk away with all the profits, while the straw buyer is left “holding the bag” when the mortgage defaults. Consumers who knowingly take part in these frauds will also be responsible for any shortfall when the property is resold, and could even be held criminally responsible for their misrepresentation.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

To protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of, or accomplices to, mortgage fraud, be an informed consumer. This means: Never accept money, guarantee a loan or add your name to a mortgage unless you fully intend to purchase the property. If you allow your personal information to be used for a mortgage, even for a brief period, you could be held responsible for the entire debt even after the property is sold. Always know who you are doing business with. If you are buying or selling a home, use only licensed Real Estate Agents and other industry professionals. And never sign anything until you know exactly what you are signing.
 Determine the sales history of any property you are thinking about buying, and consider having it inspected and appraised.
Ask for a copy of the land title search.
Find out if anyone other than the seller has a financial interest in the home
. If a deposit is required, make sure the funds are held “in trust” by the Vendor’s Realty company or lawyer / notary.
Get independent legal advice from your own lawyer / notary.
 Talk to your lawyer / notary about title insurance and other alternative methods of protection.
Be wary of anyone who approaches you with an offer to make “easy money” in real estate.

Remember: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 There are also several simple steps you can take to protect yourself from another common form of fraud: identity theft.
These include:
 Never give out your personal information until you know who you are dealing with and how your information will be used.
This includes requests for information in person, by mail, or over the phone or Internet.
Never reply to e-mails or phone calls that ask for your banking information, credit card details, passwords or other personal or sensitive information, particularly if you did not initiate the exchange.

Review your mail, bank statements and other financial statements on a regular basis to look for any inconsistencies.
If you don’t receive a bill on time, follow up with your creditors or service

David Cooke
 DLC Westcor Calgary, Alberta
Tel: 403-836-1201

 The information is provided by CMHC for general illustrative purposes only, and does not take into account the specific objectives, circumstances and individual needs of the reader. It does not provide advice, and should not be relied upon in that regard. The information is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness and currency cannot be guaranteed.

Neither CMHC and its employees nor any other party identified in this Fact Sheet (Lender, Broker, etc.) assumes any liability of any kind in connection with the information provided. CMHC stake holders are permitted to distribute the materials at their expense.

 The above mentioned stake holder organization is responsible for the distribution of this document. providers.
Shred or destroy all personal and financial documents before you throw them away.
 Inspect your credit report on a regular basis by contacting Canada’s two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at and TransUnion Canada at
Find Out More If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of mortgage fraud, contact your local police department immediately.
To find out more about mortgage fraud,
 visit the fraud prevention section of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) website at For more tips, visit CMHC’s Homebuying Step by Step Guide at CMHC is Canada's largest provider of mortgage loan insurance, helping Canadians buy a home with a minimum of five per cent down
. Ask your mortgage pro
To contact me on how to protect yourself or any other mortgage questions contact me via my website.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Market Commentary

Earlier today, First National Financial, one of Canada's largest mortgage companies issued a market summary. This is what their economists predict will be happening for the rest of 2012. It's a guess, but it's an educated guess. Here's what they had to say. "The latest interest rate announcement and policy statement from the Bank of Canada make it pretty clear there’s unlikely to be any increase this year. While the economy appeared to be making all the right moves early in the first quarter, in the end, the results didn’t meet expectations. The resurgence of the Greek problem, the growing troubles in Spain (the euro zone finance ministers agreed to lend Spain up to $125-billion (U.S.) to shore up its struggling banks),slowing in the rest of Europe, China and the U.S., and weaker than expect growth at home have the central bank backing away from hints about a hike. Nonetheless the Bank remains concerned about the risk of a housing bubble and a high level of household debt." With rates this low, is it time for you to renew your mortgage early or consider getting a preapproval? Contact me to discuss your options. If you would like to get a weekly email with current mortgage rates click here and fill out your email address under Subscribe to News and Rates. David Cooke - your Calgary mortgage broker
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Monday, June 4, 2012

More Canadians locking into low interest rates

An article in the Vancouver Province newspaper highlighted some changes going on in the Canadian mortgage market. People are slowly moving away from variable rate mortgages. At this time 29% of homeowners have variable rate mortgages but over time, they switch to fixed rates. Why? Interest rates are at all time lows, where will they be going? Up , of course. Another interesting trend is how people are taking advantage of pre-payment privileges. 23% of mortgage holders are increasing their monthly payments, and 19% of making lump sum payments. Is there an incentive behind this? Yes, every dollar that you pay down saves you $3. In interest over the term of the mortgage. Put down an extra $1000 from your Christmas bonus and save $3000. Canadians have also been bombarded by news reports about how average household debt is increasing. This is how many people are reacting. Personally I think that you should start with your high interest debts. Pay off your credit cards at 19% , follow that up with your car payments at 6-8% and then tackle your mortgage. You may wonder where you can come up with the money. Well, it's the time of year when we all get our tax refunds. Instead of spending it on sometime we don't need why not spend it on paying down debt and saving huge amounts of interest. That can be very rewarding and gratifying. Try it now and see how much more money you will have next year at this time. For more information on mortgages and credit visit visit your favourite Calgary mortgage broker at my website.
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