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Complaint Handling FAQ

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  1. How much time do brokerages and administrators have to respond to complaints from the public?
  2.  
  3. Does the brokerage or administrator need to designate a licensed mortgage broker or agent to handle its complaints?
  4.  
  5. If my brokerage receives a complaint about an incident that involved a mortgage broker or agent who now works for another brokerage, which brokerage should respond to the complaint?
  6.  
  7. FSCO received a consumer complaint and asked my brokerage to respond to it within three weeks. If we cannot respond to the complaint within that time frame, do we need to notify FSCO?
  8.  
  9. Is my brokerage or administrator required to document verbal complaints?
  10.  
  11. If the consumer refuses to submit a complaint in writing or prefers that his or her complaint be dealt with verbally, is the brokerage or administrator required to provide a final response in writing?
  12.  
  13. How long does a brokerage or administrator need to keep complaints on record?
  14.  
  15. After reviewing a complaint, if the brokerage or administrator determines that there was a contravention of the law, is it required to report this finding to FSCO?
  16.  
  17. What will FSCO do if it determines that a brokerage or administrator has not complied with legislation in regards to a complaint?
  18.  
  19. What type of advertising complaints does FSCO receive?  

 
 
 
one1. How much time do brokerages and administrators have to respond to complaints from the public?
 
Principal Brokers are obliged to respond to complaints, setting out the brokerage's proposed resolution, within a reasonable time frame depending on the individual circumstances. If the complaint is urgent in nature, the Principal Broker should respond expeditiously.
 
 
two2. Does the brokerage or administrator need to designate a licensed mortgage broker or agent to handle its complaints?
 
No. However, the individual must be an employee of the brokerage or administrator, or a person who is authorized to act on its behalf. Keep in mind that the brokerage can designate more than one person to handle its complaints.
 
 
three3. If my brokerage receives a complaint about an incident that involved a mortgage broker or agent who now works for another brokerage, which brokerage should respond to the complaint?
 
The complaint should be responded to by the mortgage brokerage that employed the broker or agent at the time of the incident.
 
 
four4. SCO received a consumer complaint and asked my brokerage to respond to it within three weeks. If we cannot respond to the complaint within that time frame, do we need to notify FSCO?
 
If your mortgage brokerage or administrator cannot provide a response within three weeks, you should contact FSCO's complaints registrar, provide your reason, and request an extension. To reach the complaints registrar that was assigned to your complaint, please call the telephone number that is listed on the letter that you received.
 
 
five5. Is my brokerage or administrator required to document verbal complaints?
 
No. Legislation only requires that you keep a record of all written complaints and responses. However, it's good practice to maintain a log of all verbal complaints.
 
 
six6. If the consumer refuses to submit a complaint in writing or prefers that his or her complaint be dealt with verbally, is the brokerage or administrator required to provide a final response in writing?
 
No. But as a best practice, the brokerage or administrator may wish to provide the complainant with a response in writing requesting a written complaint for recording keeping purposes.
 
 
seven7. How long does a brokerage or administrator need to keep complaints on record?
 
The law does not specify how long brokerages or administrators need to keep complaints on record. FSCO recommends that all brokerages and administrators keep a record of complaints they receive from the public, as they can be useful in determining trends or patterns in complaints. Also keep in mind that this information needs to be reported in the Annual Information Return that is required to be submitted by March 31st of each year.
 
 
eight8. After reviewing a complaint, if the brokerage or administrator determines that there was a contravention of the law, is it required to report this finding to FSCO?
 
Yes, all contraventions of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 and regulations must be reported to FSCO. The written response must tell the complainant that if he or she is unsatisfied with the proposed resolution, and believes the complaint relates to a violation of legislation, the person may refer the complainant to FSCO's Superintendent.
 
 
nine9. What will FSCO do if it determines that a brokerage or administrator has not complied with legislation in regards to a complaint?
 
FSCO has a range of regulatory responses available, depending on the type of non-compliance issue (e.g., warning letters, cautions, administrative monetary penalties, compliance orders, revocation/suspension of licences, laying charges under the Provincial Offences Act etc.).
 
 
ten10. What type of advertising complaints does FSCO receive?
 
FSCO frequently receives the following types of advertising complaints:
 
  • mortgage agents used titles other than "mortgage agent" or "agent"; and
  • mortgage brokerages failed to display their licence numbers on their websites, signage and advertising materials.