October 20, 2015 - Issue 27
All mortgage brokers and agents who intend to renew their licences in 2016 must complete the mandatory 2016 Ontario Continuing Education (CE) Course for Mortgage Brokers and Agents.
The CE course is mandatory and must be completed before your principal broker can initiate your licence renewal application by March 31, 2016.
The CE Course
The five hour course covers professional practice and private lending and investing. The learning goals are:
- Ensure public relations materials comply with the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA).
- Enhance the detection and prevention of mortgage fraud.
- Keep detailed records and documentation.
Private Lending and Investing
- Ensure suitability in private lending.
- Complete due diligence on syndicated mortgage investments.
- Understand the new features of the updated Investor/Lender Disclosure Statements for Brokered Transactions and the corresponding Renewal Forms.
The CE course will be offered in English and French from November 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. Course providers will deliver in both classroom and online formats. You can register for the course by contacting one of these providers:
Have questions about the CE course?
Refer to FSCO's frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the 2016 Continuing Education Requirement for Mortgage Brokers and Agents web page.
Apply for your Licence Renewal Early
FSCO is expecting a high volume of applications in March 2016. Brokers and agents are encouraged to complete the mandatory CE training promptly and apply for a licence renewal in February 2016 to ensure the licence renewal application is processed by March 31, 2016.
Strengthened Fraud Prevention Measures Effective January 1, 2016
The Ontario government has approved amendments to the Standards of Practice regulations for mortgage brokers and agents (O. Reg.187/08 ) mortgage brokerages (O. Reg.188/08 ) and mortgage administrators (O. Reg.189/08 ) that will strengthen fraud prevention measures. The amendments come into force on January 1, 2016.
In response to the Five-Year Review, recommendations were made to strengthen the MBLAA Standards of Practice regulations against fraud. Amendments include:
- Licensees cannot ignore signs of potential fraud.
- Brokerages have a continued duty to advise lenders if they doubt the accuracy of a borrower's application after a mortgage agreement has been finalized.
- Brokerages cannot accept an advance payment when the principal amount is $400,000 or less.
Mortgage Fraud Checklist
In July 2015, FSCO issued a Checklist on Detecting and Preventing Mortgage Fraud. The goal of the checklist is to raise awareness of practices that strengthen mortgage fraud detection and prevention.
AMPs for non-compliance with MBLAA
FSCO has imposed eight Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 for non-compliance since May 2015. This included failing to provide information to the Superintendent; failing to give each lender or investor a completed disclosure form; using obsolete investor/lender disclosure statements; failing to disclose the number of lenders the brokerage represented in the past year and paying a commission to a broker of another brokerage. An AMP was also imposed on a Principal Broker for failing to ensure the brokerage's compliance. These penalties are proactive responses to issues of non-compliance identified through on-site examinations and reactive responses to investigations initiated by complaints from the public.
Visit FSCO's enforcement actions
web page for more information.