Lenders in Ontario will sometimes, although a rare occurrence, have to deal with mortgages that have fallen into default. When deciding which method will be used to deal with mortgage arrears the term often used is default management. Simply put, this is the process put in place by lenders when an Ontario homeowner falls behind in mortgage payments.
The two methods used in Ontario include the power of sale and foreclosure. The vast majority of Ontario-based lenders will choose the power of sale method to handle mortgage default. Power of sale is a faster process and does not involve the courts to complete.
The Canadian Bankers Association posted the latest figures on February 24th on the number of properties that have fallen into arrears in Ontario as of November 2020. The number remains very low, despite the ongoing pandemic and the spinoff effects on various sectors of the Canadian economy. Of the total number of owned properties in Ontario (2,083,895) only 2,008 mortgages are currently in arrears which represent only 0.10%.
Lenders refer to default as the actual act of failing to fulfill the terms of the mortgage contract. Going into default over any loan or contract simply means the terms a particular term in a contract is not met and/or payment is late or not made. The main reason that any Ontario homeowner will be facing default is due to mortgage arrears, however mortgage default can result from other reasons including:
Lenders under the Ontario Mortgages Act, are entitled to initiate a power of sale or foreclosure when mortgage default has become an issue although some mortgage contracts will have the specific terms outlined clearly about mortgage default.
Regardless of what method a lender chooses to use, it is only after a particular mortgage has been in arrears for a minimum of 15 days that the Mortgage Act will permit the lender to attempt to sell the mortgaged property to third properties to try to make up for any losses due to mortgage default.
Ontario Homeowners should be fully aware of the set steps that lenders must strictly follow when using either default method available to them.
The redemption period is 45 days in Ontario before the statutory power of sale can be enacted. This period is designed to give the Ontario homeowner the necessary time to try to put the mortgage back in good standing.
There is time to stop the power of sale or foreclosure process. Legally there are methods to try to delay the process. Regardless of whether you intend to delay or stop your lender from repossessing your property it is always highly recommended to consult the services of a real estate lawyer at any time during the process. Method of delaying the process include:
This essentially represents a delay tactic that can buy more time to put your mortgage in good standing. It is important to calculate the financial cost of taking such a step, however, as the legal fees can be quite high (up to 2 to 3 thousand dollars) and it is a method to delay rather than prevent completion of a power of sale.
Although these methods are available to a homeowner, it is always preferable to try to put your mortgage in good standing. Although these steps to delay the mortgage proceedings may be costly, it is also always advisable to seek the general legal advice of a real estate lawyer if you are facing the threat of repossession of your property by your lender. When you are buying or selling your property a real estate lawyer will also be necessary.
At Mortgage Broker Store we are very experienced in the power of sale and foreclosure process. It is important to understand what legal advice might be needed if you are facing possible possession of your home. We can also provide a list of lawyers that can give you a free consultation regarding your power of sale.
Mortgage Broker Store has access to a broad network of private lenders located throughout the Province who can help negotiate a private mortgage to help you pay arrears and enable you to make your monthly mortgage payments possible. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice and take the necessary steps that could prevent a lender from ultimately taking back possession of your property.
jonathan March 23rd, 2021