Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer shares TIP'S ON AVOIDING REAL ESTATE SCAMS

When looking to buy, sell, or refinance a property, you need to hire somebody who is not a stranger to addressing the real estate needs of individuals and families. Robert MacKay is the man to call. ROBERT MacKay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!

Buying a home can be a stressful but exciting time. Robert Mackay,  our Trusted Real Estate lawyer cautions about some potential scams when buying your home! 

Real estate fraud can cause you to have large financial losses. If you are a victim of real estate fraud you may find out that you no longer own your home or that there have been additional mortgages taken out in your name.

There are two main types of real estate fraud that may result in financial loss: 

Title Fraud 

Title fraud happens when the title to your home is stolen, and then the fraudster sells the home or applies for a new mortgage against it. Title fraud usually starts with identity theft, which can happen if somebody steals your personal information.

"Title insurance" is the best protection against this type of fraud. As well as protecting against title fraud, it also guards a new owner from against existing liens against a property's title (such as unpaid debts from utilities, mortgages and unpaid property taxes), encroachment issues (a structure on a property needs to be removed because it is on your neighbor's property) and errors in surveys and public records.


Foreclosure Fraud 

Foreclosure fraud usually happens when you are having problems making your mortgage payments. You may be tricked into transferring your property title to somebody to get a loan that will help you make your payments. Fraudsters usually keep the payments you make and also possess the title to your home, which they can resell or remortgage.

Two common scams that exploit a victim's need for cash are foreclosure fraud and home-equity fraud.

Cash-crunched property owners or investors seeking can be vulnerable to other scams or unscrupulous behavior to tap equity. There is always risk when leveraging properties, but a legitimate bank, broker or private lender should be forthright when explaining risks. However, those looking to borrow on equity should be alert for less scrupulous lenders, such as those who invite owners to embellish their application by exaggerating income, down payment or property assessment value sources in order to secure a larger loan.


Other types of scams you should be aware of include


Online rental/sale scams.

In these scams, rental property is advertised (usually at low costs) on online classified sites like Craigslist or Kijiji. The ads use information and photos describing the property that has been "scraped" from legitimate ads, such as those on the MLS. A scammer will impersonate the landlord, property manager or estate agent and will respond to emails and calls from prospective tenants. The scammer indicates he or she is unable to meet a prospective renter at the property, and instead proposes a meeting off site to exchange keys, sign a tenancy agreement and collect rental deposits. Victims may only learn they've been duped when they show up at a property to discover that it is already occupied.

Things to be alert for in such listings include claims of urgency, such as "must sell now," promises of high returns or "low-cost/no-cost" financing. These sort of claims are usually too good to be true, and they also can be prevalent in off-line scams.


Property investment seminars and courses.

Educating yourself about property investment can be essential for success, but prospective investors should be alert and do their research on seminar providers. There are legitimate speakers and seminars that provide beneficial information, others exist primarily to take money from the credulous … and there are some that are in between.


One common type of seminar is designed to hook buyers into "sure-fire" investments that are promoted by the seminar hosts. Potential investors may be invited to these seminars through an ad in a newspaper or magazine, a phone call, an email or other method. These seminars may include a motivational speaker, an "investment expert" or a "self-made millionaire."

The basic advice, be skeptical of claims and do your due diligence before committing any money to an expensive course or investment.

Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.

For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay


Here is a list of more consumer tips by Robert MacKay 



Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!


Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay asks: Do you know what kind of mortgage you have?

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay &  McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS

When looking to buy, sell, or refinance a property, you need to hire somebody who is not a stranger to addressing the real estate needs of individuals and families. 

What an exciting time – the old house is sold, the new one is ready, and all that’s left is the move…..oh wait – not quite yet! There is all that legal “stuff” to deal with now….signatures….titles to be given…and pages and pages of documents that need to be signed before the key is in your hand!!! And to top it all off – who really knows a good real estate lawyer?

Do you know what kind of mortgage you have?

Hardly anyone pays attention to what type of mortgage they have. 


Sure, they know whether they have a fixed rate, a variable rate or an adjustable rate but few are aware that their mortgage will have a particular legal standing or why it is important.

When a market goes up, it's all roses and sunshine, at least if you already own your own home. Trying to buy in such a market can be a scary proposition. When the market goes down, well, that's scary too but for different reasons. 

Buying a house to find out it might be worthless in a year's time is not a fun proposition. However, we all still need a place to live and the markets will do what it will do.

In the event the downturn is significant or if you know what hits the proverbial fan, all of a sudden that legal distinction can be very important. 

Purchase Money Mortgage

For if you have what is known colloquially as a "purchase money mortgage", money borrowed to buy the property, then the bank's recourse is limited to the seizure and sale of the property.

So, if it sold for $1.00 but you still owed $1,000,000, well, the bank will be hoping its mortgage was insured, as they are not unable to chase you for any deficiencies under the mortgage.

This is an important consideration in a lot of foreclosures, as a lot of people have refinanced their property to consolidate debt or finance renovations. Luckily, the portion of the mortgage that related to the property's purchase is still protected.


Once you have committed to either buying or selling your property, simply tell your realtor and lender, as applicable, that Robert MacKay will be representing you and to forward the appropriate instructions to MacKay & McLean, attention "Robert MacKay". 

Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!


Trusted Regina Lawyer Robert MacKay explains how having primary and secondary wills

MacKay and McLean provide the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay and McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay and McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS


It is said that in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Modern estate planning aims to assist individuals to navigate both of these unpleasant certainties.  Preparing double wills is an estate planning technique which minimizes the number of probate fees (estate administration taxes) payable on death by your estate.

Primary and Secondary wills 


Double Wills – Primary (Public Asset Will) and Secondary (Private Asset Will)
Depending on the nature of a person’s assets, it is often beneficial to have a “primary” Will to deal with real property and assets held in financial institutions (public assets) and a “secondary” Will to deal with assets held in a private corporation, personal effects, vehicles, the proceeds of life insurance policies payable to the estate and any other asset which does not require probate to pass to a beneficiary (private assets).
Probate is required in select circumstances, and when it is required for the estate trustee to effectively deal with one asset in a will then all assets governed by that will must be probated. In that event, the estate will be required to pay the estate administration tax on the combined value of all assets governed by the will. Savvy individuals can avoid this problem through the use of multiple wills and proper drafting.

The use of multiple wills received judicial approval in Ontario in Granovsky Estate v. Ontario, 1998 CanLII 14913 (ON SC). Therein the court considered the testator’s use of two wills: a ‘Primary Will’ and a ‘Secondary Will’. The Secondary Will exclusively governed the testator’s private company shares, amounts owing to the testator from said companies, and assets held in trust for the testator by said companies. In other words, the secondary estate consisted solely of those assets that the estate trustee could deal without needing probate. Whereas the Primary Will governed all of the testator’s other assets, for which probate was required. The court in Granovsky found that there was no prohibition in the applicable legislation which could prevent a testator from having both a primary and secondary will – a testator may plan his or her estate as she or he sees fit. Notably, the court held that there was no requirement to submit the Secondary Will to probate or pay the estate administration tax on the value of the assets governed by the Secondary Will.

Following Granovsky, Ontario has witnessed a marked increase in the popularity of multiple wills as a method for effective estate planning. Complimentary to the reduced tax liability are the added benefits of ease of administration of one’s estate and privacy, as a probated will is a public document. These combined benefits make preparing multiple wills a prudent investment for the common sense business owner.


For advice, Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS!


Robert MacKay your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer expert explains how CRA may penalize you if you fail to report it.

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay &  McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS


It’s an exciting time – the old house is sold, the new one is ready, and all that’s left is the move…..oh wait – not quite yet! There's all that legal “stuff” to deal with now….signatures….titles to be given…and pages and pages of documents that need to be signed before the key is in your hand!!! And to top it all off – who really knows a good real estate lawyer?

Robert MacKay your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer expert explains how CRA may penalize you if you fail to report it.

Reporting the sale of a principal residence was unnecessary before 2016, the year the federal government announced a series of steps designed to slow the housing market down and close housing-related tax loopholes. Some people used the previous lack of scrutiny of gains from the sale of a home to their advantage, including investors flipping homes, and others who owned both a cottage and a house and weren’t conscientious about declaring which was a principal residence.

CRA says that if you forget to report the sale of a principal residence, you’ll need to amend your tax return for that year as soon as possible. Late reporting may be accepted in some cases, but it’s possible you’ll have to pay a penalty equal to the lesser of $8,000 or $100 for each complete month you’re late in reporting.

In most cases, you won't pay tax on the money you make from selling your home if it was your principal residence every year since you bought it.

If you sold property in 2017 or after that was, at any time, your principal residence, you must report the sale on Schedule 3, Capital Gains (or Losses) corresponding with the tax year and Form T2091(IND), Designation of a Property as a Principal Residence by an Individual (Other Than a Personal Trust). 

According to CRA here is why you must report the sale.

For the sale of a principal residence in 2016 and subsequent years, we will only allow the principal residence exemption if you report the disposition and designation of your principal residence on your income tax return. If you forget to make this designation in the year of the disposition, it is very important to ask us to amend your income tax return for that year. Under proposed changes, we will be able to accept a late designation in certain circumstances, but a penalty may apply.

Once you have committed to either buying or selling your property, simply tell your realtor and lender, as applicable, that Robert MacKay will be representing you and to forward the appropriate instructions to MacKay & McLean, attention "Robert MacKay". 

Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!



June is Credit Score Month and our Trusted Regina Partner Robert MacKay want's to help you understand the importance of your credit score.

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay &  McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS


June is Credit Score Month and our Trusted Regina Lawyer Robert MacKay of Mackay and McLean want's to help you understand the importance of your credit score

It’s often the first indicator that you are an identity theft victim. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Insurance numbers that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you might be a fraud victim. Credit reporting companies can help you stop credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.

Here are 5 reasons to check your credit score:

  • It’s free. Never pass up a freebie, especially when it can affect your financial health and well-being. Your credit report plays an important part in your credit transactions and many other financial relationships.  Get your annual credit report.
  •  It’s an important step in rebuilding and maintaining good credit. Reviewing your credit report periodically will help you make sure it is in good shape when you are ready to apply for new credit and enable you to monitor your progress if you are recovering from past credit problems.
  • It’s an important part of managing your personal finances. You should review your credit report just like you do your bank statements and credit card bills. Managing credit, keeping track of spending and putting aside savings are all essential to being financially successful.
  • It’s often the first indicator that you are an identity theft victim. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Security numbers that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you might be a fraud victim. Experian and the other national credit reporting companies can help you stop the credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.
  • It’s the first step in correcting any information you feel is inaccurate. The vast majority of the time people find everything is accurate. But if you do find something wrong, your personal credit report comes with instructions for submitting disputes and contact information including a toll-free telephone number, Internet address and mailing address.

Make sure your credit information accurate.

 Your credit score is a reflection of the information in your credit report. Checking your credit score can give you an indication as to whether your credit report is accurate. If your credit score is lower than you expect, it could be a sign that your credit report contains errors that need to be disputed with the credit bureaus.

Add a fraud alert

A fraud alert, or identity verification alert, tell lenders to contact you and confirm your identity before they approve any applications for credit. The aim is to prevent any further fraud from happening.

Ask the credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit report if:

  • you've been a victim of fraud
  • your wallet has been stolen
  • you've had a home break-in

You may need to provide identification and a sworn statement to prove that you've been a victim of fraud.

You can set up a fraud alert for free with Equifax. TransUnion charges a fee of $5 plus taxes to set up a fraud alert.


A strong credit profile and reasonable debt ratio are equally important if you want the best mortgage rates and terms.


For advice, Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

Mackay and Mclean are your TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS!


For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer MacKay and Mclean 

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