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 Mortgage Brokers Skott Enns and Ryan Boughen share a tip on renewing your mortgage.


Mortgage Renewal Time?

If you have a mortgage, at some point it will come up for renewal (unless of course, you are really close to paying it off, and in that case – congratulations!!!). When this happens, it is important for you to know your options, so that you are not leaving money on the table or putting yourself in a situation which could cost you money down the road.

There are two primary reasons that you may want to leave your existing lender: rate being the primary one, and sometimes you may simply be unhappy with the service (or lack of) that your existing lender is providing to you.

Approximately 65% of clients will simply sign the first mortgage renewal form offered to them by their existing lender when. No questions asked. That is a mistake, and often a costly one. Don’t get me wrong, the easiest thing for you to do is to sign that form. No re qualification, no additional questions, things just keep humming right along… but here is the thing: the banks are also aware of the fact that two-thirds of clients will ‘just sign’, and guess what… the higher the interest rate they can get you to pay, the more money they make.


How often do you think they will have your best interests at heart when renewing your mortgage?


Negotiating a Better Offer Upon Your Mortgage Renewal



The reality is that at the end of that term, you are indeed a free agent! Get out there and play the field. Here is how I would recommend doing that.

Ask Your Existing Lender To Come To The Table With Their Best Rate

Again, there is no doubt that the easiest thing to do IS to stick with your existing lender, and if they are offering a competitive rate, then my advice will always be to stay there. However until you know what they are willing to do for you, it is difficult to determine what the best course of action is.

Call A Mortgage Broker

As a Mortgage Broker, we work with an array of lenders: big banks, credit unions, mortgage finance companies, private lenders etc. Once you have a rate from your existing lender, your Mortgage Broker will be able to run through the mortgage products that the various lenders are offering, and figure out whether or not you would save money by switching lenders. Once we are within 120 days of your mortgage coming up for renewal, if there is a better rate out there for you, we can lock it in.One other reason to avoid signing blindly is that life happens, and situations change… if you just got out of a 5 year fixed term, but have a growing family and recognize that you will likely be upgrading your home in less than two years, perhaps it makes more sense for you to consider a shorter fixed term or a variable term (where the penalty for breaking that term is only a 3-month interest penalty). A Mortgage Broker will help you to work through all of these scenarios.

 

A Quick Re qualification

In the event that you can save money by switching lenders, it is important to realize that you will need to requalify. However, in most cases, assuming your financial situation is similar or better than what it was when you first obtained the last mortgage, this shouldn’t be a big deal. Typically, you will require the following documentation:

  • A letter of employment confirming position, salary, and full-time/part-time status
  • A recent paystub
  • A copy of a recent mortgage/renewal statement from your existing lender
  • A copy of your house insurance policy
  • A copy of your property tax bill ensuring payments are up to date
  • A void cheque or PAD form for the bank account where you would like your new mortgage to come out of

Other Points to Consider When Renewing Your Mortgage

Please recognize that every mortgage is different, and if you are self-employed, a part-time employee, own rental properties or something a little outside the norm, additional documentation may be requested, but the above list will cover the majority of the paperwork. Clearly, it may take a little bit of time to gather these documents. It is up to you whether or not you believe it is worth it.

If I can save you $5,300 (recent real-life example) over the next 5 years through lower payments and interest savings, is it worth spending 2-3 hours collecting a little information? In my eyes, you are making $1,766 per hour if it takes you three hours…. Now there are a LOT of things that I would do if I was paid $1,766/hr to do them, even if they are not my favourite! I would teach myself to snowboard. I would eat plates of raw oysters. I would shop at WalMart. And I would definitely collect void cheques and paystubs if it meant I could save that kind of cash.

When switching lenders, there may or may not be fees involved. Discharge fees, appraisal fees, ‘legal’ fees can all be part of the switching process, HOWEVER, in many cases, these fees can be covered by the new lender. Again, best to discuss these options with your Mortgage Broker, and see what they can do to save you money.


One final point about moving lenders… 

Since October 2016 there has been a substantial rule change that has come into effect which does make it more difficult to qualify for purchasing a home today. That is the truth and there is no getting around it. However, if you are simply renewing your mortgage with a different lender, although you DO have to re qualify, you are grandfathered in under the pre-October 2016 guidelines… which is great news, and ensures that you have a much better chance of being able to move lenders if it makes sense to do so.

If you are looking for honest, unbiased advice from a mortgage broker in Regina they would love to talk with you!

Skott Phone 306-201-6500  Ryan Phone 306-570-3379 

No Time to set up an appointment! No Problem! You can also click here to apply now  with Ryan or apply now with Skott and get the ball rolling.

TMG The Mortgage Group Skott Enns & Ryan Boughen are Trusted Regina Mortgage Brokers

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 

Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay warns about the potential implications of renting your property.

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!


Our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay want's to ensure Landlords are fully aware of the financial and legal issues that can arise from criminal activity conducted by a tenant.  

A recent article from the Star Phoenix "Regina landlords lose bid to make insurer pay for drug-house explosion" details how a local landlord attempted to gain compensation for the home from the insurance company.  The insurance company had denied their claim and pointed to a 2003 notice posted in a renewal package that stated simply: “We do not insure property used for the illegal cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing or selling of marijuana.”

Even though the landlords claimed they took all reasonable steps to screen the tenant and his partner, who had children and were otherwise “model tenants.” There was simply no way for them to know the tenants were surreptitiously running an illegal drug operation in the home, they argued.  However, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Elson rejected those arguments stating "changes to the policy were hardly “buried.” They came highlighted in a special box on the front page of the renewal form". Further, he noted that renting always carries an element of uncertainty — and landlords should be prepared for the worst.


How can a landlord limit responsibility for a crime committed by strangers on the rental property?

Screen tenants carefully and choose tenants who are likely to be law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Weed out violent or dangerous individuals to the extent allowable under privacy and anti-discrimination laws that may limit questions about a tenant's past criminal activity.

  • Don't accept cash rental payments.
  • Do not tolerate tenants' disruptive behaviour. Include an explicit provision in the lease or rental agreement prohibiting drug dealing and other illegal activity and promptly evict tenants who violate the clause.
  • Be aware of suspicious activity, such as heavy traffic in and out of the rental premises.
  • Respond to tenant and neighbour complaints about drug dealing on the rental property. Get advice from police immediately upon learning of a problem.
  • Consult with security experts to do everything reasonable to discover and prevent illegal activity on the rental property.
As in this case, screening doesn't always help it can limit the possibility of being denied by your insurance company.  Ultimately the liability falls on the property owner to be aware of the possible issues that can arise from criminal activity.  

Before you decide to rent out a property consult with a lawyer such as Robert MacKay to be certain that you are aware of all the potential legal implications and your options.  

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


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