Interview About Mortgage Insurance, Mortgages and BankruptcyPosted on: October 24, 2019
In part two of the video interview with David Grossman, a mortgage broker, he and Richard Killen, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee discuss mortgage insurance and how mortgages work with bankruptcy in Ontario.
Ontario Mortgage Insurance Explained
|Richard||Now there’s always further protection that goes into mortgages. It’s called mortgage insurance. I know when you’re dealing with a bank, they’re prompt to line up mortgage insurance. Is this insurance for you, is it?|
|David||This is insurance for the borrower, life insurance and/or disability. If the mortgage is paid off when a person dies, then the home would go to the estate.|
|Richard||So it protects other people but not the borrower?|
|David||Well, no. Let’s say, there’s a husband and wife. It might protect one of the borrowers.|
|Richard||If I’m married and I buy a million-dollar house in my name. I have a $500,000 mortgage insurance and then I die. The insurance company will write a check to whom?|
|David||If you get regular life insurance you name the beneficiary so normally you name the beneficiary as somebody in your family.|
|Richard||What do you mean by mortgage insurance?|
|David||The banks sell mortgage insurance and I believe that if somebody dies, the money goes straight to pay off the insurance or if there’s a claim, it goes to reduce them.|
|Richard||That’s why they want the mortgage insurance?|
|David||Yes. And also because they like selling add-ons and extras because you can make a lot of extra money selling different things. You don’t have to buy insurance from anyone. It’s a good idea to do so if you have heirs, a family, or a spouse. If something would happen to you, would you want your heirs to have to sell or would you want them to continue to live in the property? If you want them to be able to continue to live in the property, you have to think about how they are going to manage financially assuming you’re the breadwinner or the primary breadwinner. Your estate, your heirs will benefit by having insurance and that’s, I think, the main reason why people should get insurance.|
|Richard||That speaks for insurance, in general. It’s always a good idea to have some protection against eventualities. We don’t predict the future very well. As human beings, we’re poor at that. But this business about mortgage insurance, is it essentially an insurance where you’re purchasing, which will cost you money, but you’re insuring the lender from a loss if something happens?|
|David||Well, yes. If you die and you have a mortgage, the mortgage won’t disappear. They’ll still have legitimate charges on the house. The question is how will they pay for it if your income is gone. You may not be able to service the debt.|
|Richard||So that leaves the lender not getting paid?|
|Richard||Is it why they insist on you having insurance?|
|David||They don’t they don’t insist. We have to offer people insurance and they don’t have to take it. There were cases before where, let’s say, somebody bought a house and the minute you sign and your purchase is firm like you’ve waived all financing conditions or anything else. Let’s say, that house is closing in 60 days. If you die between now and the closing, you still have to proceed with that contract. There was a case of a husband and wife and the husband died. They didn’t have insurance was sued because she didn’t close on the house. She couldn’t close the house but she was sued. That’s why, the minute you firm up your deal and you’re dealing with your bank or mortgage broker, you don’t necessarily need to take the insurance from them. However, it’s a good time to be looking at insurance for your benefit and the benefit of your heirs.|
|Richard||In the example that you just gave where the purchaser dies before the closing, the spouse or beneficiary of the estate was then responsible for closing the sale. But the lender wasn’t committed?|
|David||The lender can back out. When we get people a mortgage approval, usually, it’s a conditional approval. We’ll submit an application and we’ll say, this person makes a certain amount of income. The lender can get out of that deal up until the day of closing. They verify the employment and if they find out, they can back out.|
|Richard||So it’s kind of a one-way street, right?|
|David||It’s a one-way street. Death is never a good option.|
|Richard||Let’s stick to that philosophical plane. Nobody dies.
Even though nobody dies, unexpected things happen to people -- sickness, and so forth. These are the people we see in the insolvency business. The people we see have some negative unforeseen things happened to them. Can you, as a mortgage broker, use their equity they may have to help them get over rough patches even though that might affect their credit rating?
|David||Yeah, for sure. If there’s equity in a home and people run into some kind of problem, things do happen in life, they can access the equity in the home.|
|Richard||Even if their credit rating has been adversely affected by what’s going on? People don’t give up right away when they start having problems. They try to keep things afloat but they can easily find themselves falling behind in payments as they struggle to take from Peter to pay Paul. Six months down the line, this problem hasn’t gone away. They still have equity in the home but now, the credit rating has become besmirched. Can you still help them?|
|David||Yeah. Lenders want to see that there’s a plan. They wouldn’t normally just lend money and not consider the borrower’s credit and what’s going on but they might look at it and say, “Look you have $50,000 in credit card debt that you’re having trouble paying. If we get you a mortgage, we can reduce those payments. Some credit cards are 20-30%. In this case, if the person is without a job, he’s not going to be getting money from A or B-lender, but even if they’re borrowing money at 10-12%, it might help them to solve the problem and then they can improve their credit. Hopefully, they’re going to be reemployed again soon.|
|Richard||It will certainly be better than the 19-26% they’re paying on their credit card.|
Should I get A mortgage To Pay Off My Consumer Proposal?
|Richard||This is one of the options we discuss with people when they come to see us.
When people come to see us, We don’t just talk about bankruptcies and proposals. We talk about consolidation loans. We talk about using resources that they have or might have available or might be accessible to them to try to avoid having to do the bankruptcy or consumer proposal.
|David||I think that people should start looking to have conversations with professionals like yourself and me before they start missing payments. There are people who have all kinds of equity in their house. However, if they miss payments and they let their credit go downhill, we can still get them the loan but it’s going to cost more money. It’s going to be more expensive. Therefore, they should talk to professionals before they start missing out a lot of payments for some guidance.|
|Richard||It’s a message in our advertising we try to get that across all the time. Why wait for things to have already gone downhill before getting advice. Advice is easy to give but not so easy to take.
This happens frequently. We have many insolvent people. They can no longer keep all their creditors happy through their resources, therefore, they do something with us. However, most people don’t want to do bankruptcy. I think in the 30 years that I’ve been in this business, I’ve never met anybody who wanted to do bankruptcy. They did because they had to but they sure didn’t want to. However, what we do is provide an alternative to bankruptcy. It’s called a proposal or a consumer proposal. They’ve got some equity in the home and so forth. They’re paying this proposal which can usually be done for over a five-year or 60-month period. They can get two or three years into it. Like anything else, it’s a negative drag on them. It may have a positive end but it’s a payment that they have to make. Therefore, we often suggest to them that they look at using the equity in their home to pay off the proposal. So, even though they’ve done something under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, can you still help them with that?
|David||Sure, yeah. We do get people who are in a proposal alone but the lenders will typically want to see the balance of the proposal being paid out in one shot from the loan proceeds.|
|Richard||That’s a normal consolidation factor, isn’t it?|
|Richard||They don’t want the semi pay-outs?|
|David||No. They want a hundred percent payout. Correct me if I’m wrong but let’s say, there’s $1,000 monthly payment on a proposal. If somebody was to make a lump sum payment, it’s not going to reduce the thousand dollar-a-month.|
|Richard||I should say that it prepays is the proposal, so they can reduce their payments if they’re ahead.|
|David||Okay. That’s an interesting point. Generally speaking, lenders want to see the proposal paid out in full from the proceeds. It’s worth mentioning though that sometimes when people are looking to do a proposal they can get a mortgage at the same time and do a lump sum.|
|Richard||In other words, they can use their equity to fund the proposal process to get out of debt.|
|David||Right. Rather than having payments over five years, they could do it in a one-time shot and it’s done.|
|Richard||Then, they can amortize their payments over a longer stretch through the mortgage process.|
How to improve credit rating after a bankruptcy or consumer proposal
|Richard||Some of our viewers might be people who have done bankruptcy or a proposal and they perhaps have gone all the way through it. One of the things that’s going to be uppermost in their minds is regaining the good credit status that they used to have. Can you help them with that?|
|David||There are some things that people can do to re-establish their credit. The first thing they can do is get a secured credit card. Home Trust is a company that offers it. In a secured credit card, put down some money which they’ll hold on to. You can put down $1,000 or $1,500. They’ll hold the money but they’ll give you a credit card that you can start using. It’s convenient as a way to start rebuilding your credit. lt operates like a regular credit card except they’re holding on to some of your money.
You can also get a car loan because car lending companies are pretty flexible. They’ll charge a higher rate on a car but it’s a good way to start to re-establish credit. Eventually, you can get a mortgage from a bank if you’ve had two full years of re-established credit. By no means game over for you if you declare bankruptcy or go for a proposal. You do get a second chance.
|Richard||Is there a difference, in your experience, for people who have done bankruptcy or proposal in their speed with which they can recover their credit rating?|
|David||I haven’t really noticed a difference. As from a lender’s point of view, they look at the date of completion of a proposal or from the date of discharge of the bankruptcy. A bank or an A-lender want to see two years minimum of re-established credit. You must make all of your payments on time in the proposal.
B-lenders will give you a mortgage lump sum the next day after a discharge of the bankruptcy or completion of a proposal. You may need to have it with a minimum of 25% down and a good provable income but they’ll do it one even one day after the discharge. You may not ever be able to get a mortgage from an institution who was part of the loss. So, if you lost money with the Bank of Montreal, you go to Royal Bank. If you lost money with both Royal Bank and the Bank of Montreal, you go to TD. If you lost money from all of them, then you have a problem. There’s always a lot of lenders out there. If you take steps to reestablish your credit, you do get a second chance.
|Richard||This can happen immediately?|
|David||It can happen immediately, not with a bank but with our alternative lender. They’ll charge a little bit higher rate but if you’re back in the saddle, you’re making money, you can show you’re making money, and you’ve got 25% down.|
|Richard||But it doesn’t happen by itself. You have to be proactive about it. you have to be the one to make it happen. In other words, you can’t sit on the sidelines and expect your credit rating to come back automatically.|
|David||That’s correct. You gotta get out there and whatever the situation was that led to the loss, if it’s something that’s in your control, hopefully, you’ve learned something from it. It took a little while to get yourself set in the right direction.|
|Richard||People that go through the process to deal with an insolvent situation, they’re not happy about it but by the time they get through that, they’re pretty well-resolved not to repeat this process ever. It happens because they can’t foresee the future but they’re well aware that they don’t want to go through this again.|
|David||It’s a second chance. It’s a glass-half-full. They’ve learned some lessons and it’s a renewal to be let off the hook for getting into all that debt.|
Will I lose My House If I go Bankrupt In Ontario?
|Richard||On that particular point, I was telling you earlier that when people come in to see us and they have a home, the first thing they say to us it is “I don’t want to lose my house.” Now, what would you say to something like that at that point?
If you decide to do a proposal or bankruptcy, it doesn’t mean you’re going to lose your house. You have to disclose it because it is court-ordered. But I know that a good trustee like yourself has ways to arrange things so that people don’t have to necessarily lose their house.
The idea of the bankruptcy, proposal, or the insolvency process is to serve both parties. You have two protagonists. You have a debtor and the creditors and they’re both supposed to get something out of this law. The debtor will get a fresh start and all the rest of the good stuff but the lender will have to resign himself to get what he can from the assets. However, if there’s equity in the home, some of the creditors agree with this completely that as long as they get the kind of money out of the situation that they were going to get if the house were sold, they don’t mind if the people get to keep the house.
|David||Yes. They’re not looking to put people out on the street.|
|Richard||Well, David, I appreciate you coming down and I’m going to ask you one last question. People are looking at you here and listening to you. What would you say to them in terms of why they should come and see you under whatever circumstances they’re in?|
|David||Whatever the circumstances, it’s important to talk to people who know their business. I’ve been in mortgages for a long time and I deal with both prime borrowers. More of my business is in the alternate space, dealing with people who are not getting what they want for any reason. Furthermore, I’ve had a fair bit of experience dealing with people who have credit issues and who have debt issues. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give me a call because you just never know.|
|Richard||It’s a no-lose situation, isn’t it?|
|David||It’s a no-lose situation. There’s no charge for advice. We don’t get paid unless we arrange a mortgage. That’s the nature of our business. We want to help people and I can pick up the phone and tell them what we know.|
|Richard||I’ve had this sitting on my table. I’ve written this book and the program itself is called after the title of this book. There are many different little intentions of this book but one of the main reasons why I produced the book is because there are several people I’ve seen go through the insolvency process. They let it get them down and let it diminish them in some way. The process should have a different outcome, an ultimate result. When people deal with us, we try to get at that and make sure that they can see the process that we’re going to apply would allow them to make life better. But you can’t get there unless you have the right attitude. And so, we call that The Glass Half-Full just to denote that attitude is a huge part of accomplishing anything in life. So, what you would say is that maybe these words would have a lot of impact on your business, too?|
|David||Every day, that’s the way. You have to make a choice of how you see things that come your way. The problems are opportunities, so, I think it’s a great approach. Moreover, I think you have a great show and I appreciate you inviting me to be on it.|
|Richard||It’s a pleasure to have you|