Consumer Protection BC’s recent assessment of the financial sector’s compliance with provincial consumer protection laws showed that there is broad non-compliance when it comes to the requirement to provide a consumer with a discharge document within 30 days of a mortgage loan being paid in full. This assessment was done after hearing concerns from the Law Society of BC, Society of Notaries Public of BC and Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia.
Working with the sector to come into compliance, Consumer Protection BC has signed a series of Undertakings with several financial institutions to change their business practices and make a payment to BC’s Consumer Advancement Fund. An Undertaking is a written agreement and one of the enforcement tools available to Consumer Protection BC under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
For the details on the latest notice, read the Undertaking in full:
Consumer Protection BC currently has similar inspections with other financial institutions that are still ongoing. The outcomes from those inspections will be added to the original notice once those processes are complete.
- Once a conventional mortgage is paid in full, a mortgage lender must provide the borrower with a discharge document within 30 days that can be used to remove the mortgage charge on the property that is filed with the Land Title and Survey Authority.
- If the mortgage is a revolving mortgage loan (such as a line of credit or commonly known as a HELOC mortgage), the mortgage lender must provide the discharge within 30 days of the mortgage being paid by the borrower and a request for the discharge document being made by the borrower.
- Section 72 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act speaks to a borrower’s entitlement to a mortgage discharge. Section 16 of the Disclosure of the Cost of Consumer Credit Regulation states that a financial institution can charge a maximum fee of $75 for a mortgage discharge.
About Consumer Protection BC
Consumer Protection BC is a not-for-profit regulator responsible for overseeing certain industries and specific consumer transactions in the province. Their mandate is to license and inspect their regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, and classify all general release motion pictures.
For more information about Consumer Protection BC, to read their recent enforcement actions, and to learn about their inspection and complaint-handling processes, please visit their website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or read their blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.