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, read the Undertakings in full:
- Toronto Dominion Bank
- Bank of Montreal
- First National Financial GP Corporation
- Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union
- Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
- First West Credit Union
- Prospera Credit Union
- HSBC (published August 10, 2023)
- CIBC (published October 16, 2023)
- RBC (published December 13, 2023)
Consumer Protection BC currently has similar inspections with other financial institutions that are still ongoing. The outcomes from those inspections will be published and added to this 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 the regulator of a variety of sectors and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, and to classify all general release motion pictures.
For more information about our organization, to read our recent enforcement actions, and to learn about our inspection and complaint-handling processes, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.