17 Apr



Posted by: Naushy Saeed

We have all heard the horror stories about huge mortgage penalties. Like the time your friend wanted to refinance her home so that she could open a small business only to find out that it was going to cost her a $13,000 penalty to break her mortgage. This should not come as a surprise. It would have been in the initial paperwork from the mortgage lender and seen again at the lawyer’s office. A mortgage is a contract and when it is broken there is a penalty assessed and charged. You will have agreed to this. The institution that lent the money did so with the expectation that they would see a return on that investment so when the contract is broken there is a penalty to protect their interests. If you think about it, there is even a penalty to break a cell phone contract so the provider can recoup the costs they incurred so it stands to follow that of course there would be a penalty on a mortgage.

The terms of the penalty are clearly outlined in the mortgage approval which you will sign. The onus is on you to ask questions and to make sure you are comfortable with the terms of the mortgage offer. With so many mortgage lenders in Canada, you can very easily seek out other options if needed.

There are two ways the mortgage penalty can be calculated.

1. Three months interest – This is a very simple one to figure out. You take the interest portion of the mortgage payment and multiply it by three.

For instance: Mortgage balance of $300,000 at 2.79% = $693.48/month interest x 3 months or $2080.44 penalty.


2. The IRD or Interest Rate Differential – This is where things get trickier. The IRD is based on:

The amount you are pre-paying; and,
An interest rate that equals the difference between your original mortgage interest rate and the interest rate that the lender can charge today when re-lending the funds for the remaining term of the mortgage.
In Canada there is no one size fits all in how the IRD is calculated and it can vary greatly from lender to lender. There can be a very big difference depending on the comparison rate that is used. I have seen this vary from $2,850 to $12,345 when all else was equal but the lender.

Things to note:

You will be assessed the GREATER of the 2 penalties.
You should always call your lender directly to get the penalty amount and do not rely on online calculators
You can avoid the penalty by porting the current mortgage if you are moving or waiting until the end of the term
A variable rate mortgage is usually accompanied by only the 3 month interest penalty
Given that 6/10 mortgages in Canada are broken around the 36 month mark, wouldn’t it be better to find out before you sign how your mortgage lender calculates their penalty just in case??…and the best way to get more information is to contact you local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Pam is part of DLC Regional Mortgage Group based in Red Deer, AB.

7 Apr



Posted by: Naushy Saeed

Grim Reaper Be Damned! How “Living Gifting” Keeps the Grim Reaper at BaySorry Mr. Reaper, we’ve just figured out another way to delay your death grip! Research shows that giving an inheritance to another person while you’re alive – a concept known as “living gifting” – not only feels good, it can promote better physical and mental well-being and even help you live longer.

Health researcher and best-selling author, Stephen G. Post, summarizes it nicely:

“A remarkable fact is that giving, even in later years, can delay death. The impact of giving is just as significant as not smoking and avoiding obesity.”

Still not convinced? Here are 5 Powerful reasons to consider giving an early inheritance:

1. We Are Living Longer – According to Statistics Canada, for a 65-year old couple there is a one-in-two chance that one of them will reach the age of 92. Do your children really need an inheritance when they are in their mid-to-late 60’s?

2. Pay Down Their Mortgage – Let’s say mom & dad gave their son $200,000 to pay down his existing mortgage. A $200,000 gift, amortized over 25 years, is really worth over $340,000 when you factor in the interest he’ll be saving. And paying down the son’s mortgage will lower his monthly mortgage payments, providing extra cash-flow to start saving for his retirement or university education for his children. The mortgage professionals at Dominion Lending Centres can help with a variety of mortgage options.

3. Time Value of Money – Money that is available today, is worth more than the same amount in the future, due to its earning capacity. Of course, if the money doesn’t earn anything, then this principal does not hold true. Using the above example, let’s say the son invested the $200,000 gift with a conservative 5% target rate of return over 25 years. Using a 25% marginal tax rate, that $200,000 gift is really worth $502,033 – even after deducting income taxes!

4. Save on Probate – In Ontario, the value of the estate is reduced by an encumbrance against the property. In the above example, if the parents took out a mortgage, or a reverse mortgage, to give their son a $200,000 gift, then that debt reduces the value of the estate, which will result in the estate paying less in probate fees (the taxes you pay on the settling of an estate).

5. Create Lasting Memories – After you are gone, the actual dollar amount you leave to your children will soon be long forgotten. What your children will remember is the time they spent with you. So, the next time you suggest a family trip to Disneyland, or a weekend getaway, and they tell you “let’s do it next year when we’ll have enough saved”, if you have the means, consider booking the trip as part of an early inheritance. Create lasting memories while your health allows you to, because after all, “Procrastination is the thief of time” – Charles Dickens

Roland is a Business Development Manager with HomEquity Bank.