A reminder to Ontario brokers wanting to arrange private mortgage deals in the new year: the deadline to complete the new licensing requirements is quickly approaching.
Under the new Ontario licensing system introduced last year by FSRA, a level 2 licence will be required by March 31, 2024 for brokers and agents wanting to handle both private mortgages and investments for private investors and mortgage lenders.
Those who don’t complete FSRA’s new Private Mortgage Course before that date will maintain a level 1 licence and will be restricted to arranging mortgages with financial institutions or CMHC-approved lenders under the National Housing Act.
The new licensing structure was introduced by FSRA earlier this year with the goal of ensuring consumers and investors “receive appropriate mortgage advice and product recommendations when dealing with private mortgages,” the regulator said.
“Licensees who were dealing in private mortgages may not have been sufficiently trained, or at least weren’t as familiar with specific the FSRA requirements and end-to-end process involved with these types of mortgages,” Caravaggio told CMT.
“The regulator aims to have consumer protection as the number one result, ensuring that agents and brokers have extensive knowledge of the products they are dealing with so that they can provide the proper service to their clients,” she added. “The number one result here will be consumer protection, ensuring that agents and brokers have extensive knowledge of the products they are dealing with so that they can provide the proper service to their clients.”
Caravaggio says feedback from professionals has so far been positive.
“Most individuals that understand the issues facing the market today seem to be supportive of the new licensing system and believe that the introduction of the private mortgage course (Agent level 2) will to lead to improved conduct and increase the level of knowledge within the private mortgage space,” she said. “Generally, individuals have applauded the content covered in the private mortgages course.”
For now, Ontario is the only province to have adopted the Private Mortgage Course. However, CMT has confirmed that several other provincial regulatory bodies are reviewing FSRA’s material.
Those who fail to comply with the new licensing regulations could face supervisory or enforcement actions, including a suspension of their licence and/or monetary penalties.
Re-licensing requirements still apply for all
In addition to the private mortgage licensing requirements, Ontario brokers and agents also need to be aware of the upcoming 2024 continuing education re-licensing courses.
Unlike the private mortgage course, which is only required for those interested in arranging private mortgage deals, all brokers and agents in the province must complete their re-licensing continuing education course by March 31, 2024.
In order to renew their licences, brokers are required to complete the 7-hour CE course while agents must complete the 5-hour course. Both are available online and in-person.
Mortgage Professionals Canada is currently offering complimentary course registration to its members up until January 10, 2024.