A new website may be extending brokers not one but two helping hands – the first better connecting them to MICs; the second educating the public about those lesser known lenders.
“The British Columbia MIC Managers Association (BCMMA) is pleased to announce the official launch of its website – www.bcmma.org,” President Alan Cross told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Members of the public who access the site will be able to educate themselves as to the purpose of the organization and the standards to which its members are held.”
While the website actively promotes the fledging association, focused on elevating the profile of Mortgage Investment professionals,and professionalising their ranks, it’s just as likely to benefit brokers.
The site effectively spreads the word about private lending options for homeowners seeking second mortgages or refis as well as prospective buyers hunting down short-term financing. As the primary conduit to that lending, mortgage brokers are likely to reap the rewards of that PR initiative.
Many brokers aren't themselves fully aware of all the private lenders and their offerings, suggest alternative lending veterans. That's something the website is also looking to change.
“Of specific interest to mortgage brokers is the member page, which serves as an access point to the websites of each of the Association’s members,” said Cross, who spearheaded development of BCMMA early last year. “Collectively, BCMMA’s members have in excess of $1 billion in lending capacity and provide a broad spectrum of lending capabilities throughout the province.”
The association’s members have also banded together to better lobby government on regulatory changes affecting their industry, but also broker client access to funding.
While the federal government successfully sold its Bill C-13 last year as a way of closing tax loopholes around investment corporations, Cross’s members balked at the ways it intends to do it.
Chief among the bill’s amendments was the decision to move MICs to a “prohibited investment” list in terms of RRSP and RRIF tax exemptions. In practical terms, it means that members of a family – or related individuals – lose that tax advantage if their collective ownership of any class of shares in a MIC or syndicate is more than 10 per cent.
A private lender represented BCMMA, AMBA and others industry organizations at an Ottawa hearing on the legislation last month, although was unable to win the kind of concessions brokers had hoped for.
“While I was pleased to represent the industry in this initiative,” said Dale Koeller, VP for Calgary-based Calvert Home Mortgage, “it is clear that there is not the political will at this time to make any changes to Bill C-13.”