“I was doing a refinance deal for a grade-A client, and it wasn’t a collateral charge or anything like that,” Jamie Joseph, a broker with Dominion Lending Centres
The Mortgage Hub, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I sent it to a notary I regularly use and did a spot check and noticed an extra charge.
In several markets, brokers often refer clients to notaries as a cost-effective way alternative to having a lawyer conduct a title search and otherwise check for claims against a property.
According to Joseph, notaries regularly charge $650 per deal, but this particular firm tacked on an extra $500. The document stated it was for “additional fees for non-standard lender,” Joseph said.
“I queried the notary who did it and had it escalated to the owner of the firm,” Joseph said. “I asked him to define what a ‘non-standard’ lender was and he the list he gave me was monoline lenders; I said they were essentially charging brokers more than the banks but they wouldn’t answer that.”
Joseph ended up reimbursing his client because they used the notary firm on his referral, but he won’t be sending any business there from now on.
“I sent them an email and said I wouldn’t use them anymore for my business,” Joseph said. “It was pretty disappointing.”
Similar additional fees for monoline files have been tacked on by law firms, according to industry players, but nothing in the same range as an extra $500.
Brokers across the country have been frustrated by lawyers who charge extra fees for monoline deals, and now one industry player has noticed the practice implemented by a notary firm.