Broker defends client against extra fee

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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.

“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.
  • @kiltedbroker on 2015-09-29 9:48:04 AM

    Well done Jamie for both doing the spot check in the first place and then making it right with your clients when the notary gouged them.

  • Darlene on 2015-09-29 9:57:57 AM

    It would be helpful to know who this gouging notary firm is, so we can stay far from sending our clients to them.

  • Dustan Woodhouse on 2015-09-29 12:08:42 PM

    It seems to me that the real Headline here should read:

    'Mortgage Broker Jamie Joseph proactive in aiding clients in avoiding significant penalties down the road, and upfront surcharges'

    That is the heart of this story.

  • Foys on 2015-09-29 12:26:00 PM

    The issue here is why are lawyers and notaries wanting to charge more. The monoline lenders need to get their act together and simplify their documentation process so that the lawyers will want to charge less not more.

    This issue has been going on for years. Why don't the monolines do something about it. They have the opportunity here to simplify the whole process, making it simpler for the lawyers. Some monolines just don't care. They allow their in house lawyers create more and more useless paperwork for the clients' lawyers to deal with.

  • Dustan Woodhouse on 2015-09-29 2:55:20 PM

    Congrats Jamie on some quality pro-active Brokering! And on taking ownership of a situation and doing the right thing. That was an excellent investment in your business, expense it under 'marketing'.

  • Walid Hammami on 2015-09-29 11:22:38 PM

    I spoke to notaries about their revenues (In Quebec notaries have an exclusivity on real estate deals) With cut-throat competition between them they are having hard time making a good living. FCT is also killing them. FCT uses notaries for their transactions but they pay them about a 100$/transaction. If the notary does the transaction without FCT then he makes about 200-400$/transaction. So if a monoline is asking for too many points to be checked then it might not be a profitable transaction that's why they charge more.

    The lenders are solving the problem by dealing with FCT on refinance (FCT does not do purchase deals) FCT charges between 695-795$ does all verifications and then lets the notary meet the clients to verify ID and collect signature for a 100$.

  • Sean Binkley on 2015-10-05 2:03:29 PM

    On the other hand, perhaps (not that it happens often enough) solicitors should be allowed to charge for their time. The paperwork, changes, systems and overall difficulty in using an alternative lender or even monoline does cause the solicitor more work. I think many solicitors have seen many brokers fees for non-A lenders and they are expected to do more work for the same cost. We are all professionals. More work = more time = more money. Nothing wrong with than IMHO

  • Sean Binkley on 2015-10-05 2:10:45 PM

    Good to help a client out, but on the other hand, perhaps (not that it happens often enough) solicitors should be allowed to charge for their time. The paperwork, changes, systems and overall difficulty in using an alternative lender or even monoline does cause the solicitor more work. I think many solicitors have seen many brokers fees for non-A lenders and they are expected to do more work for the same cost. We are all professionals. More work = more time = more money. Nothing wrong with that IMHO

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