'Key Messages' offer blueprint for government lobbying

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Oops. CAAMP may just have eliminated any excuse for not fighting the introduction of tighter mortgage rules, offering all brokers and agents a list of speaking points to present to their MPs, but also the media.

“As a follow up … we are pleased to provide you with Key Messages surrounding the issues,” writes CAAMP president Jim Murphy in an email to members earlier this week. “These Key Messages summarize current issues as well as CAAMP's position on mortgage industry matters currently being discussed.  We encourage you to use it in discussions with your local media and/or Member of Parliament.”

The blueprint, in fact, answers the requests of several mortgage professionals looking for industry associations to guide their individual lobby efforts. A letter-writing campaign is just one of the progressive steps brokers are being encouraged to take as fears grow that the government is moving to tighten mortgage rules as a way of retarding household debt levels.

Adding fuel to the fire are documents from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions suggesting the regulator has serious concerns about the level of business-for-self lending across the sector.

Also last week, several broker channel lenders announced they would either abandon or effectively restrict that type of lending after CMHC indicated it will now ration lender use of portfolio insurance, which would, in turn, limit the ability of mono-lines to securitize those mortgages and then sell them. That gets those loans off their books, and clears up room for new lending.

CAAMP itself has already upped its Ottawa lobbying in an effort to scuttle any formal introduction of new tougher mortgage rules that brokers say are already in effect.

“During the past week, there has been extensive media coverage and announcements affecting the mortgage industry,” writes CAAMP in a message to its members last week, outlining its lobby efforts. “The issue of lenders and the mortgage insurance ceiling has nothing to do with lending practices, but rather liquidity and capital requirements.”

Many of its members have offered the same analysis since CMHC warned lenders that access to its $600 billiion insurance fund for so-called bulk insurance to cover conventional mortgages would be much harder to get.

Murphy was, in fact, in Ottawa this week for a series of meetings with Finance Committee members and the minister himself, Jim Flaherty.

  • Sylvia on 2012-02-11 7:01:58 AM

    Good to see our membership dollars at work on an issue affecting us all.

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