After going to bat for the industry last year, CMBA has convinced the government to allow an exemption for broker licensing.
The Ontario government agreed to an amendment to its Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act that will not require brokers to take an extra, superfluous education course.
“The new debt settlement and consolidation legislation needed an exemption for mortgage brokers and agents, as it created unintended and cost-prohibitive restrictions for mortgage borrowers wishing to use a mortgage broker to consolidate debt. This is good news for the Ontario mortgage broker industry,” Samantha Gale
, executive director of CMBA, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The proposed changes also reign in debt settlement business which avoid licensing requirements by running the business through a lawyer’s license – the government is proposing to only permit exemptions for lawyers if the debt settlement or consolidation is in the ordinary course of the lawyer’s practice.”
Last year, British Columbia amended its Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA), which created new licensing requirements for debt consolidation services.
Similar amendments were made in Ontario in 2015 to the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.
In both cases, the amended requirements created overlaps with the respective mortgage broker courses, according to CMBA.
According to Gale, realtors and lawyers had been given exemptions under the new legislation in both provinces -- and now brokers in Ontario have as well.
“It’s really not in the consumer’s best interest. We believe authorization for mortgage brokers to do this kind of work under the applicable mortgage broker regulations (is sufficient),” Gale said last year. “We think that the appropriate solution would be for the governments in B.C. and Ontario by providing a mortgage broker exemption.”