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The Big Story: What should Flaherty do?

This week we spoke to Enza Venuto, Paul Therien, Karim Talib, Aniruddh Raol and Jimmy Hansra. Find out on today’s The Big Story, on MortgageBrokerNews.ca TV, your home for industry news, opinion and analysis.

 

Video transcript below:

 

John Tenpenny, Mortgage Brokers News TV
John Tenpenny:
 Hi, I’m John Tenpenny, Editor of CMP Magazine and welcome to the Big Story on Mortgage Broker News TV.

It’s no surprise that this year’s Federal budget is focused on reducing debt.  But it’s not just government debt that concerns Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty.  With Canadian household debt on the rise and home prices slowing but not dropping, many are predicting the government would tinker with mortgage rules for the third year in a row and lower the maximum amortisation period. Not surprisingly most brokers do not agree with this option.  
 
Mortgage Broker News caught up with brokers at Centum’s inaugural conference - Vision 2012. Everyone would be better served if government focused on unsecured consumer debt and more importantly on improving financial literacy amongst the general public. 
 
Enza Venuto, Principal Broker, Centum – Finding the Right Mortgage
Enza Venuto:  Personally being in the industry for over 40 years , I have seen cycles like this happening, where the government likes to help and to assist consumers in reduction of debt.  I think the only way that we can all do this as a government and as a mortgage industry is we have to work together to educate our clients, to give them the education and the tools to help them reduce the debt.  As mortgage consultants our role is to help the client in relationship managing and helping them reducing the personal debt that they have.  Not just by having them incur more debt, but reduce the debt to allow their credit to be credible out there that will allow them to take the next step.
 
Paul Therein, Director of Business Development, Centum Financial Group
Paul Therein:  I think that the Federal government should be looking at mortgage debt.  However, they need to also focus on consumer credit, because that is the driving force for consumer insolvency in the country.  We need to have enhanced financial literacy programs and it’s the government as the chief educator in this country has an obligation to ensure that its citizens are educated on financial literacy and consumer credit and how to effectively manage it.
 
Karim Talib, President, Canada Compliance Support Network
Karim Talib:  Well I believe that the Federal government should have lesser changes in the regulation side for the mortgage aspect.  However, the Federal government should really focus on the unsecured debt that we have here in Canada.  
 
John Tenpenny:  Instead of amortisation changes, some think a better plan could be to increase the minimum down payment from 5 to 10%.  Helping Canadians borrow less and manage the debt they have should also be priority No.1.
 
Aniruddh Raol, Principal Broker, Centum Mortgage Achievers
Aniruddh Raol:  For the upcoming budget government should make some of the mortgage rules tighter and my suggestion would be to keep the amortisation same as before upto 30 years and change the down payment criteria from 5% to 10%.  So that way the monthly payment stays in control for everybody else and they can control their budget properly as well.  
 
Jimmy Hansra, Broker, Centum Fairtrust Financial Group
Jimmy Hansra:  I think the government should help individuals focus on unsecured debt as credit cards and unsecured lines of credit.  I don’t think mortgage debt is the big issue in Canada.  I think the issue is that a lot of individuals have household debt, but that household debt consists of credit cards and unsecured lines of credit.  I think the government should not scale back on their amortisations and help individuals focus on borrowing less and focus on more debt consolidating back to the debts that they currently have.
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    Many in the mortgage industry, both brokers and lenders, are now awaiting to hear if OSFI will implement some or all of the B-20 guidelines announced earlier this year and whether there will be any changes to these rules that could have a major impact on the lending landscape. Pacific Mortgage CEO and Mortgage Summit panelist Ron Swift says many of the proposals go too far and may do more harm than good to the market.

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    It’s been an ongoing debate for a while now. Housing bubble – no housing bubble. The latest numbers support the idea that the Canadian housing market will have a soft landing in 2012. In January, CREA reported that sales activity was down for the first time since August of 2011, while prices increased by a modest two per cent year-over-year. Forecasts for economic and job growth going forward vary widely for different parts of the country, meaning some markets may soften while others pick up. For experienced brokers, continuing to work with Realtor partners may be one key to surviving any drop-off in the market. As well, people will continue to buy, refinance and renew. So regardless of what the market may or may not do, brokers need to continue to show clients why brokers are an integral part of the home-buying purchase. On today’s Big Story, we spoke to mortgage broker Paula Roberts and mortgage agent Dena Kakaletris of The Roberts Group-Dominion Lending Centres. Find out on today’s