Harper Government Teams up With Canadian Home Builders Association

Harper Government Teams up With Canadian Home Builders Association

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Harper Government Teams up With the Canadian Home Builders’ Association

Here is the press release from the Government of Canada dated 5 March 2015 about the Harper Government Teams up With Canadian Home Builders Association to ensure Canadians Get it in Writing!

Harper Government teams up with the Canadian Home Builders' Association to ensure Canadians Get it in Writing!

Harper Government teams up with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association to ensure Canadians Get it in Writing!

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.P., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, announced today that the Government of Canada is providing approximately $745,000 over the next three years to support the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s (CHBA) Get it in Writing! campaign. The campaign helps Canadians and legitimate businesses protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors in the construction industry who are operating through the underground economy. Minister Findlay made the announcement at the CHBA’s National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Get it in Writing! campaign raises awareness about the safety and financial risks the public face if they participate in the underground economy by purchasing construction or home renovation services “under the table.” It provides consumers and home renovation contractors with tools and information to discourage and reduce participation in the underground economy.

The Government of Canada works closely with industry and other levels of government to combat the underground economy in Canada. Minister Findlay launched a three-year Underground Economy Strategy, Reducing Participation in the Underground Economy last fall, and formed an Advisory Committee of industry representatives.

For more information, visit: www.cra.gc.ca/undergroundeconomy.

 

Quick facts

  • In 2011, Statistics Canada estimated the value of underground economy activity in Canada at 2.3% of the GDP.
  • In 2013-2014, the CRA audited almost 8,000 cases involving participation in the underground economy, and identified an additional $718 million in unreported income.
  • The CRA’s strategy, Reducing Participation in the Underground Economy, will:
    • promote better understanding of Canada’s underground economy – where, when and how it occurs;
    • reduce the social acceptability of participation in the underground economy; and
    • reduce participation in the underground economy through a range of initiatives over the next three years.
  • On November 17, 2014, the Minister of National Revenue’s Underground Economy Advisory Committee held its first meeting in Toronto, Ontario. The Committee has representatives from academia and key industry associations representing the financial, restaurant, retail, home building, and construction industries, as well as small businesses and chambers of commerce.

Quotes

“The Canadian Home Builders’ Association is a valuable partner, and a leader among peers in raising awareness about the pitfalls of participating in the underground economy in the construction industry. We are proud to support the Get it in Writing! campaign. It is a clear example of how government and industry can work together to make a genuine difference in the safety and economic health of our communities.”

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

“Participating in the underground economy provides an unfair advantage to unscrupulous businesses, and undermines the competitiveness of the millions of legitimate Canadian entrepreneurs. By simple actions like always getting a receipt, Canadians can do their part and join our Government and industry partners in tackling this pervasive and costly problem.””

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

“Contractors who cut corners when it comes to their taxes are also likely to cut corners in their work. That’s bad news for Canadian consumers. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association urges Canadians to not expose themselves to undue risk, both physical and financial. The Government of Canada’s underground economy strategy is a significant step in fighting the underground economy. We thank the Government of Canada for its renewed support for the Get it in Writing! campaign.””

Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Home Builders’ Association

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Bank of Canada Rate Cut

Bank of Canada Rate Cut

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Bank of Canada Rate Cut

The Bank of Canada rate cut could be just around the corner. Analysts are predicting that due to the not-so good Canadian economy outlook, there is the possibility the Bank of Canada rate cut could be more real than fiction at its next interest rate announcement on March 4, 2015.

It was the surprise of the year, and we’ve barely started the new year, when the Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz announced last week on Wednesday January 21 that they were lowering the key lending interest rate. Not to our surprise, this week Chartered Banks and other institutional lenders begin dropping their prime lending rate in response to the Bank of Canada’s rate cut. The Prime Rate is now at 2.85%.

Bank of Canada rate cut
picture courtesy of CBC

There are several indicators confirming the poor performance of the Canadian economy, such as the Statistics Canada labor market revisions, big 6 banks not lowering their prime rate equal to the Bank of Canada’s rate cut by 25 basis points and only lowering theirs by 15 basis points and another worry is the drop in oil prices which the Bank of Canada suggests is their main concern that could potentially get worse and impact not only the Alberta economy which is largely based on the oil sand productions, but also to resonate nation wide.

 

It’s a wait and see game at this point. After all, in the past 5 years there were many naysayers and predictions with what will happen with the prime lending rate, but at the end it never changed until 5 years later, and to our surprise, it went down instead of up.

What are your thoughts about the recent Bank of Canada rate cut, and future ones? How do you feel the Canadian economy is doing right now and where will we be next year this time?

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Mortgage Professional

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Mortgage Professional

In the complexities of an ever advancing Canadian real estate market it has become increasingly important and beneficial for the consumer, such as the first time home buyer, existing home owner looking for a mortgage renewal, or the real estate investor seeking to acquire an investment property to work with a seasoned Canadian mortgage professional – mortgage broker / mortgage agent —  when it comes to getting their mortgage financing in order.

A mortgage professional, or otherwise known as a mortgage broker or agent – we will call them from this point onwards the ‘mortgage professional’ — studies in the field of real estate financing and specializes just in mortgages. A mortgage professional here in Canada works for the benefit of the consumer / client, making sure that the mortgage client receives the correct and unbiased professional advice that best suits the needs and realities of each clients situation, which differs from everyone one else.

Unlike the individual working in a bank, mortgage professionals will not try to up-sell to you proprietary specific bank products in order that they meet their sales quota. Mortgage professionals will not push you towards one lender over another, but rather, they will decide which one of the lenders has the best mortgage product based on your personal and unique circumstances. For most consumers when working with mortgage professionals there is no fee’s or charges that they have to pay. The lending institution that approves your mortgage application will pay a commission to the mortgage professional after the closing of the deal.

Unfortunately it has become normal practice for the consumer to shop around just for the lowest interest rate even if that means sacrificing the quality and trustworthiness of the individual or company that is quoting the low interest rate. There should be more to your investigation and shopping of mortgages than just how low their interest rates are. You should be looking at the overall package of the mortgage professional.

Most provinces in Canada regulate the mortgage brokerage industry. The purpose of the regulation is for the protection of the consumer by making sure that individuals who want to work in the industry meet certain minimal judiciary and educational requirements.

If you are considering to become a mortgage broker or agent in any of the Canadian provinces, or you are thinking about seeking the professional help of a mortgage broker or agent, you can visit the following Government web sites to learn more about the mortgage industry and its professionals in most Canadian provinces.

British Columbia

Financial Institutions Commission – FICOM

The Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) is an agency of the provincial government, which administers nine statutes providing regulatory rules for the protection of the public in the province of British Columbia.

 

Alberta

Real Estate Council of Alberta – RECA

RECA is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing industry professionals in the real estate, mortgage broker, and real estate appraisal industries.

 

Saskatchewan

Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority – FCAA

Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) protects consumer and public interests and supports economic well-being through responsive financial marketplace regulation. FCAA enhances consumer protection through licensing, registration, audit, complaint handling and enforcement activities pursuant to various provincial statutes.

 

Manitoba

The Manitoba Securities Commission

The real estate division is responsible for administering The Real Estate Brokers Act and The Mortgage Brokers Act. This division registers real estate brokers, salespersons, and mortgage brokers, monitors brokers’ trust accounts, and investigates complaints against real estate brokers, salespersons and mortgage brokers.

 

Ontario

Financial Services Commission of Ontario – FSCO

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario is a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance that regulates insurance, pension plans, loan and trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, mortgage brokering, and co-operative corporations in Ontario.

 

Quebec

Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec – OACIQ

The Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) is the organization responsible for the application and enforcement of the Real Estate Brokerage Act.

 

New Brunswick

Department of Justice and Consumer Affairs Consumer Affairs Branch

 

Nova Scotia

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Business Licensing

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Secured Credit Card

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Why a Secured Credit Card

Living in Canada means that you now have to start building your credit score and credit strength. In some cases a secured credit card can help you do this. What does this mean? When ever you go to purchase something that requires you to get a loan, such as a car, or house, the lending institution that is considering your loan application will check to see how strong of a credit score you have. There are two credit reporting agencies in Canada; Equifax and Transunion.

For people who have just arrived to Canada, or for students who have finished college or university and are getting out into the working field, they will need to get their first credit card or line of credit. This is important in two ways. The first is that they will now have a source of credit to purchase what they like, and second, as soon as they start buying items and putting charging it to their credit card, those transactions will be reported to Transunion and Equifax. These credit agencies use specially designed algorithmic formulas to determine your credit score and credit strength (worthiness).

The lending agencies such as chartered banks count on these credit scores to make their final decision as to whether approve your loan or not due to how reliable you are with paying back your debts. The higher your credit score, the better it is.

A secondary service that we have at Trusterra Mortgage is to help individuals to build or rebuild their credits by providing them with a secured credit card.

Before we go further in this post and explain to you about what a secured credit card is, we should point out that there are individuals who have been living in Canada for many years and did in fact have credit cards, but for some reason or another, they ran into financial difficulties and throughout time were not able to pay back their loans, or paid them back very late. Because of these discrepancies their credit scores have been reduced greatly and now the major credit card company’s / banks will not approve them for any credit cards until they can show to the bank again that they have a strong an clean track record of being able to pay back their loans on time.

Now, back to what a secured credit card is. Basically it means that you will have to provide a security deposit to the credit card issuer in order for them to approved you on that security deposits amount to be your credit or spending limit. Therefore, if you provide $500.00 as a security deposit onto the credit card, then your credit limit on the card will be $500.00. You can spend up to this amount but you can never go beyond it. Also, if for some unfortunate reason you can not pay back what is outstanding on the card, the credit card issuer already has your security deposit and they have nothing to lose.

The main purpose of getting a secured credit card is so that you can start building credit activity to your name. As you use the credit card in your day to day purchase transactions, your credit score can start to move up and eventually you will be able to go to a major bank and apply for a unsecured credit card. After which point, you can cancel your secured credit card, get your security deposit back and be on your marry way.

Generally speaking, pretty well everyone who applies for a secured credit card get’s approved.

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