Setting the bar high for regulating the mortgage industry
| August 19, 2015
Allegations of mortgage fraud have prompted a large mortgage provider in Ontario to remove 45 individuals from their list of approved providers. Some in the industry and the media have questioned the standards for entry into the mortgage industry and the regulation of industry professionals on a day-to-day basis. As the body that sets those standards in Alberta, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) took an interest in the situation.
FACT: None of the 45 mortgage brokers are licensed in Alberta.
RECA licenses more than 2,300 mortgage professionals in Alberta, and is committed to maintaining a high level of professionalism in the industry. First and foremost, RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers from activities like the ones allegedly perpetrated by the 45 mortgage brokers mentioned above. RECA does this through comprehensive education, and setting and enforcing high standards of practice.
RECA expects professionals in Alberta to be ethical and competent.
High Education Standards
Mortgage professionals must complete the Mortgage Associates Program (MAP) to become licensed in Alberta. MAP consists of two comprehensive courses. The first course, the Fundamentals of Mortgage Brokerage, focuses on the basics of mortgage brokerage and on the high standards of professionalism outlined in the legislation RECA enforces. This course includes extensive information on spotting and preventing mortgage fraud. The second course focuses on the day-to-day practice of mortgage brokerage. Potential mortgage professionals must get 70% or higher on the exams for each course.
Professionals must also periodically take mandatory re-licensing education courses, usually every two years. The latest course, Mortgage Broker Update 2015, has a significant focus on mortgage fraud.
High Standards of Practice and Professionalism
Mortgage professionals in Alberta are prohibited from committing misleading and fraudulent acts, and they cannot bring the industry into disrepute. RECA is self-regulated, meaning 10 of the 12 Council members are themselves industry professionals. As professional, successful members of the industry, they have every interest in making the mortgage brokerage industry as professional, as trustworthy and as valuable to consumers as possible. Council takes the enforcement of high standards very seriously.
Beyond Council, mortgage professionals themselves take pride in a professional image. They’re all in this together, and when one person is unprofessional, it can reflect poorly on the entire industry.
Mortgage brokers help consumers make what is typically the largest purchase of their lives. It’s a responsibility they don’t take lightly; neither does RECA.
More information from RECA:
More information from the Mortgage Broker Regulators’ Council of Canada (MBRCC):