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Tag: foreclosure

Private Lending: Do not Rely on Someone Else’s Appraisal!

Often private lenders will receive a brief term sheet with an email introduction from a mortgage broker or agent trying to place a mortgage deal.  Included in this package may be an appraisal that was used perhaps to satisfy a prior lender on the property, or if looking for a second priority mortgage it may have been used for the first mortgage lender on the property.  What this means is that the appraisal was not commissioned for you, the private lender.  Its very easy to skim through an appraisal, see if it was ordered for a Big Bank, and rely on it as accurate and reliable.  How often do you read every single page, the assumptions, disclaimers and conclusions?  Most readers are ill-equipped to understand how the appraisal was prepared, under what requirements and circumstances.  Finally, its believed that if  you are relying on an “opinion” any damages by way of gross inaccuracies could result in a claim to recover against the appraiser.

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Can a borrower redeem their mortgage under power of sale?

The answer to this question is constantly evolving, with new and conflicting case law addressing specific facts released almost yearly.  The old adage of being able to redeem your mortgage (payout your mortgage) during a power of sale proceeding so long as the mortgagee in possession (being the seller) has not yet entered into a firm or unconditional agreement of purchase and sale with a buyer is no longer clear cut.Today the way I understand it is that there are two issues once the mortgagee in possession (being the seller/mortgage lender) enters into an agreement of purchase and sale with a potential buyer, and whether or not the borrower/mortgagor can still redeem (payout) his mortgage and keep his property:Agreement of purchase and sale has conditions that must be satisfied prior to the agreement becoming “firm”; and

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Can a lender charge a mortgage pre-payment penalty under Power of Sale proceedings or once the mortgage term has matured, regardless if it is an Open or Closed Mortgage?

Under section 17 of the Mortgages Act, and pursuant to relevant case law the answer is “Yes” the lender can.  Subject to the wording in the original mortgage commitment/agreement, you will often find that lenders will charge 3 months interest pre-payment penalty if they have to enforce the mortgage via a power of sale proceeding or if you neglected to renew the mortgage once the term has expired and have failed to pay the lender out (within the time allotted pursuant to the lender’s notice).  Also, often enough, the original mortgage commitment/agreement will have qualified wording for “Open” mortgages stipulating that so long as the borrower is not in default, the borrower will be able to pre-pay the mortgage in whole or in part without a penalty or bonus.  However, once in default, a lender can demand the penalty payment of three months’ worth of interest calculated on the then outstanding principle balance, even if your mortgage is an Open one.In relevant case law the courts have often ruled in favor of the lender on disputes over its right to charge penalties pursuant to section 17 of the Mortgages Act, where the borrower was found in default of payment of any principal or interest money. 

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Issues in Mortgage Law

Foreclosure: When and Why?It is not uncommon to combine a claim for foreclosure with a claim for the amount due under the covenants contained in the mortgage. Thus, an action for foreclosure is for the recovery of the mortgaged property itself and is a means by which the mortgagor’s equity of redemption is ended, so that the mortgagee may realize on the security without later having to justify the sale price or to account for the sale proceeds.In Toronto, and quite a few other jurisdictions in Ontario, the foreclosure process takes place as a reference pursuant to Rules 54 and 55 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Besides this, Rule 64 has specific application to foreclosures and sale actions. When a choice is made between power of sale or foreclosure, there are several issues to consider. Such considerations are:  whether the mortgagee is an institutional or private lender; whether there are any subsequent encumbrancers or execution creditors and whether they are private or institutional;

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ASSIGNMENT OF LEASES, RENTS, NON DISTURBANCE AND ATTORNMENT: How To Differentiate Between Them

In this context, Madame Justice McKinley also dealt with the situation where a lease is absolutely assigned by the owner of land but the reversionary interest in the land is not transferred to the assignee. Though it is not clear how the owner of land could keep the reversionary interest while assigning absolutely the benefit and obligations under the lease to a third party, Madame Justice McKinley commented that if that was possible there would be no privity of estate between the assignee and the non-assigning party since the reversionary interest remained in the landlord. The point is that privity of estate can only apply between the parties who hold the estate or interest in the land, the fee simple and the leasehold estates. Further on, at page 336, Madame Justice McKinley stated:“To the extent that he may have inferred that an absolute assignment of leases would have created privity of estate between the lessor and the mortgagee, I would not agree, unless that absolute assignment amounted to an assignment of the lessor’s reversionary interest in the land.”Choses in Action

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The Law of Lease Assignments

Earlier we have seen how Goodyear benefited from its lawsuit against Burnhamthorpe. This verdict is compared with the generally accepted good law set out in Corbett v. Plowden over one hundred years ago in Ontario. By asserting its paramount right to possession, Canada Life got the right to terminate the subsequent lease in favour of Goodyear and gave Goodyear the right to walk from its subsequent lease obligations. Such a result apparently is only possible when the mortgage has priority over the lease. So, the mortgagee would take title subject to the lease, if the Goodyear lease had priority.TenancyThe Goodyear lease was not terminated in December 1994 by Canada Life or Goodyear. Continuing as usual, Canada Life demanded rent, which Goodyear paid from January of 1995. Following the decision in Corbett v. Plowden, in the absence of an express agreement as to the term of the lease between the mortgagee and the tenant, the court could impose an annual tenancy on Canada Life and Goodyear, which could be terminated by six months notice. Thus, there was no dispute that the law in Corbett v. Plowden was good law in Ontario.

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Assignments of Leases: Goodyear, A Case in Review

Goodyear v. BurnhamthorpeGoodyear was the tenant under a long-term ground lease of part of an office building in Etobicoke, known as 10 & 21 Four Seasons Place, where the original landlords were Four Twenty-Seven Investments Limited (“427”) and Saracini Investments Ltd. (“Saracini”). When Goodyear entered into its lease in 1980, Aetna Canada held a first and second mortgage on the property, which went on in 1979. Hence, the Goodyear lease was subsequent in priority to the Aetna mortgage. When Aetna put its mortgage on the property, it wanted the owners 427 and Saracini to assign to it as collateral security for the benefit of any future leases entered into by 427 and Saracini. Goodyear was not a party to the assignment of leases at that time. Despite the assignment, Goodyear paid its rent under the original Goodyear lease to 427 and Saracini. The assignment of leases to Aetna was made in the belief that any future lease including the original Goodyear lease would be assigned to the lender as collateral security for the loan, since the original Goodyear lease was a long-term lease. Goodyear naturally wanted to protect its security of tenure and entered into a non-disturbance agreement with Aetna. According to this non-disturbance agreement, Aetna would not re-enter and take possession of the demised premises so long as Goodyear was paying rent to Aetna. The non- disturbance agreement also contained attornment language stating Goodyear would attorn to Aetna and create privity between Goodyear and Aetna.

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MORTGAGE DEFAULT: Power of Sale or Foreclosure?

Although generally the real estate market in Ontario has been robust, the frenzied market of the past has caused an increase in mortgage defaults as a result of an overall weakened economy and a tighter lending market.  Many clients of Levy Zavet PC are both lenders (“mortgagees”) who make investments in mortgaged property and borrowers (“mortgagors”) who are making real estate investments.  When

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