Friday, January 18, 2013

Mortgage Penalties

One of the biggest questions people need to ask when getting a mortgage is what will be my penalty if I break the mortgage.

This is so huge, seriously even more important then the interest rate you receive.  Within reason.

The mortgage penalty you receive if you break your mortgage can be calculated in many different ways.  Unfortunately our Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty is not looking at protecting consumers, just protecting the big 5 banks. 

Below is a basic explanation between IRD (interest rate differential) and a three month interest penalty.

Let's take a quick look at 3 most popular ways on how mortgage penalties are calculated, imagining you are 2 years into a 5 year term with a 3.29% rate with a balance of 300k on your mortgage.  The lenders best current rate is 3.49%, bond yields are at 1.49% and posted rate at 5.29%.
  • Lender A:  Your current rate compared to the posted rate.  Posted rate at 5.29% - 3.29% = 2.00%, so basically your penalty will be 2% amortized over the remaining three years, or to put it in reality $17,102.37 IRD plus discharge and/or re-investment fees $300 to $1,000.  Ouch!
  • Lender B:  Your current rate compared to bond rate.  Your rate 3.29% - 1.49% bond rate = 1.80%, so your penalty will be 1.8% amortized over the remaining period which will work out to $15,379.94 IRD plus discharge and/or reinvestment fee.  Shitty!
  • Lender C:  Your current rate compared to the lenders best discounted rate.  Your rate being 3.29% and the banks discounted rate at 3.49%.  You can see that if you broke your mortgage the bank will actually be able to lend that money out at a higher rate so the penalty will simply be 3 months interest or $2,445.46 plus discharge and/or reinvestment fee.  Much better!
Now let's just say you can get a lower rate and a Lender C.  That's a good deal plus if rates do drop you have a lower rate that a IRD will calculated on.  If rates go up your penalty will simply be 3 months interest. 

Rate is important but if you look at Lender A, is having a good rate going to benefit you if you break your mortgage and rates go up?  NO!!  It will make matters worse as the gap between posted and your discounted rate is bigger.  It should be illegal.  The bank is double dipping by charging you a massive penalty then lending that money out at higher rate.

With lender B markets would have to increase significantly before the spread between your rate and the bonds will be eliminated.  In the world we have now I would not be expecting that to happen.

Let's look at one more thing.  Let's say your favourite bank offers you a rate that another lender can't match.  (FYI, I'll always beat it.)  There is a difference 0.10% which works out to $15.61 a month, over the two years you have had your mortgage that is a total of $374.64 you would have saved.  But you decided to go with Lender A for the cheaper rate but life threw a curve ball at you and you have to break your mortgage.   Sorry, you are screwed, literally.  Me personally I would look at the higher amount as an insurance premium protecting myself.

You never know what life will throw at you.  There are many reasons mortgages must be broken, unexpected job loss, unexpected child or expected, could be work relocation, money needed for medical, a bigger home needed.  Whatever.  Most people say they will not move or break their mortgage but 75% of 5 years terms are broken within the 1st three years.

The best scenario is the best rate and terms, that is why you call me.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND FAMILY, talk to someone who is truly looking out for your best interest and wants referrals from you and your family and is looking for clients for life.

Let me know if this was helpful, thanks.

Till next time, have a great day.

Ron Miller

YouTube Hamilton Broker

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