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The Mortgage Instructions Toolkit provides practical guidance for lawyers responding to lender requests in residential real estate transactions. This page addresses reporting requirements.

The situation

All mortgage lenders require a lawyer to report on the transaction with documentation within a specified time after registration of the mortgage on title.

Reporting requirements vary amongst lending institutions. Required documentation is likely to include:

  • Any registered documentation, including mortgages, deeds, easements, boundary agreements, etc.
  • Tax information
  • Title insurance details
  • Survey and real property report
  • Client identification.

Issues for lawyers include submitting the report and documents on time, and not giving a legal opinion or a guarantee on matters that are outside the lawyer’s scope of work.

Sample lender instructions

Final report and supporting documents

You will forward the original Mortgage and other supporting documentation to the Bank within six (6) weeks of the registration of the Mortgage. If you are unable to provide the final documentation within this time frame, please advise our office in writing by fax as to the delay. The documents required are […]

Practice guidance

  • Review the lender’s instructions at the start of the mandate.
  • Adjust your transaction checklist to reflect the specific requirements of these instructions. Flag the applicable deadlines electronically or mannually.
  • Plan how to organize the files for the transaction – checklist, file folders, electronic scanning practice – so that you will be able to retrieve information easily later.
  • Consider your Practice of law: scope of work obligations and examine the documents requiring your attention, as a lawyer, such as the results of the title search.
  • Check your report to be sure your wording is appropriate. Do not “ensure” or “certify” anything about which you do not have personal knowledge or that is outside the scope of a lawyer’s practice such as private water supplies, septic systems, sufficiency of insurance, surveys, etc. When title insurance is in place, limit your report to the title insurance policy number and date of issue.
  • Submit your report and documentation by the deadline. Should you not be able to file a full report, send a note including what is available and a timeframe for completing the report. 
  • File documents according to your office protocol. Retain documents as required by the lender’s instructions and the rules or statutes of your governing body. See also Retention of mortgage documents.

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