Western Conveyancing Protocol

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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 the Western Conveyancing Protocol.

The situation

The Western Conveyancing Protocol applies to single-family and condominium residential real estate transactions in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia. It covers lawyers for problems with title, surveys, and zoning issues that may arise in a single-family or condominium residential real estate transaction. It is an extension of a lawyer’s already-in-place liability protection with their law society.

Protocol coverage is free and has a zero deductible. The Protocol provides similar coverage to title insurance for survey, zoning, and gap registration issues. For the lender and the lender’s lawyer, the Protocol is a substitute for title insurance. However, the Protocol does not cover the borrower for transaction issues that fall outside the lawyer’s responsibilities.

The Protocol operates by having the lawyer accept liability for survey, zoning, and gap registration issues, and then confirms that any lawyer error with respect to those matters will not be regarded as negligence or wrong-doing, and the consequences of the error will be covered. The lender only requires the lawyer to complete the Protocol checklist to put the Protocol in place.

Sample lender instructions

We require no written opinion from you prior to requesting mortgage funds. In submitting a Request for Mortgage Funds, you represent to us that you have complied with the Protocol.

Practice Guidance

  • Check the lender instructions to see if the lender provides for transactions using the Protocol. If not, you can ask the lender to approve participation for a specific transaction.
  • Speak to your borrower client about protection under the Protocol, and the possibility of the borrower also getting title insurance to protect against other risks.
  • Consider using the Protocol for re-financing and within-arm’s length transactions when borrower coverage is not at issue. The Protocol is ideally suited for those situations.
  • Check Protocol information on your law society’s web site (in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia).

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