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  • July 29, 2021

Dear Section Members,

The Section Executive Committee is aware of ongoing practitioner challenges with timeliness of mortgage instructions and discharge statements from some financial institutions, in addition to lengthy wait times on hold trying to clarify instructions or follow-up on discharge or funding requests. We continue to monitor the situation and we are engaged in talks with the Canadian Bankers Association to try to resolve some of these issues.

The Canadian Bankers Association advises that, for escalation of mortgage discharge statement requests, enquiries may be escalated through the Contact List for Matters Involving Mortgage Discharges. In addition, the Royal Bank of Canada has set up a dedicated e-mail address (payoutst@rbc.com) for follow-up queries specific to pending discharge statements.

If you are experiencing unusual or novel delays from institutional mortgage lenders on mortgage instructions or payout statements, we would really appreciate if you could send us details of these issues so that we may discuss the concerns with the Canadian Bankers Association. We specifically ask anyone having issues or experiencing long wait times online to provide us with the name of the financial institution and the phone number or e-mail you are using.

Lastly, Bill C-5 received Royal Assent on June 3, 2021 to declare September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The bill amends the Canada Labour Code to make every September 30 a statutory holiday for the federal government and federally regulated workplaces such as banks. The banks are now preparing for implementation, which is coming up quickly. Please note that the payments system will be closed that day (see the Payments Canada closure schedule). We encourage you to reach out to clients and real estate agents to avoid scheduling real estate closings on September 30, 2021 for this reason.

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Ian Speers
Chair, CBA Real Property Law Section