Loans and mortgages

Here are your options if you have lost money in a loan or mortgage because of an error, disagreement or possible misconduct.

Compensation process for loans and mortgages

Step 1

Start with your financial company

Start with the person or financial company you dealt with. Many financial companies have internal processes for handling consumer complaints. Ask for a brochure or other written material explaining the process. Be sure to follow the steps suggested and ask for the final response in writing.

You can find more information about the complaint handling processes for provincially regulated financial institutions such as credit unions, caisses populaires, trust and loan companies, as well as mortgage brokerage firms, by contacting the appropriate provincial agency .

You can find a list of federally regulated banks, trust companies and other financial institutions on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions website.

You can find more information about the complaint handling processes of federally regulated loan companies and other financial institutions on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website.

Step 2

Contact the internal ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with the response from the internal complaint handling process, find out if your financial company has an internal ombudsman service. An internal ombudsman service impartially investigates consumer complaints free of charge and assists the parties in reaching a resolution. Your participation in the financial company ’s ombudsman service is voluntary. You can pursue other options if an agreement cannot be reached.

Step 3

Consider other options

Here are other options to consider if your financial company does not respond to your complaint or you are not satisfied with the final response:

Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI)

OBSI is a free, independent service for resolving banking and investment disputes between participating firms and their clients. You can bring your case to OBSI if:

  • your financial company has not provided its final response to you within 90 calendar days of the date you complained, or
  • you are not satisfied with the financial company ’s final decision on your complaint.

You have up to 180 days after receiving the financial company ’s response to get in touch with OBSI. OBSI can recommend compensation of up to $350,000.

You can find more information and a list of participating firms on the website.

Regulatory action

You can contact the appropriate provincial or federal regulator. The regulator may be able to provide you with additional information, guidance or other assistance with resolving your complaint. Click here for a list of provincial and federal regulators.

If you live in Québec . . .

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) offers a free mediation service for consumers who live in Québec and are not satisfied with the response from the financial company ’s internal complaint handling process. The AMF will review the complaint and may offer assistance to the consumer and financial company in reaching a resolution. Participation in the service is voluntary and both the financial company and consumer must consent to it. Consumers can pursue other options if an agreement cannot be reached. You can find more information about the AMF mediation service on the AMF website.

Legal action

You can take legal action through the courts to recover financial losses from a and/or financial company for alleged misconduct. Each province and territory has a time limit for taking legal action.

You may want to consult a lawyer to get advice on your rights and options. Your provincial or territorial law society can help you find a lawyer. For a list of provincial and territorial law societies, visit the Federation of Law Societies of Canada website.

 

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Definitions

Financial company includes banks, trust companies, loan companies, credit associations, credit unions, caisse populaires, investment dealer firms, mutual fund dealer firms, mortgage brokerage firms, life and health insurance companies, property and casualty insurance companies.

Financial institutions includes banks, trust companies, loan companies, cooperative credit associations, credit unions, and caisse populaires.

Representative includes advisers, dealers, financial consultants, investment advisers and counsellors, portfolio managers, insurance brokers and agents, insurance advisers and consultants, insurance representatives, securities dealers, wealth management advisers, mortgage brokers and agents.