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Industry Response to New Sept. 30 Holiday and How Some Closings Will be Affected

Mortgage lenders, brokers and brokerages across the country are developing contingency plans for clients whose closings will be impacted by the new September 30 holiday.

In May, federal lawmakers passed Bill C-5 to create the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new statutory holiday to commemorate the victims and survivors of residential schools.

The big banks and certain non-bank lenders will be closed on September 30, which means real estate transactions previously scheduled for that day need to be rescheduled.

Other services related to real estate transactions, such as notaries, could also be closed and further impact scheduled closings.

Equitable Bank, for example, will be closed but wouldn’t have been able to meet a September 30 closing date in any matter given its reliance on its big-bank partners for discharges, payments, etc., it confirmed.

“We are actively working with the dozens of affected clients, their mortgage brokers and their solicitors to move September 30 funding dates while attempting to limit any inconvenience caused,” Mahima Poddar, Equitable Bank’s SVP & Group Head, Personal Banking confirmed to CMT in a statement. “Additionally, our teams have all been instructed to avoid a funding date of September 30 going forward.”

First National, Canada’s largest non-bank lender, confirmed it will remain open on that day since its operations are provincially regulated, “unless the provinces where we do business stipulate otherwise,” said Scott McKenzie, Senior Vice President, Residential Mortgages at First National.

“That said, we are mindful that banks and federal government offices will be closed on September 30, and our team has worked proactively and in consultation with our broker partners since the enabling legislation received Royal Assent in early June to move closings away from 9/30,” he added, saying both sides have been accommodating to ensure clients continue to receive the service they expect. “As always, we will do our best to provide responsive service to our mortgage broker partners and customers on this important day.​”

Many brokers, brokerages and large broker networks are responding as well by rescheduling closings as close to the date as possible.

“Upon learning of the passing of this legislation, we provided internal communications to our brokers and staff and advised them to share the same with all of their referral partners as well,” Mark Kerzner, President and CEO of TMG The Mortgage Group, told CMT. “To avoid any funding delays, we are suggesting that any fundings currently scheduled for September 30 be moved to either September 29, October 1 or any other mutually agreeable date.”

TD Bank, one of the big banks that participates in the broker channel, has circulated a communication to agents confirming it will be observing the new statutory holiday.

“All mortgage closing on this day must be adjusted to the business day before or after September 30, as with other holidays,” the bank said, adding that additional information will be available soon to assist brokers with customer conversations and related operational activities.

CMT reached out to Scotiabank for clarification on its plans, but was told details would be forthcoming.

“Scotiabank will share more details on operations for September 30, 2021, over the coming weeks and will communicate any changes to customers and broker partners,” a bank spokesperson said.