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Much to Learn from Canada Having Less Number of Foreclosures and Nil Bank Failures

24th October 2011
By karen in Real Estate Law
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There is much to learn from Canada regarding housing matters – it has comparatively less number of foreclosures and nil bank failures as compared to USA.

A fourth of residential houses in USA has gone underwater – the value of the property being less than the loan due amount. Out of every 492 homes in USA, one received a foreclosure warning last November. For the fourth consecutive year the pundits are mulling over the bottom of the real estate crisis in America.

But in Canada these worries are not there – nevertheless USA is failing to notice why this is so. Not one bank in Canada has failed neither during the time of the Great Depression nor recently during the time of the Great Recession. Little below 1% of the mortgages in Canada is defaulting.

The figures deserve notice considering the recent mayhem in USA kicked off by the mortgage crisis that compelled Washington to rush to the rescue of investment banks in Wall Street banks with taxpayer’s money. Over 300 small banks collapsed when the housing boom went bust.

How did Canada achieve this? Terry Campbell of Canadian Bankers Association of Ottawa said, "This sounds very simple but one of our CEO’s has said we are in the business of making loans to people who will pay them back".

In 2010 the population of Canada was estimated to be 34.3 million while that of USA was over 307 million. America is the number one global economy while Canada has a ninth ranking.

The banks of Canada were lauded to be the best globally by World Economic Forum but in Canada there are 71 lenders regulated by the federal government; in America there are 8,000 lenders covered by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Despite these differences there is much to be learnt from the conservative regulatory rule in Canada. The underwriting standards are rigorous and larger amounts are kept aside by the banks in case of losses if and when the market faces downturns.

Canada does not allow mega tax write-offs on the interests that the borrowers pay on mortgages. They avail of capital-gains exemption on profits made when the primary residence is sold – nothing else. The rate of ownership of residences is the same or perhaps more than the rate of USA; Canadians are able to quickly pay off their mortgage dues because of there being no mortgage interest deductions.

Karen Anne, has been working on studying the foreclosures market, helping buyers on the finer points of foreclosures. Try to visit and search foreclosure listings.

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