Real Estate

Is the whole mortgage industry backed up right now?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 9th, 2021 8:29 pm
Jr. Member
Oct 25, 2010
105 posts
Eastern Ontario

Is the whole mortgage industry backed up right now?

Hi all!

I have a mortgage (term up Aug 2022) with Desjardins, and I've been looking to refinance to do some debt consolidation. To be clear, I've been very happy with Desjardins, the rate they offered me last time, and the products I've had. I'm self employed and our property is zoned agricultural (only 5 acres), so we are a bit of a non-standard situation and initially getting the mortgage was a very smooth process after being rejected by a lot of lenders who won't touch agricultural zoning.

However, this time around, the communication and timeline have been a disaster, and I'm curious is this is an industry-wide phenomenon.

Jan 12: Call Desjardins to start the process of seeking refininancing. Get a phone meeting scheduled with my account manager for January 15.
Jan 15: Talk to my account manager, get offered a rate (1.94%, but with cancellation penalties.). Immediately following the call, I get an email with a few scenarios, application instructions, etc. I immediately respond to the email with some followup questions asking for an additional scenario covering a full refinancing and asking if the mortgage penalty can be waived if I move $80k in additional debt into the mortgage.
Jan 22: I send a prompting email as I hadn't gotten any response.
Feb 2: I send in the application documentation, hoping to kick-start the process.
Feb 5: Call the local branch, and the admin assistant there sends an email to my account rep with me cc'ed on my behalf indicating that I had called and was asking for an update.
Feb 8: Account rep responds indicating a correction was needed on one of the sheets, and that her schedule has been busy and would be busy for that week, but she will look at my file 'as soon as possible'. I correct the sheet that was indicated and send it back immediately.
Feb 17: Send another prompting email asking for a timeline.

Since my initial call on Jan 15, the only communication I have received from my account rep through this whole process was the brief note on Feb 8 indicating that I would be addressed 'as soon as possible'.

I'm willing to give a person or company grace because COVID is slowing a lot of things down, and we are in 'mortgage season'. However, this is rapidly becoming unreasonable. I still have no idea when my file is going to be addressed - it could be today, or it could be weeks yet. The communication has been absolutely terrible.

Is the whole industry this backed up, or am I just having a bad experience with Desjardins?
12 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 21, 2009
3864 posts
Last summer I was speaking with a few banks for mortgages on a handful of properties. The market was starting to get hot, and that combination with so many working from home resulted in a lot of delays for mortgages and HELOCs from what I heard.

Definitely seems that the demand for HELOCs and new mortgages has gone up significantly and many of these departments are quite behind / delayed in processing. COVID / WFH is compounding that delay too.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
17752 posts
Tarrana & The Ri…
Lenders are certainly busy. Not just them but appraisers, brokers,etc. Everyone connected with the mortgage industry in some way are busy.
Jr. Member
Oct 25, 2010
105 posts
Eastern Ontario
Thanks. I guess the ultimate issue here is communication. Quite frankly - if I let a client hang for more than a few days, I would be fired from my job. I just want some level of expectation regarding a timeline.
Deal Addict
Nov 23, 2003
2158 posts
Everyone is busy in mortgage industry. They will process simple stuff and new purchases first.
Sr. Member
Oct 11, 2016
870 posts
I am in the exact same boat. Application was approved and waiting for over a week for processing......scotiabank
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2021
790 posts
Very unreasonable. I don't care how busy they are. Communication is key. Your rep is an ass no matter how you look at it. Get rid of her if you can.
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2012
2722 posts
Toronto/San Francisc…
Lenders are busy but they should keep you in the loop.

BMO confirmed their approval for me within 2 days of submitting everything to my specialist. CIBC took a bit longer but my rep was in communication with me as they had a bottleneck during promotional offers coming in right before the holidays. All the subsequent rate/lending amount exceptions I got were handled within 24 hours.

TD and HSBC were the worst, no communication and repeated delays. I walked away from them pronto.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 24, 2005
5733 posts
some lenders are shit - others are not

HSBC made me delay closing 5 days.

RBC was very very quick.
Jr. Member
Oct 25, 2010
105 posts
Eastern Ontario
So, to update:

Feb 19 - got an email asking which debts I would like to consolidate. Responded with a list same day.
March 6 - I send a followup email to see if more info was required.

Tomorrow will be two weeks since the last email from my account rep, and Friday will be two months since I started this process. I still have no idea when it's going to complete; in the meantime, I am somewhat in financial limbo.
Deal Addict
Feb 21, 2004
1558 posts
TD is taking FOREVER to get back to me right now....
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
2948 posts
Td is taking 3-4 weeks right now unless you actually have a closing date coming up, then you can expedite it. Unless you have a firmed up deal, you will be waiting a while.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
5808 posts
Yah, crazy busy, but I follow up with all my clients. Even if I don't have an answer, I just send an email saying we are still working on it. It's unfortunately your scenario will take some time as self employed is a pain to key in.

Do you know if the rep only does lending or they have to do everything like a Personal Banker or Financial Service rep? PB and FSRs were crazy busy in February as everyone was trying to buy RRSPs due to CERB not taking taxes up front. They also may not have the self employed expertise needed for your file.

I think you should seek out a mortgage specialist or broker for better communication.


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