Please circulate this bulletin within your firm.
Important Information Regarding Coverage Change for:
Residential Refinance Transactions Involving Specific Private Lenders
Much has been written recently regarding the widespread, sophisticated frauds which have affected the entire real estate industry.

Stewart Title has determined that this rise in fraud risk stems from a subset of private lenders that finance residential refinance transactions with loan amounts typically over $500,000.

Accordingly, we have had to examine our risk tolerance and adjust our coverage and underwriting protocols.

For files closing after Friday, January 21, 2022, Stewart Title will no longer issue policies for residential refinance transactions with mortgages over $500,000* for private lenders that have not been pre-screened by Stewart Title.
As a reminder, pre-screened private lenders have met one or more of the following criteria:

  • Is a mortgage investment corporation under the Income Tax Act
  • Is regulated by a Canadian federal or Canadian provincial regulator
  • Is approved for mortgage underwriting under the National Housing Act
  • Is listed on a stock exchange within Canada that is a designated stock exchange for the purpose of the Income Tax Act

The subset of private lenders impacted by this coverage change will generally be private individuals, numbered companies, or companies not in the ordinary course of doing lender business or regulated as per the above-noted criteria.

Should you have any questions or require assistance, please contact your local Business Development Manager.

We thank you for your continued business and support.
Jan 20, 2022

*Where the refinance transaction involves multiple mortgages in favour of private lenders that have not been pre-screened, the liability amount of those mortgages is aggregated to determine whether it exceeds the $500,000 threshold.

A leader in the Canadian title insurance industry, Stewart Title’s unwavering philosophy is that the role of a title insurer in Canada should be to underwrite risk, allowing legal professionals to provide legal advice and prepare documents. Stewart Title does not participate in or support programs that reduce or eliminate the lawyer's/notary's role in real estate transactions. To find out more, visit or call 888.667.5151.

The confidentiality and protection of personal information is important to Stewart Title. To view our privacy policy, visit
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