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If you have unpaid tax debts and own a property, you might be at risk of having a tax lien registered on your home. Depending on the amount and the length of time the Canada revenue Agency (CRA) has been trying to collect, they might opt for registering a lien if all other debt collection methods have failed.
You won’t lose your house if they register a lien against the property, but you might end up with your mortgage lender not wanting to renew your mortgage and having trouble renewing or refinancing with other lenders. Also, if your credit score is low, you might have trouble refinancing altogether. This can spiral out of control if your mortgage lender has received notice that there has been a lien registered on the home.
In Quebec, there is a special clause that is added to the Quebec Land Registry (register foncier du Québec) called Avis d’adresse. This simply asks the registry that whenever a lien or charge is registered against a property owner, that it sends a letter to the lender informing them of what has been registered against the property. Why? Because the property is the lender’s guarantee!
When they receive this notice, they review your file and decide on a course of action. They can recall the loan, they could choose not to let you refinance to pay it off, they can choose not to renew your mortgage at the end of the loan.
If the CRA has exhausted all other avenues for collecting its debt, they can get a judgment with the Federal Court or provincial court and register the judgement in your credit report, because the judgement is a matter of public record. There is a legal section in the credit report that makes mention of all public records and claims.
This can stay up to 6 or 7 years in your report and affect your borrowing capacity. And even if you are not a homeowner and simply wish to buy a home, most Canadian lenders will ask for your notice of assessment and credit report, thus they will clearly see if you are up to date or not and this can affect your ability to get financing.
If this is your situation or you know someone who could benefit from our help, take a few minutes to complete our online form and it will be our pleasure to put our more than 10 years of experience to work for you and to protect your home!