Private Mortgages

Private Mortgages in Ontario: Risks and Benefits

Private mortgages for real estate financing have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional lending institutions like banks and credit unions. In Ontario, individuals and businesses often turn to private mortgages to secure funding for property acquisition investments or when facing challenges obtaining conventional loans.

What is a Private Mortgage?

Private mortgages, often called private loans or private lending, involve borrowing funds from individuals or private entities rather than traditional financial institutions.

Role of Private Lenders

Private lenders are individuals or organizations that provide capital for private mortgages. They play a pivotal role in offering an alternative funding source for borrowers who may not meet the criteria of conventional lenders.

Benefits of Private Mortgages


One of the primary benefits of private mortgages in Ontario is increased accessibility. Borrowers who may have difficulty obtaining loans from banks or credit unions due to credit issues or unconventional property types can often secure financing through private lenders.

Speed and Flexibility

Private mortgage transactions typically involve quicker approval processes and less stringent documentation requirements than traditional lenders. This flexibility can be advantageous for borrowers in time-sensitive situations.

Diverse Property Types

Private mortgages are well-suited for financing diverse property types, including unconventional real estate, vacant land, and properties needing significant renovations, which may not meet the criteria of traditional lenders.

Risks of Private Mortgages

Higher Interest Rates

Private mortgages in Ontario often come with higher interest rates than conventional ones. Borrowers must carefully consider the cost implications of these rates over the life of the loan.

Shorter Loan Terms

Private mortgages typically have shorter loan terms, ranging from one to three years. Borrowers need a clear exit strategy to repay or refinance the loan when the term expires.

Risk of Default

Due to the higher risk associated with specific borrowers or properties, private mortgages carry an increased risk of default. Borrowers must know the potential consequences of defaulting on a private mortgage, including foreclosure.

Regulatory Framework in Ontario

Mortgage Brokerage Act, 2006

Ontario’s Mortgage Brokerage Act, 2006 regulates mortgage brokerages and mortgage agents involved in arranging private mortgages. It sets out licensing requirements and consumer protection measures.

What’s the Highest Interest Rate Lenders Can Charge in Ontario?

It’s illegal for any lender to charge a rate that exceeds 60% Under Section 347 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which applies to the province of Ontario. The exception is Payday loans which are governed by the Payday Loans Act, 2008.

Evaluating Private Mortgage Options

Due Diligence

Borrowers seeking private mortgages should conduct thorough due diligence on potential lenders, considering their reputation, track record, and lending terms.

Loan Terms and Exit Strategy

Before entering a private mortgage agreement, borrowers should carefully review the loan terms, including interest rates, loan-to-value ratios, and repayment terms. Having a clear exit strategy is essential to manage the short-term nature of these loans.

Engaging the services of legal professionals experienced in real estate and private mortgages is advisable. Legal advice can help borrowers navigate complex agreements and ensure compliance with Ontario’s regulations.


Private mortgages in Ontario offer a valuable alternative for borrowers facing challenges with traditional lenders or seeking flexibility and quick access to capital. However, they come with distinct risks, including higher interest rates and shorter loan terms. As with any financial decision, borrowers considering private mortgages must conduct thorough research, evaluate their options, and seek professional guidance to make informed choices that align with their financial goals and circumstances. Understanding the regulatory framework and exercising due diligence are crucial steps in successfully navigating the landscape of private mortgages in Ontario.

Insight Law is committed to providing efficient legal services. If you are buying or selling property or require legal assistance regarding a real estate matter, we are here to help you. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.

 The information provided above is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Every transaction or circumstance is unique, and obtaining specific legal advice is necessary to address your particular requirements. Therefore, if you have any legal questions, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer.

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