TitlePLUS campaign supports lawyer role in “mortgage-only” deals

May 17, 2007

Toronto,-- LAWPRO’s TitlePLUS program has rolled out the next phase of a campaign to educate the public on the role of lawyers in real estate transactions.

The focus of this spring’s media campaign is on informing consumers about how to protect themselves when they refinance their mortgage or arrange a new second mortgage, such as a secured line of credit.

“Based on our consultation with TitlePLUS lawyers from across Ontario, we know that consumers often don’t understand the implications of what they are signing when they go to renegotiate a mortgage,” said Kathleen Waters, Vice President of TitlePLUS.

"We’ve heard, for example, of homeowners who don’t realize their home may be security for a line of credit – which then needs to be repaid when the property is sold. Or they don’t know the legal implications of proposed changes to names on title or of being a guarantor or co-borrower.

“This campaign – like its predecessors last spring and fall -- has a core message: Having a lawyer involved in the process helps consumers understand the transaction, know their legal options, and better protect what is likely their biggest single investment, their home.”

The campaigns are all designed to address the results of an omnibus survey of consumers undertaken by Decima Research for LAWPRO in 2006. That survey revealed that only one in 10 consumers understand how to use their lawyer as a trusted advisor on real estate matters; most consumers see their lawyer as only the person taking care of the paperwork. “We saw a real opportunity to support the Working Group on Lawyers and Real Estate (a CDLPA-OBA-ORELA initiative) through a campaign that highlights the valuable role of real estate lawyers, and educates the public about the many ways in which a lawyer protects their interests in a real estate transaction.”

  • A consumer-directed radio and print ad campaign that ran in major daily media across Ontario last spring, highlighting how using a lawyer and TitlePLUS title insurance protects buyers against unexpected disasters.
  • A website – The Real Simple Real Estate Guide – that includes toolssuch as mortgage calculators, “to do” checklists, and information on therole of a real estate lawyer.
  • TitlePLUS campaign supports lawyer role in “mortgage-only” deals
  • A complementary media campaign in spring 2006 that focused on providing consumers with tips and insights into what they could expect their lawyer to do.
  • A second campaign in fall 2006 that educated condominium buyers about issues they should know about – and how a real estate lawyer can help avoid common pitfalls.
  • A number of articles placed in consumer and commercial media informing consumers about issues such as: the role of title insurance; what to ask a real estate lawyer; how to plan for costs associated with home buying; and how commercial title insurance works.

Source: About TitlePLUS

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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