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Open House Concerns

Q -  Recently in the news there was a report about property being stolen at an Open House.  Is this a common occurrence and can anything ...

9/28/11

Mandatory Information Collection

Q - I'm thinking of placing my home on the market so I interviewed a couple of real estate agents.  One of the agents left a package for me to review which contained a number of forms that had to be completed if I wished to proceed with the real estate process.  One form was referred to as FINTRAC and would require me to show my identification to the agent. What is that all about?

A - FINTRAC - The Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada deals with anti-laundering and terrorist financing legislation.  The concept of anti-laundering and terrorist financing legislation goes back to 2001.  Since that time, real estate agents have been required to report any cash transactions of $10,000 or more and any real estate transactions which seemed suspicious.  FINTRAC is the new federal money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulation instituted by the Federal Government of Canada in 2008 and demands more detailed information.   It requires that real estate agents, financial institutions and other professionals covered by this legislation identify customers who conduct financial transactions.  This includes buying and selling of real estate.

The form requires that you complete it with your full legal name, current address, date of birth and occupation.  You are then required to show the real estate agent an original identification document.  Most often a driver's license is used as identification but other documents are also acceptable.  The type of document together with an identification number and issuing jurisdiction plus the expiry date are recorded.  This information is kept for 5 years.

There are slight variations in the process depending on the circumstances but the collection of this information is mandatory from each buyer on the contract of purchase and sale as well as each seller on the listing contract.

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