CRA Shuts Down Online Services

How will this affect mortgage borrowers?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is currently investigating a series of cyber attacks, affecting thousands of Canadians’ personal information.  Although the Agency reports that the fraudulent activity has been contained, they have shut down access to the CRA Online Services portal as an added safety measure.

While the shutdown means that Canadians cannot apply online for Covid-19 benefits, it also means that Canadians cannot access their own CRA documentation until further notice. Furthermore, companies that obtain borrower income documentation such as Notices of Assessment (NOA), for mortgage brokers, are also being blocked from accessing the system.  Olympic Mortgages uses these NOA services regularly, to help clients gain easy access to various income documents that lenders require during the mortgage underwriting process.

So what does this mean for borrowers?  While brokers have been able to help borrowers obtain certain CRA income verification documents, they no longer have access to these programs until further notice.  Borrowers will now be responsible to “dig out” their Notices of Assessment from previous tax years, when required by a lender.  While most people file these important documents away for safe keeping, there are always circumstances where documents are misplaced or lost.  If you have been considering applying for a new mortgage, or refinancing your current mortgage, it would be prudent to find these documents now and have them handy for when the lender needs them.

The Importance of Detailed Documentation

These recent events have proven a perfect example that even though we live in a digital world, there may be times when paper records are needed.  Here are some tips for providing CRA income documentation to your broker that will help with a seamless underwriting process with the lenders:

  • Scan all pages of each document and ensure that the top/bottom/sides are not cut off
  • Always provide every page of a document. Even if its blank, but numbered at the bottom, the lender will require the full document.
  • Never redact any information. Lenders will not accept documents with information blacked out.
  • Ensure that the scan is high enough quality to be readable by the end user.

As always, we at Olympic Mortgages are here to answer any questions you have, and help walk you through the documentation stage of your mortgage approval.

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