“Elaborate” mortgage scam; Federal budget allocation: CBC Marketplace cheat sheet

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‘Elaborate scam’ leaves seniors with high-interest mortgages they didn’t want or understand

Senior ends up with huge high interest rate mortgage

It all started with a knock on the door, but turned into a high-interest mortgage that the family of 79-year-old Karl Hoffmann say they never asked for or understood.

Some seniors risk losing their homes in a scheme involving door-to-door equipment rentals, dodgy renovations and mortgages worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that many didn’t know they had and can’t. not afford, a Market investigation found.

Lawyers familiar with the situation say there are potentially hundreds of victims across Ontario – in what is being called an “elaborate scam”.

“These homeowners are at risk of becoming homeless and losing their life savings and all of their home equity,” said Graham Webb, executive director of the Advocacy Center for the Elderly (ACE), an advocacy clinic legal for low-income people. seniors in Ontario.

Each situation is unique, but many seem to follow a general pattern where landlords – usually elderly people – who have already been duped into various home HVAC equipment rental contracts are again approached at their homes by people saying that they can help the homeowner consolidate their debt.

In some cases, homeowners are told they can receive money if they buy more equipment or make renovations to their home. In reality, their home is being used as collateral and they would be required to sign mortgage papers that many say they don’t understand.

The Ontario Provincial Police provided Market with a list of tips to use to protect yourself and your loved ones, including:

  • Only answer the door if you are expecting a guest.
  • Hang up on unsolicited phone calls.
  • Never share personal information or copies of invoices or financial statements.
  • And regularly check in on family or others who might be vulnerable to persuasive people Read More

Once featured on HGTV, pool builder accused of defrauding customers

A man wearing a gray sweatshirt, with a white design on it, poses for a photo in front of an orange metal wall.
Kurt Wittin is featured at his shipping container pool business in Headingley, Man. (Marnie Luke/CBC)

Dozens of Kurt Wittin’s clients have called him a crook, con artist, snake oil salesman – and much worse. They claim to be tens of thousands of dollars each.

The Winnipeg man faces – and lost – lawsuits across North America. But that didn’t stop him. Despite all of this, he landed a top spot for his prefab swimming pool business on the popular HGTV show. Fixer to fabulous in 2022.

“That’s exactly what led me to sign a contract with him,” Winnie Lin said. She paid Wittin $27,000 to build a swimming pool from a metal shipping container and ship it to him in Prince George, British Columbia.

Lin never received his pool, nor a refund. She even contacted the police, who recommended filing a civil complaint against Wittin.

Wittin’s business address has changed several times, and process servers attempting to deliver legal documents have been among those struggling to find him.

But Wittin agreed to meet a CBC team at a new address in Headingley, Man.

The new trading site had shipping containers in various stages of conversion into pools. Wittin showed off a complete pool that he said had been ordered within the past six months and was due to ship within days. He did not explain why previously ordered pools had not been built or shipped.

Wittin said the inability to make deliveries or offer refunds was the result of a business partnership gone wrong, COVID and supply issues. Disappointed customers say they have heard the same explanations for years. Learn more.

You can watch the full investigation of Wittin, including his interview with Market host David Common, on Gem of Radio-Canada.

From groceries to booze, payday loans to plane tickets, here’s what the budget means for your wallet

A person, seen from above, unloads items from a full grocery cart onto a conveyor belt at a cash register.
A customer purchases items at the Harmons Grocery store in Salt Lake City, Utah in October 2021. More than a year and a half after the pandemic upended daily life, the supply of basic goods in American grocery stores and restaurants is once again a victim of shortages and delays. (George Frey/Bloomberg)

With inflation still near its highest level in decades, the federal budget unveiled in Ottawa on Tuesday talked a lot about making life more affordable for Canadians, but few details about how it will all work.

One of the most important things leaked ahead of the budget release is something the government calls a “grocery discount,” which aims to mitigate the cost of continuing to rise grocery prices. at an annual rate of more than 10%.

It is an expanded version of the existing GST rebate program, which provides cash payments to reimburse GST payments incurred by low-income Canadians.

The government says the revamped program will put $467 more in the pockets of an average family with two children and $234 for a single person. Government estimates suggest around 11 million people will qualify for the rebate, which is to be distributed via quarterly check or direct deposit.

Here are some other budget highlights you’ll want to know about:

  • The air transport security charge, a charge for travellers, is expected to increase by almost 33%.
  • The federal government says it has reached an agreement with credit card companies to reduce interchange fees by about 27%.
  • The ‘excise’ tax for alcohol makers was due to rise by 6% this year, but the budget cut that increase to just 2% above last year’s level.
  • Some “predatory” lenders will have their interest rates capped at 35%, and payday lenders, who are currently exempt from these regulations, will have their rates capped at $14 for every $100. borrowed. Learn more

Market has already investigated long-term loans with high interest rates. You can watch this story on Gem of Radio-Canada.

It’s our 50th season finale but we haven’t finished yet.

A collage of current and former Marketplace hosts.
For five decades, Marketplace has tackled everything from health and consumer scams to racism, scams and fraud. (David Abrahams/CBC)

Friday marked the end of our monumental 50th season.

You have been with us as we investigate the cost of living, digging inflation, sneaky fee And rental price.

We have tested important products for you, as if diamonds match the way they are advertised, why don’t your jeans fit and if dog dna tests can really tell you the breed of your dog.

We warned you about possible scams to watch out for, like a healer claim to cure cancer and real estate agents offering to facilitate mortgage fraud,

You fought with us for action, like when the police intervened the movers allegedly scammed peoplewhen major online retailers removed counterfeit headsets from their sites and when Shoppers Drug Mart got rid of the “pink tax” on some of its products.

But we’re not done yet. We want to know what you think we should investigate next. Send us your misfortunes, your reproaches and your story ideas at [email protected].

Our show will be back in the fall, but don’t panic. The newsletter will be back in a few weeks to keep you informed about spring and summer.

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Watch past episodes of Market on CBC Gem.

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