FCT and FNF Canada launch litigation against la Chambre des notaires du Québec

MONTRÉAL, February 1, 2024 — FCT and FNF Canada today issued the following statement regarding the launch of litigation against la Chambre des notaires du Québec:

‘’We can confirm that, today, FCT and FNF are proceeding with litigation against la Chambre des notaires du Québec (CNQ). This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, but the CNQ has left us with no other choice.

The CNQ has intentionally and illegally obstructed the operations of FCT and FNF by incorrectly advising notaries that the recent adoption of the Act to modernize the notarial profession and to promote access to justice (Bill 34) has made doing business with FCT and FNF Canada illegal.

For the last 30 years, FCT and FNF have offered innovative services – alongside notaries – that make the fees related to a variety of mortgage transactions, such as refinancing and subrogation, less expensive and the process more efficient. We fully respect the CNQ’s mandate, and the crucial role played by notaries as public officials. However, the Chamber is clearly overstepping and misinterpreting the law to extend the monopoly of notaries over the clerical services we provide.

Our focus has always been on providing value to consumers in Québec. Thanks to our role in the process, consumers can save close to half the costs, which often represents hundreds of dollars in potential savings. This is especially relevant as millions of Quebecers have growing concerns about the cost of living in the current high interest rate environment. The CNQ is insisting on forcing consumers to incur additional costs during the refinancing and subrogation process and will reduce consumer choice by limiting the number of options available to them.

We want to be clear that FCT and FNF are not seeking legislative changes through this litigation process and that we can still operate within the confines of Bill 34. We are simply seeking to uphold the process that has benefitted consumers and financial institutions for three decades. The legitimacy of our position was confirmed by our legal wins both at the Superior Court in 2018 and then by confirmation, on appeal, at the Québec Court of Appeal. The CNQ sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada but was denied that leave.

We reached out to the CNQ on multiple occasions over the past months to engage in a constructive dialogue. Unfortunately, our repeated attempts at good faith engagement were ignored. We have successfully defended our business before the courts in the past and are ready to do so again.’’

 

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