The Association of Mortgage Investment Professionals (AMIPROS) launched last week with the goal of becoming the collective voice of Canada’s private mortgage investment industry.
Changes to legislation and mortgage lending practices since 2008 have led to the growth of private lending and syndicated mortgages, as people and businesses have sought alternative sources of funding for residential properties and real estate development projects. This has led to calls for greater education and higher standards within the mortgage industry, which brought about the creation of AMIPROS.
AMIPROS represents several mortgage investment disciplines, including syndicated mortgages and private mortgages. The non-profit association’s founding advisory council is led by Joseph White, a 20-year mortgage industry veteran and founder and president of the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada.
“AMIPROS will set high-quality industry standards designed to protect investors and ensure the continued integrity and viability of this portion of the mortgage industry,” says White.
Management team, support staff and board
AMIPROS will be comprised of a management team, support staff and board of directors comprised of AMIPROS-certified companies and individuals. The board will have consumer representation and regulatory and governmental input to ensure all stakeholder interests are represented.
“We’ll be announcing the people involved in key positions once those positions have been finalized,” says White.
Planning AMIPROS took several months, and the North York, Ont.-based association was created to be a complementary effort to existing education and licensing practices, as well as existing mortgage industry associations, including the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals and the Commercial Real Estate Lenders Association.
“AMIPROS is unique in the sense that it does not charge membership fees,” says White. “Rather, it certifies individuals based on education and training. Individuals start as a candidate and only achieve certification status once the requirements have been met.”
AMIPROS has created a fairly comprehensive website for such a new association and it has set these five goals:
• Assist the industry to develop and maintain appropriate policies and procedures designed to provide appropriate protection for consumers who are either investors/lenders or borrowers;
• Certify those companies and individuals that/who meet AMIPROS’ rigorous educational standards and agree to abide by AMIPROS’ codes and bylaws;
• Provide standardized best practices for private and syndicated mortgages within existing regulatory frameworks;
Advocate to regulators, governments
• Advocate on behalf of the private and syndicated mortgage industry to regulators, governments and other appropriate bodies; and
• Provide resources to AMIPROS-certified companies and individuals to help them achieve the highest level of ethical behaviour and moral conduct.
“AMIPROS designees will be duly licensed in their respective provinces and will be committed to promoting private lending, and the associated private and syndicated investments, with integrity, fairness and professionalism,” says White.
Licensed mortgage agents and brokers take a core course on investor protection as well as in-depth courses in the designation’s specialization to obtain one of three AMIPROS designations, which are:
• CMIP: The Certified Mortgage Investment Professional The CMIP designation, the highest awarded by AMIPROS, certifies that the designee is competent in investor protection, syndicated mortgage investments and private mortgage investments.
• CSM: Certified, Syndicated Mortgages The CSM designation certifies that the designee is competent in investor protection and syndicated mortgage investments.
• CPM: Certified, Private Mortgages The CPM designation certifies that the designee is competent in investor protection and private mortgage investments.
Courses begin in January and will be taught by industry professionals. The 123-hour CMIP course costs $1,300 but the price will be reduced to $950 for those enrolling before Dec. 31. The 83-hour CSM and CPM courses cost $900 but are being reduced to $700 for people who sign up before the end of the year.