*2024 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

How criminal charges can negatively impact your ability to own a home in Canada

Will I lose my home or the ability to buy one in the future?

If you already own your own home and continue to make your payments normally you will be fine, but you could have problems upon renewal or if you try to refinance. If you don’t yet own a home, but are planning to purchase one at some point in the future, the charges can hurt your ability to obtain a mortgage or home insurance for the first time.

Criminal charges can cause problems with:
  1. renewing or refinancing your mortgage
  2. new mortgage applications (first time buyer or otherwise)
  3. obtaining a HELOC or other forms of home equity loans
  4. home insurance applications and rates
In addition to financing issues, in domestic cases the accused is usually ordered away from their home via their Undertaking or Release Order conditions. They also may eventually be sentenced to up to three years probation with conditions not to attend at or reside in their own home.

Do criminal charges impact someone’s ability to refinance, renew or get a new mortgage?

A criminal record can show up on mortgage and other loan application background checks and cause refusals. Banks, insurance companies, and other large institutions are sometimes reluctant to loan money to people who have criminal records. This is particularly true of those charged and convicted of financial crimes of dishonesty, but any charge can be potentially problematic (assault, dui, mischief, etc.).

The banks and other lenders view a criminal record as a risk factor because it may indicate the applicant:
  1. is not of good character and cannot be trusted to fulfill their contractual obligations of the mortgage/loan;

  2. cannot be relied on to provide accurate and truthful financial information disclosure (overstate income, earnings, etc.);

  3. is not employable or does not have the ability to earn a sufficient income to make the payments which may be due to having a criminal record.
How will the bank know that I have been criminally charged or have a criminal record?

Apart from you providing this information to the bank themselves, they usually don’t know for sure whether you have been charged or not. They may ask you to consent to a third party background check, but those only say that a similar name/dob matches a potential not clear in the RCMP CPIC database. To our knowledge, it does not say what the charges were.

The third party background check is also not determinative without fingerprint analysis to link you to the “not clear” result. People share names and dates of birth in the database. For this reason it is not determinative. If a mortgage applicant receives a not clear on their background check the bank may require them to provide a police background check instead (aka police clearance letter).

Any pending charges and convictions will show up on the police background check. It is important to note that the police background check result will go back to the applicant first who would then need to provide it to the bank/lender at their request.

* In reading the above, please note there is a difference between a third party background check and a police background check.

What types of criminal charges would the bank or lender be most concerned about?

Any type of active (not suspended) criminal conviction will show up on a police criminal record check including assault, sexual assault, impaired driving, and mischief.

All convictions are considered risk factors but crimes involving theft or fraud will be scrutinized most closely. Banks generally prefer not to lend to those who have a documented history of committing financial crimes. It is seen as a potential liability. It is debatable what, if any, additional risk someone poses because they got caught shoplifting or stealing from their employer, but it will be considered nonetheless.

Will the police inform the bank I have been charged? Can they find out on their own?

The police could inform the bank or anyone else, but they normally do not go out of their way to do this in most cases. If they felt that a bank or financial institution was at risk of being defrauded or had another specific reason they may inform them. Just like they will alert the public in certain circumstances of new arrests via a press release. Public safety and seeking more potential victims are the two most common justifications the police give for putting the accused's name on blast.

In less publicized cases, the bank could probably find out if they hired a private investigator. After all, the courts are generally open to the public and a matter of public record. Unless there is a publication ban (only intended to help the complainant), it is never a private thing to be charged with a criminal offence. This being said it takes a lot of work to research and obtain this information in most cases, which is why we suspect it doesn’t happen very often.

Will banks ask for a “vulnerable sector screening” which can show even withdrawn charges and acquittals?

While we have no control over what a third party (the bank) will or will not ask for, generally the answer to this question is no. Vulnerable sector checks are usually only for those working or volunteering with children, the elderly, or the mentally ill. Banking and finance is not considered part of the vulnerable sector.

How will being criminally charged impact home or condo insurance?

Similar to banks, sometimes insurance companies do third party background checks when assessing applications. If a criminal record shows up this could be taken into consideration as to whether they will insure them or not and at what price.

Insurance companies see a criminal record as a risk factor. This is most evident in impaired driving cases where the offender’s car insurance rate can triple, but it also applies to other types of charges and forms of insurance too.

By analyzing their own internal data, each insurer will determine exactly how much more likely those with criminal records are to make claims and raise their premiums accordingly. In some cases, they may decide it is not worth it to insure them and deny coverage altogether.

The best way for those charged with criminal offences to avoid home ownership problems is to get the charges dropped or otherwise avoid a criminal conviction. Anyone who has been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible to defend them. Some options are time sensitive.

If you or someone you are looking to help has been charged please give us a call today to discuss your options and for a free no obligation quote.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2024 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2024. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel