An unregistered Surrey mortgage broker has been ordered to stop offering financial services after a probe that also resulted in an investigation into her realtor husband for recommending his wife's services.
B.C.'s Financial Services Commission (FICOM) issued a cease and desist order against Ranminder Kaur Gill last month after she allegedly advised an undercover investigator to lie on a mortgage application.
"This conduct demonstrates a willingness to deceive lenders when submitting applications to them," the order says.
"Not only are lenders put at risk of providing mortgage funds based on inaccurate information, but borrowers may find themselves in a mortgage they cannot afford."
'Call Rani Gill and get your mortgage done'
According to the decision, FICOM began investigating Gill after she called the agency in January 2015 to ask whether "an unregistered person could collect a referral fee from a mortgage broker, as she was having difficulty."
Gill was previously registered as a submortgage broker from 2009 until 2013; two years later, she told FICOM she was only engaged in "client-side" work.
But a scan of a local real estate paper turned up an ad which included Gill's name, photograph and the promise: "When everyone says 'NO' Call Rani Gill and get your mortgage done."
The ad was aimed at "new immigrants, first time buyers, self employed, low income, bad credit" clients: "We do it all."
According to FICOM, Gill held herself out to an undercover investigator as a registered submortgage broker who "deals with lenders across Canada." She gave the investigator a fridge magnet indicating her role as a "mortgage specialist."
During the course of their interview, Gill allegedly told the investigator she would tell the lender he planned to live in the investment property, even though he stated he did not, as he would get a better deal from the bank.
The FICOM document says: "Ms. Gill further advised the investigator that if he was 'going to be short (on the down payment) and you need to borrow, then we tell them, okay, then we make a gift letter. Then we tell them my parents, or whatever, they're going to give us a gift."
'Taking the matter very seriously'
B.C. mortgage broker registrar Chris Carter described Gill's conduct as "particularly egregious" given the fact that she was previously registered as a broker and knew the rules.
The FICOM probe also led to a parallel investigation by the Real Estate Council of B.C. into Gill's husband, Jaswinder Singh (Jas Gill), who shared the newspaper ad with her and linked to her email and phone number on his website.
In an email, RECBC spokesperson Marilee Peters said the council "will be taking the matter very seriously."
Last month, the council reprimanded Jas Gill for allowing his wife, who was acting as his unlicensed assistant, to carry out activities that require licensing by the RECBC. At that point, she was still licensed as a submortgage broker.
FICOM issued the cease-and-desist order last month after reasoning that a hearing couldn't be scheduled for about three months.
The Gills could not be reached for comment.