The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is a non-profit corporation that regulates the activity of trade in real estate in the public interest including mortgage fraud. Their core purpose is to uphold integrity in real estate transactions.

Established in 1997, RECO acts as a delegated administrative authority under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act and is responsible for administering the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA).

The mission and focus of RECO is to enhance professionalism, increase consumer protection and provide an effective and responsive regulatory framework. RECO must perform in accordance with the terms of the government and administrative agreement, and is overseen by the Ministry of Consumer Services.

Protecting the Public Interest

RECO aims to protect the public interest in the following ways:

  • The establishment of minimum requirements for pre-registration and continuing education
  • The enforcement of the standards required to be a broker or sales person, maintain registration as a brokerage and delivering the duties as a registrar.
  • The Implementation of regular inspections of brokerage offices to ensure compliance with REBBA
  • The establishment and administering of insurance requirements including consumer deposit protection
  • The promotion of ongoing education and knowledgeable, competent service

Mortgage Fraud - An Issue of concern for the Real Estate Industry and the Public

RECO addresses mortgage fraud through:

  • Education
  • Investigative activities to ensure compliance
  • Collaboration with organizations concerned about mortgage fraud
  • Legal/statutory activities to impose disciplinary action on registrants found to have participated in mortgage fraud

Mortgage Fraud Enforcement - Mortgage fraud is a criminal act. REBBA gives RECO the power to investigate criminal offences that are relevant to a person' fitness for registration under the Act. The Registrar's position is that any registrant proven to have knowingly participated in mortgage fraud faces losing their registration.

Collaboration - Organizations such as the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals and other real estate regulatory bodies are active in combating mortgage fraud either by releasing educational information or through collaborative efforts.

Consumer Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Fraud - You can avoid being an unwitting participant in mortgage fraud by being suspicious in the following situations:

  • Asked to inflate (overstate) your income on a mortgage application, indicate you plan to live in a property being purchased as a rental property or provide other false statements
  • Asked to sign documents that contain blanks or asked not to complete certain sections of a form or document
  • Offered a fee for the use of your name and credit information
  • Discouraged from visiting the property, having the property appraised or inspecting the property you are purchasing
  • Finally, if it sounds "too good to be true" it probably is

RECO is an organizational body dedicated to and characterized by Integrity, accountability, fairness and respect.