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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101375
Experience:  Lawyer
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In Canada, does a legal contract (e.g. a mortgage agreement)

Customer Question

In Canada, does a legal contract (e.g. a mortgage agreement) have to be sent by the lawyer to a signatory in advance, if requested? What if the request is denied by the lawyer, who may insist, for example, that the agreement only be read and reviewed in their office?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
There is no requirement to have a lawyer involved at all in many cases.But a lawyer is not going to witness anything or give advice on anything that he/she has not read and reviewed with you. There would not be any point in involving a lawyer in that case.So if the bank is saying you need a lawyer to review the mortgage then you need the lawyer to review the mortgage and review it with you before you can sign.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello? Please acknowledge receipt of my necessary follow-up question.

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I didn't receive the follow-up question. Please try again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay too bad. Thanks Legal Ease, however, my initial question to you was not at all about a requirement to have a lawyer review a contract: it was about my right to receive the contract in advance in order to review it before signing it. To provide some context: I have to sign a mortgage agreement but the broker's lawyer has refused to send the actual agreement to me before my appointment with him. This position was characterized as some sort of 'policy' and I was told I can review the document at his office. However, how can I do due diligence if I cannot read the document at my leisure before I sign it (whether or not I have my own lawyer). Thx.

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
You can tell the lawyer that you will not sign on that day.

You can come and discuss and take a copy home but you will not sign until you can read it on your own.

If it was your lawyer that would be a different matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay, but my question is not really about what to do next. It is about whether the legal right exists (or else is it considered best practices or fair dealing) to be sent an agreement in advance of having to sign it. Conversely, is it considered bad faith for a lawyer to refuse to send it in advance?

Also, what do you mean about it being a different matter if I had my own lawyer? Do you mean the agreement COULD be sent to me in advance if I had my own lawyer to first receive it from the broker's lawyer?

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I mean that the broker's lawyer is not on your side. That lawyer needs to take care of the best interests of the broker.

That lawyer cannot give you advice and in fact if anything should be insisting you take the document to your own lawyer.

If this was your own lawyer then your lawyer could say to come in as she/he would review the full document with you.

So what to do next is say you need the document at home before you sign it and in fact you may decide to get independent legal advice.

You cannot possibly sit there and be told what it means by the broker's lawyer and sign if you are saying you need time to review it on your own.

It isn't bad faith but in fact it could be negligence and it is a conflict of interest if the lawyer is saying that he/she is all you need to listen to.