TORONTO, ON (NEWS1130) – New mortgage rules go into effect today in Canada but a recent survey suggests many people are unfamiliar with the changes.

Starting today, lenders can only issue home equity loans up to a maximum of 80 per cent of a property’s value, down from 85 per cent. The maximum amortization period also drops to 25 years from 30 years, giving borrowers less time to repay the debt in full.

A poll conducted by Pollara for the Bank of Montreal found only about half of those surveyed were familiar with the changes brought in by the federal government. And only 45 per cent of those surveyed June 29th to July 4th were aware that the maximum amortization period has been shortened by five years.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the new rules on June 21st.