Homes being lost for want of $3,000

| 26/10/2015 | 51 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Politicians wrestled with the very real problem of poverty in Cayman during a debate in the Legislative Assembly Thursday brought by the opposition leader. McKeeva Bush called on government to establish an emergency fund to prevent social deprivation and help the worst cases in the community where people have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their mortgages. Bush said he knew of constituents who were losing their homes after years of payments for the want of a few thousand dollars — as little as $3,000 in at least one case.

Presenting a private member’s motion to the Legislative Assembly to establish an emergency fund to support those who faced the loss of their home for want of a few thousand dollars through no fault of their own, Bush said the increase in the numbers of homeless people, the incidences of people living on porches, in the bush or in their cars did not speak well for Cayman.

Many people were struggling as hardship has set in, he warned, pointing to job loss as one of the main causes of people getting into dire situations because they can no longer meet their bills. Worried about predictions of more than 100 foreclosures this year, he said it was wrong that people were having the homes they had paid on for many years taken by the bank when all they needed was a few thousand dollars. He cited one case where the bank still took a woman’s home on the day she finally got a new job.

Bush said he appreciated the tightrope of balancing social needs and business but he said the commercial community cannot be allowed to make the money while the people “suffer and suffer”, and government had to adopt policies that would control the excesses of the free market.

“Large corporations must be monitored to ensure that they don’t exploit people, including homeowners,” he told MLAs.

He noted the long-term implications when people’s homes were repossessed and that, in the end, government and the business community would pay. Once people lost their homes they were very unlikely to get another chance to own one again, meaning government would see a massive increase in social service requirements and that would lead to an increase in fees levied on the financial services.

Bush said if members of the business community did not want to see more future taxes, they needed to help customers stay in their own homes and not repossess them so quickly. He said the private sector is always quick to point out where government should cut spending but they fail to appreciate that the corporate decisions they make have a negative impact on the people, and those social impacts then cost government.

Government has budgeted CI$1.6 million to pay rent for people in need this year and if the foreclosures continue that will increase. “Banks have a crucial role to play,” Bush maintained.

He acknowledged that some people live beyond their means but said the increase in the social deprivation was down to the economic fallout and local unemployment, so government must intervene with an emergency plan.

Pointing to the very real problems of poverty, he said the Needs Assessment Unit had its hands full and there were still too many children going to school hungry on a daily basis. He said the government was not getting to grips with the situation and needed a coordinated effort to reach the worst cases and the most vulnerable.

Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden offered sympathy for Bush’s motion but said government was dealing with the issues in the current budget and it could not just “grab” the extra millions that the opposition leader said were required.

Expecting to have the motion rejected, the West Bay veteran said the time had passed for excuses about not doing something. He said he was well aware of what government was doing but he was talking about the most dire of situations and the need to find the money.

Bush said government had a significant surplus that could fund an emergency programme. With 6,000 people being helped by the NAU, which has just seven staff, he said that alone showed how inadequate and pathetic things are on social front, as he urged government to develop “some humanity in your hearts” and help save homes.

Ozzie blames work permit system for poverty

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Category: Economy, Politics

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Government needs to reign in the lenders/ banks in this country. Ridiculous interest rates, costly admin and legal fees, house and life insurance make buying a new home with a local mortgage is above most of our means! Regulation in all sectors needs to be the way forward if anyone expects the Caymans to be a viable country to live in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple answer. Save money first, then see if you can afford a mortgage. Rates are historically low anyway. If there’s no hope, go back to school, get better qualified, get a better job, better pay, earn enough to pay back what you want to borrow. Or stay home with mom. When has it been any different ? Why should you get a free ride ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    In regards to the status grants. I have lived here since the early eighties. Every time I became eligible for status they moved the goal posts. Had I not had status after Ivan I would have closed my business and 60 people would of had to find other jobs.
    The headline of this article is very misleading. People are not losing their homes because of $3000.00. It is because they can not pay their mortgage payments going forward which I assume are much greater than $3000.00

  3. Joe B says:

    Give a Caymanian unemployable a hand out and you feed him for a day. MAKE him/her take responsiblility for him/her self and they become just like the rest of us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let that gambling addict pay for his buddie’s back payments. End of story.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Importing poverty. What baloney. Those of us who are accused of being imported, were already here, propping up the country, just trying to secure some sort of safety from arbitrary deportation. And we are/were actually sending money “home” so we were not being a burden to anyone.

    The poverty comes from dead beat parents who can’t keep their tool in their pants, or can’t keep their legs together, producing unwanted deadbeat kids with no hope, no help, no parental guidance, and no one in government who gives a damn for their own people. What earnings they have is spent on the next new phone/drugs/car/xbox/Miami trip.

    Quality education is non-existent, the universities offer courses with useless filler, helping no one. Local employers look right through a résumé containing UCCI or ICCI degrees. So there’s no corporate ladder to climb.

    Politicians (and notable others) skim the cream off the top of any contract or budgetary allocation, for their own lifestyle (gasboy, casinos, duty waivers, port development), so that there’s never enough to be spent on those in need of welfare or better education. Whats that TV advert say – helping people to help themselves. Pipe dream with these politicians spending time pontificating and grandstanding at the expense of the public purse.

    Too many feeding at the trough. And no one to say stop.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a large number of deadbeat expat parents too. They spawn Caymanian children but do not live in the same household and no nothing for their maintenance and upkeep, and yet we let them stay because they have Caymanian children. Why?

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. The U.K. Deports these persons even if they are married to a UK citizen – and they have a wider tax base.

      • Anonymous says:

        I could name at least 3 Cayman fathers who left their expat wives with kids, don’t pay maintenance and create nothing but problems, all to go with younger also expat women.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Banks don’t want to repossess. They want payments, or good faith and efforts toward future payments. People don’t want to humble themselves and have the conversation about not making payments, and so the banks end up having to assume they’re unwilling to pay (particularly after many months of no activity or response). Foreclosure is a last resort to recoup the original mortgage investment, and a real pain in the ass to deal with. If people would just talk to their loan officers, reasonable outcomes can be obtained that allow someone to stay in their home, but they may have to make some sacrifices in their personal lifestyles to achieve it. Such is life.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used to be a debt collector at a bank and I concur. At least the bank I worked for really tried to work with ppl. We offered them various options to ease them up. Waiver of payments, interest only for a few months, slashed several hundred off the payments but many ppl just did not make an effort to pay a dime towards the arrears. Ppl fail to realize in majority of the cases, when property is foreclosed the bank actually takes a loss as the property is usually sold for less than the mortgage balance. The silly customers then believe they are off the hook but not so fast. The bank will still hold the initial borrower liable to pay the difference that is still owed. This is where the real headache and excuses come in.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Are any of these mortgages the same as the ones McKeeva used to pay until things became, ahem, a little tight so to speak with his own finances?

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you cannot afford six months mortgage payments as savings before buying the property you cannot afford the property. If you burn through the savings and then cannot afford the payments you can no longer afford the property.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There is a specific kind of rider you can get on you life insurance policy that covers certain of your expenses if you find yourself out of a job in certain circumstances. As for mortgages, isn’t the rule of thumb that you should have at least 6 months worth of payments saved before you even apply? Its the same as people who don’t pay strata….you might be able to get a mortgage, but can you keep it? Its a shame really.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Banks don’t public data, but a large number of defaults are expats who leave Cayman, and their debts, behind.
    We good consumers pay the costs.

    • None says:

      Everyday Caymankind racism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not really…the bank takes the property, sells it, recovers the loss. Now if they have not “over lent” then they have already made a fortune on the huge mark up they make on interest rates here (a crime in other jurisdictions, incidentally), and for expats, they rarely get away with less than the “standard” requirements.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The general issue that few have experienced real hardship and misfortune but I would bet the majority just had their priorities screwed up.

  12. Anonymous says:

    All of that Las Vegas, Florida and Bahamian gambling money.,…… would now come in handy to help those who are losing homes due to foreclosure.

    • Expat says:

      And all the other money he wasted, which includes the generous salary and benefits he has enjoyed at the significant cost of the people over the last 30 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac’s handouts of our money to churches would help as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      finger id system, flooding the market with 3000 new Caymanians who became ‘entitled’ to bring in more dependents, take up opportunities and increase unemployment………..

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello! You missed out MACAU.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Put the money into education programs to get Caymanians better qualified and properly ready for the world workplace (not just Cayman one) and Cayman will reap the rewards. Also, give them finance management lessons, because damn, people who buy huge new cars rather than feeding their kids are sick in the head.

  14. Knot S Smart says:

    I am trying to remember but my memory is bad…
    Did not some politician a few years back divert part of some land developer’s payment to government – to a mortgage assistance program for people who were delinquent in their mortgage payments?…
    I wonder how that worked out…

    • Anonymous says:

      It worked out quite well… for the banks. The banks received $5 million but they still had to foreclose. The real winner was the guy who gave the $5 million with what he received in return.

      • Anonymous says:

        Point on! As an expat who has lived in Cayman for 6 years now, I often wondered what thought went into granting people who were on the poverty line status. Did he think that they would become rich overnight?

        This is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. Increasing the population with more poor citizens was a bed decision. And all of the people will pay for many years to come.

        • Anonymous says:

          We are making the problem worse. We are continuing to import poverty and grant poor people a permanent right to be here on an going basis. Only total idiots would do this, but that is what we are doing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hey Mac. You understand that this is in big part traceable to your Cabinet status grants and the mass importation of poverty that followed often in direct consequence, right?

  16. Anonymous says:

    We must be very careful with mortgage “bail outs”. if the money just puts off the inevitable loss of the house it does no good. Many of those receiving the Bush/Dart payments made prior have sine lost their home anyways. We need to address the reasons why people cannot make their payments. Not just make the payments for them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Build proper social housing and stop giving mortgages to those who cannot afford them. It happens all the time, except in Cayman.moh shut up Mac, you are part of the problem and went some way to creating the problem in the first place.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If Government was able to provide financing for large gambling debts then surely it can help people at risk of losing their homes.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:16. You are so right. Guess what he has to say about that. The real reason for those unpaid mortgage payments is the fact that government is issuing work permits and the locals are being sidelined. Issue permits for those positions that can’t be filled locally, and if they wanted to hire locals they certainly can find people here to fill them.
      Too much bias against the locals. When they arrived here, we’re they really qualified to fill all the positions that they are in now?

      • Anonymous says:

        I am Caymanian and cannot find a local to work an honest days work. Fact!

      • Anonymous says:

        Locals are being sidelined for jobs…Government officials needs to see the add in the Compass last week. The two that were holding signs “give us a second chance”, the one with the baggy nylon shorts, I wouldn’t give you a second chance cleaning my toilets. You want a second chance, first of all clean up your appearance, that may help a little. A message to Ossie, how come you don’t hire 100% Cayman, a message to Government, how come the CI Government doesn’t hire Caymanians? How come they are one of the highest work permit holders….so Ossie before you open your mouth I think you better clean up your own back yard!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          You are an example of the bias against Caymanians. If he’s looking a job then he doesn’t have money to buy a suit. If you hire him and he isn’t a good worker then you can get rid of him.

          Have you ever heard the story about the shoe store owner? He went into his store dressed like a nobody and everyone ignored him except for one man who treated him no different than the men in the suits. This man was promoted by the owner because he wanted someone that would treat all his customers the same.

          • Anonymous says:

            9:07am, he looked like a thug!!! You don’t have to wear a suit, but you can put on a decent pair of pants, shirt, don’t cost nothing to take a razor to your face and hair!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    ““Large corporations must be monitored to ensure that they don’t exploit people, including homeowners,” he told MLAs.”

    The same comment applies to local Caymanian employers who hire expats who can easily be exploited.

  19. Anonymous says:

    yawn…..the banks will do everything in their power not to foreclose….
    the story is pure sensationalism……just like the stories regarding caymanin unemployment/homelessness…

  20. Rhett says:

    Caymanian firing for ‘redundancy’ whilst the same position is then assumed by a Work Permit holder…Caymanians fired without just cause…Work Permit holders do not complain to the Labour Board as they know their fate: Immediate dismissal making them much more desirable? Caymanian voices are not heard….Foreign Corporate Businesses RULE….isn’t it about time something is done? So many words spoken, where is the ACTION?

  21. Anonymous says:

    We focus so much on people who are unemployed and struggling but what about those who are working and can barely make ends meet?? What compassion and assistance are we getting? Look for ways to help everybody. Cost of living here is a mofo.


    Caymanian (before anyone tells me to leave Cayman)

  22. Anonymous says:

    The incompetent king of the incompetent people want smart people to give them a life without working for it. Not today Bobo.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Jobs are so hard to find these days; bailing someone out now a few thousand to clear delinquency on their mortgage just to fall in to arrears again in the next few months?? To me, it makes more sense to help out ppl who do have jobs and ran in to hard times (proven legit reasons) with their mortgage/rent etc. Offer 90% of the arrears with 10% interest up to CI$5,000.00 and have this money paid back over time (2-3 YEARS MAX) and make it clear it´s one time application only. Agreements made with employers to deduct and pay directly to government. It could work. If you are helped once and mess up again then too bad.

  24. Anonymous says:

    If you cannot afford six months mortgage payments as savings before buying the property you cannot afford the property. If you burn through the savings and then cannot afford the payments you can no longer afford the property. Being soft on deadbeats and delinquents pushes up the prices for the prudent savers who meet their debt obligations.

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