MLA’s mortgage solution not on LA agenda

| 26/06/2018 | 85 Comments

(CNS): Efforts by MLA Kenneth Bryan to have a private member’s motion on addressing the current home loan regime brought before the Legislative Assembly have been thwarted by the tight and sparse meetings of parliament so far this year. The motion aimed to reduce the number of homes in the Cayman Islands that are being taken by the banks, but Bryan, the independent member for George Town Central, said he no longer expects his motion on this pressing issue to even make the floor of the LA before the year is out. Bryan told CNS that he is really disappointed that government is not taking this issue seriously, despite the impact on so many local families.

Bryan said that he is also still waiting for an answer to a parliamentary question he asked earlier this year on the number of Caymanian families who have had their homes taken by the banks over the last five years.

“To be honest, I’m afraid to get the answer as I think it will be far worse than we imagine,” he said. “Despite the economic turnaround, for some the number of foreclosures still seems to be increasing.”

Bryan accused government of adopting a strategy of avoiding tackling this major problem, even though it was a campaign issue for all of the winning candidates at last year’s general elections.

“There have been so few sittings of the Legislative Assembly this year, and when the House has met it has been for such a short period there is no time to address all of the questions and motions coming from the opposition benches. I believe government is knowingly adopting a strategy of shutting the opposition down with the lack of time it is devoting to parliament.”

Bryan noted that this was to be expected from the coalition of the PPM and the CDP because both CDP Leader McKeeva Bush, a former premier and now speaker of the House, and PPM Leader Alden McLaughlin, the current premier, have been guilty of manipulating parliament in the past to silence the opposition. But Bryan said he is really worried that more and more families will lose their homes as government continues to ignore the issue.

During a recent Grand Court filing by CNS in an unrelated matter, we could not fail to see the number of cases filed by banks to take people’s homes just in the last few months.

The issue was highlighted by the recent foreclosure on the home of former firefighter Raul Martinez after he had tried to fight the process. Last Thursday morning Martinez’ efforts to keep his home were thwarted when armed police officers arrived with court bailiffs. The armed officers surrounded his home in Lower Valley as his mother, Andrea Martinez-Calderon filmed the officers and bailiffs and posted the event on Facebook. With the arrival of the officers, however, Martinez finally left the premises.

When asked by CNS about the policy of the RCIPS to support repossession and the use of the armed officers, a spokesperson said that officers will support the court bailiff on request when a court order is being served to take possession of property.

“We will oblige these requests, with the express purpose of preventing any potential breach of the peace should a situation escalate. Officers are present for no other purpose than this. The type of policing response depends on an assessment of the circumstances on a case-by-case basis,” the RCIPS stated.

Bryan told CNS that he was not surprised that on this occasion the RCIPS sent five armed officers as Martinez had made it plain he was going to stand his ground to protect his home and that the presence of the officers probably prevented any potential violence. But he said this was an illustration of how bad things are for home owners who are given so little chance to get back on track and refinance homes where they have fallen behind on payments.

“This is a very challenging environment at the moment for some homeowners and the government is wrong when it dismisses these people who fall behind as just not wanting to pay,” he said. “This is about the banks not wanting to find a solution and the unfairness of the system. I am really concerned now about the growing numbers and that nothing is being done to resolve it. We need government to tell us how they plan to solve this problem.”

Bryan believes this has been caused by local unemployment and an increase in the cost of living while wages are stagnating for ordinary people, and the lack of will by either the banks or the government to find solutions and to make the home loan system more equitable.

“My main concern is that the government still thinks there is no issue,” he said.

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Category: Politics

Comments (85)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    i believe that their needs to be some sort of inquiry into this whole situation. I have heard numerous stories of collusion between certain bank officials, real estate persons. These usually involve expats in the banks interacting with expats wanting to buy a home. In one story the husband of a foreign bank worker bou8ght a a duplex for $ 350 thousand.. They did a few minor repairs and quickly put it on sale for $350 thousand for each side of the duplex , sold one half paid off the bank and were awaiting the sale of the other unit . Why didn’t the bank do the same thing? Bid anyone get a kick back from this transaction? Those questions need to be answered. Can the Financial crimes unit or Monetary Authority or someone please investigate. How about some journalist being brave enough to tackle it. Prove or disprove these stories.Oh and another thing ; A person can pay say $240.000 over ten years on a loan of $150,000 and after the ten years he still owes over $150,000. Why? because the bank has applied his payments to interest charges and not really reducing the amount borrowed. So can someone please investigate.

    • JH says:

      There is a much larger problem in this economy which plays a huge part in the economic circumstances faced by the Caymanian populace at large….

      CNS: The rest of this comment is posted as a featured comment here.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is exactly how mortgages work. Most of your payment early on goes to interest. If you fall behind you are charged interest on interest. Any payment thereafter goes to interest only until you are caught up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    More crack-pot stuff from Kenny.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    So will those whining about repos now stop whining when they can’t get a mortgage at all? No thought not.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyone should realise that if you make it harder for banks to recover debts the cost of the debt will rise; ie the rest of us will pay higher rates to carry the delinquents. Basic stuff. Bryans idea is simplistic drivel designed to appeal to the financially illiterate.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    the all lodge men anyways!!!????

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Two simple rules of life –

    If you rent a place and don’t pay the rent you get evicted.

    If you take a mortgage out on a place and don’t pay it back the bank repos it.

    If you follow Bryan’s logic the next move might be to force landlords to carry deliquent tenants – can’t see that happening somehow.

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    • Anonymous says:

      you never know…..

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    • Anonymous says:

      The article does not mention Bryan’s plan.

      Both cases that played out in the media showed that the banks worked very hard with the homeowners before repossessing.

      So until the help is financial advice before to make sure you are not overstretched. Or during to control expenses and ensure mortgage payments are the priority I cannot get onboard.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree with you – there is no plan nor a solution. The only thing this motion is about is whipping up popular notions that the banks are bad and politicians like him are doing something about it (which they aren’t and dont have the ability to). And you are right about the financial advice part, that is exactly what people would benefit most from. I remember Ministers Archer and Panton organizing programs to do that and all the opposition did was claim they were insulting people. The truth is they appeared to be the only ones that were helping. If Bryan wants to do something useful he should continue with that.

  7. Anonymous says:

    These Repo Homes are just the tip of the iceberg.
    The biggest issue is the high cost of rentals/mortgages & insurance!
    Locals cannot afford to own house or lands again. Got it?
    So then what will happen to this and future generations if nothing changes?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    i livel in small house…..bed…bath and kitchen….love it! save half salary per month and as a native, i only see things getting worse on this Island! planning on living somewhere else in retirement where money goes further…i am not gonna sit around here supporting the rich and big indirect taxes! no way…nah sah…nay!???????????? caymanians…consider your options and plan for the future as i am doing….

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  9. Anonymous says:

    There is no problem that needs addressing. It is unfortunate in a tiny minority of cases, when illness causes hardship, but in the majority of cases, if you’ve no job, swallow your pride and get a job at Burger King or somewhere…or don’t take out a ridiculous mortgage in the first place.

    I really like the idea of a citizens advice bureau. Many adults here struggle with literacy and numeracy, having someone break down the implications of loan arrangements would help tremendously. Have you seen the cowboys offering car leasing??? people must use these ‘services’ yet will end up paying massively for a car worth peanuts by the time it is paid for.

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  10. Cayman Ultra says:

    All those who elected this public menace laden party called a unity government ought to have their homes and lives foreclosed on because you knew exactly who you were voting for and what they represented. No pity here for you, as for MLA Bryan, MLA Harris absolute talking no use, mere nuisances with a special distinction of XXXXX for you Austin who spent your time on radio pontificating and criticizing others for the very things to are now doing.

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  11. Cayman TacTIx says:

    If you think Alden and the PPM and their disciples given a hoot about you and your children with their homes and condos overseas, you got another thing coming! What they do for their PPM minions who have fallen behind and in dire financial straits is provide cushy over paid post and stipend based membership to boards and committees to supplement their lost of income or a straight up job sucking on the government tit to stay afloat. Their retired followers double dipping is nothing short obtaining property by deception and conflicts of interest is so blatant it will cause temporary or short term blindness.Yes i am yet to see their fill to brim with PPm Anti Corruption Commission panel recommend one single solitary investigation into any member or appointees. Yes Cayman it aint foreigners killing us only its this nasty little political parasite called Unity Government giving two year contract to functional illiterate followers to celebrate our culture???? Can You imagine??

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  12. Anonymous says:

    somebody look up the endemic nonsense that is cidb……..’cayman islands development bank’….tells you everything you need to know.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree that people should live within their means, but let’s be honest, renting a decent 2 bedroom vs buying one is almost the same dam monthly price +/- life insurance cost.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the thing. If you haven’t paid for it, it’s not yours.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    To 11:39AM, banks don’t let you borrow more than you can afford. They add up all of your expenses and let you know how much you qualify for according to your salary.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sometimes people have lost their job.
      Or they get sick and the insurrance refuses to pay.
      Since there is no social security, these people can lose their homes.

      These are the people we are talking about.
      Buying a home above your paygrade is not even possible here.

      Unfortunately politicians represent banks and businesses and NOT the people that cited them in.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Any bank targeting a specific demographic luring them knowing into mortgages they can’t afford should be singled out and penalized. Responsible lending starts with the bank first, to deny a customer they don’t think can handle a mortgage. Next is the customer to understand what they can and can’t afford. It’s not rocket science.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Banks don’t lure people into mortgages they can’t afford for the some reason that banks are not interested in losing money in legal fees and acquiring property. Through costly foreclosures that they habe to liquidate to capture part of their losses.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed, but when senior management of the banks have friends onshore/offshore that would love to own property in Cayman that when the colluding starts. No money in repos for the Banks, but tons of money in it for those in the right positions at the right time. The corruption that UBO registers will expose will be astounding. Would be good to know who are behind most of these holding companies.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I call BS on that, pure Marl road speculation and no proof.

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        • Cess Pita says:

          7.55am Your last sentence – local politicians circumventing the Register of Interests

        • Anonymous says:

          I work as a loan officer and I’ve seen mortgages go through for people literally fresh to the island and not even started work yet but are getting loans because they met with my credit manager somewhere and had a drink with them and now we are expected to bend over backwards to facilitate the mortgage when I have to turn down staff.

          I had a staff member in his 3rd month of probation. His car broke down and needs a replacement. He wanted less than $3000 for something that could be quickly paid off but because he wasn’t out of probation, I was instructed to turn him down YET!!!! I was also instructed by the same person to provide a $300,000 mortgage for someone, fresh to the island, ink on their work permit not dry yet and who starts their job in 2 weeks.

          HOW THE XXXX IS THAT RIGHT? WHO DO I COMPLAIN TO WITHOUT LOSING MY JOB?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Everyone wants a nice house, I do as well. I had to settle with what I could afford and not what I wanted. People need to live within their means and to plan ahead. In the US you are told by the banks to put some money away. The equivalent of 3 months worth of bills just in case something happens to you and use it ONLY to pay bills in case you lose your job or get sick. I’d bet most of these people in foreclosure didn’t do this or lived beyond their means. I understand bad things happen to good people and even the more prudent saver can fall under hard times but how many of these foreclosures could have been avoided with a little protective planning?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, Dave Ramsay, author of the Financial Peace book and study guides recommends this among other things. Please look it up and read it if you want to get your basic financial education in place. The banks and government will not do this for you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ever stopped to think that majority of the local people do not make enough money to save and live month to month, yet alone put aside 3 month worth of bills? Again, this did not happen over night. This is the product of the CIG failing to improve public education over generations. Most Caymanians do not make more than $2500 per month. The middle class has disappeared and the lower class is expanding.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I absolutely agree and should have put that in my post. The failings to our people are widespread. From CIG to the companies that operate here.

    • SSM345 says:

      In Cayman if you had 3 months savings and you cant get a job after those 3 months have passed you lose your house. That’s the problem. If you miss one payment on any bill in Cayman due to unforeseen circumstances you are automatically f**ked the next month. Pretty positive everywhere else in the western world you don’t lose your house so quickly and there’s more protection afforded. But not in Cayman where your very own Govt .is in cahoots with all Pirate / Mafia Service Providers and you stand f**k all chance of anything being done on your behalf against them or to bring them in line with the actual environment we live as second class citizens in our own country.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m shocked by the comments, yes i get it pay your mortgage, but anything could happen no matter how small the amount, once its owed by too much the bank feel they wont get the cash back so they will take & sell that’s how it work. but it can be really heartbreaking losing something you been paying all your life, Reality is cruel and doesn’t bend over for no one.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well you could save up and buy a house without borrowing. Of course you wouldn’t have the house right away but when you got it it would be all yours.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And where will one live while saving up funds to buy their house? Not every parent wants grown ass kids living with them for any reason. I had this ideology for a few years and in fact, I tried it. I was renting while trying to save up to buy a house and after about three years, I gave up. My rent increased every year and the rent I was paying was several hundred dollars more than my mortgage would’ve been. How many years would someone in an average salary capacity have to work and save to buy property outright? Cayman’s cost of living shoots down that idea.

  19. Anonymous says:

    present politicians dont care about us!! only their pockets. full stop????????

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Bryan would probably be better off starting a citizens advice bureau so that people getting into trouble have somewhere to go to get impartial advice and options, maybe even budgetary advice. They could even give advice before taking a mortgage on, considering insurance for things like losing a job, or becoming too ill to work. However, you do have to be willing to listen to advice for it to work. I bet there are several ‘retired’ local bankers who wouldn’t mind a part-time job.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is the best idea I have heard in a while.

    • Justme says:

      There is already an organization which is free called legal befrienders.

      However, with no Sale of Goods or Consumer Credit Law in place people are not protected as they would be in the uk or other jurisdictions.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Don’t go to the bar or the hair salon for a month and see if it’s easier to pay the mortgage. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Someone should explain to mr Bryan the necessary process of foreclosure. And explain the global financial meltdown that happened as a result of the forced 2006 subprime mortgages in the USA.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    This is what happens when we elect morons that sell voters this utopia dream that they can prevent bad things from happening to people.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Translation: because some people can’t pay their mortgage , means that YOU should.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    The downside of Bryan’s plan is that if he is successful then he will only drive up the prices for those who are fulfilling their legal obligations.

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  26. Tut alors!. says:

    You really can’t expect to spend your salary on fancy cars and jet skis and pay what’s left over towards your mortgage.Why should Caymanians be treated any differently to other borrowers around the world?.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    I hope all the voters will remember the little effort the Coalition government is putting toward this terrible situation, when election comes around again.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Good. Protecting those that do not keep their promises at the expense of good honest people would be a disgrace.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You can still be a good honest person who falls ill for an extended time, resulting in being dismissed from your employer. When you finally land another job, your payments would have fallen behind too far and there was no safety net for you to land on.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    The best solution is not to borrow more than you can afford and to make your payments.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree you should live within your means. To add to that you should have 6 months salary saved in the event you fall ill or lose your job.

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    • Anon. says:

      So what is your advice for the person who didn’t have a fancy house or car, didn’t go to the salon at all, had some savings (about 4 months), husband left, struggled with payments, tried selling house, all in vain then lost job due to redundancy, found another job but much less pay and spent all of the savings trying to keep up with the payments.

      Savings are now gone, still have second job but that wasn’t enough to pay the mortgage, light bill, water bill, food bill, children expenses and still lost the house.

      My point is that it is always easy to give that kind of advice when you have never been in the situation and you are just looking from the outside assuming that it is somehow the person’s greed or mismanagement of their money that caused them to lose their home.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    yawn…more populist waffle from bryan who hasn’t got a clue what he is talking about….

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  31. Anonymous says:

    That’s because it’s nonsense. Pay your damn bills and shut up.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    PPM, UDP combine will destroy Cayman’s social fabric by catering to the merchants

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    • Anonymous says:

      People who borrow money and either cannot pay it back or use the money for things they shouldn’t will make borrowing more expensive for all of us. I get there is always a special case, people do get ill and those cases should be looked at and restructured, and there are ways to do that. The others…I have no sympathy with, in their book everyone else should pay for their own failings. I pay for my mistakes when I make them, you learn to pay for yours and don’t blame anyone else other than yourself.

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  33. Funny says:

    Confused… are we upset because people aren’t paying their mortgage and getting their house foreclosed? If so I have a perfect solution…. pay your mortgage!!!

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  34. Anonymous says:

    There is at least one bad actor bank operating in the jurisdiction deliberately targeting the foreclosure-prone segment of the market. They lure at-risk customers with impossibly attractive 5% down, 30 year terms, and P+0.5 rates, waiving the customary term life requirements, and seem unconcerned with immigration status, other standard mortgage sureties or booking the longterm interest revenue. They are in the foreclosure business – and, sure to their model, you will keep reading about this same bank being behind most of these rapid, hair-trigger foreclosures. They are literally banking on their customers failing, their ability to confiscate the deposit and interest, while hopefully flipping the improved home, in a modestly rising market, for a profit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. They don’t care if you have money left at the end of the month for your other bills as long as your mortgage payment is made. I do think if people are running into issues, they should try selling prior to the proceedings of foreclosure in order to get full value for their property.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That not bad acting bank…that’s normal practice. If it were extortionate rates, then yes, it would be bad practice…30 year mortgages becoming the norm everywhere as property is so expensive, and guess what, not repaying results in foreclosure in every country, not just Cayman. You need to get out more.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If you have a business and you are making good money and a good share of your clients are unhappy, is it a good business? No. And your are a pos as a human.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like bs to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is complete BS. Any ‘profit’ made in a foreclosure is the borrowers equity and they get it back!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah because people in default really improve their home! In foreclosures the bank sells the house covers it’s debt and returns the difference; how exactly is that good business?

      • Anonymous says:

        @6:20 That is a good example of good business. The bank takes the obligations owed to it (by virtue of the promissory note signed by the person borrowing the money) and in good faith returns what isn’t. Bad business would be the bank keeping the equity that isn’t theirs.

        What is your definition of good business? Forgiving the defaulted mortgage and giving the person the house free and clear? Have fun keeping your money at that bank.

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