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Homeowners Bill praised, Criminal Procedure Code chastised

Debate on amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and a new Homeowners Protection Bill resulted in Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Senator Keith Bell throwing his support behind the latter touting the legislation as crucial.

“I am thankful that the right honorable prime minister and the Progressive Liberal Party for introducing this legislation which is responsible for the much needed protection of lenders,” he said.

“Today marks what I hope to be the start of a greater regulation of a period in the mortgage market. It is unfortunate that far too many of our citizens borrow too much without thinking about the consequence of their actions.”

The bill also garnered support from Senator Rodney Moncur.

Back in February, State Minister for Finance Michael Halkitis lauded the accomplishments of the government’s new mortgage relief plan.

His sentiments came as he spoke of the significance of the Home Owners Protection Bill in The House of Assembly, describing the bill as a major step forward in the country’s mortgage industry.

Mr. Halkitis said the proposed amended Home Owners Protection Bill is to provide for the mortgagee to grant the mortgager a 30 day notice of his default in payment prior to starting legal proceedings.

Further he said it would enable he mortgagee and a contributing member of his immediate family the right to apply to the court for relief where he is unable to satisfy his obligations.

The bill also enables those purchasing a home to retain lawyers, appraisers and insurance brokers of their choice, subject to certain conditions; it allows for the transfer of mortgages between financial institutions at no cost to the mortgager and seeks to prohibit excessive salary deductions.

However when it came to the proposed amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) Senator Moncur had some harsh words.

He referred to the amendments as an atrocity.

“We cannot allow Madame President by one faint stroke of the Governor General’s pen will the entrenched right of a accused person of trial by jury to be treated with no respect. This bill is an atrocity madam president and a most foul and nauseating bolder and shame emanates from the government,” he said.

“There is no indication in all the papers provided to me why the government wants to change the definition of an indictable offense. It is an insult for me to have been asked to agree to change the law without having been at the same time given reason for the proposed change. It would be foolish of anyone to agree to change the definition without knowing why it should be changed. “

Senator Moncur holds that the bill is deceptive, corrupt and promotes political victimization.

The Senate continues when the Senate reconvenes.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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