Categorized | National News

New Mortgage Relief Plan

Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday in the House of Assembly said that homeowners qualifying for the government’s forthcoming mortgage relief programme will cause a 20 per cent to 25 per cent reduction in mortgage payments.

Mr. Christie said the mortgage relief programme will give residents “a chance to get back on track”.

This relief programme, according to Mr. Christie, will cost the government an estimated $20 million.

“According to initial estimates, upwards of 1,000 delinquent borrowers, which are persons who are 90 days or more in arrears as at May 1, 2016, are anticipated to qualify initially for the Mortgage Relief Programme. That number could of course go higher. The programme has been designed to make it as attractive as possible for eligible borrowers to agree to participate,” said Mr. Christie.

“As well, the programme has been designed on the basis of the most current information from the banks’ own portfolios, thereby maximizing the chances that program participation will materialize. The total cost is estimated to be in the range of $20 million over 4 years and will be paid by the Government,” he continued.

Mr. Christie noted that a task force will be established in this process; and he noted that the government is currently discussing with clearing banks, guidelines on how to treat delinquent mortgages.

Admitting that this programme will not address the root cause of the on-going mortgage crisis, the prime minister said his goal is to ensure Bahamians are able to retain their homes, or if that not be the case, “give up the home in a distinguished manner”.

The prime minister in outlining the mortgage relief plan noted that residents qualifying for the programme will be administered financial counselling established by the government.

The news of this programme to many has been long awaited, as the government when coming into power in 2012, initially allotted 10 million to the mortgage relief program.

The government claimed that the mortgage relief plan would assist more than one thousand homeowners, but in actuality on record only assisted about 10 homeowners.

According to Mr. Christie, his administration experienced a number of glitches after the program was initially agreed to by financial institutions.

Mr. Christie said that a revised homeowners’ protection bill will be tabled in the parliament “in the near future”.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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