BVI News

Banks secretly recruiting buyers for homes late on mortgage payment

Delores Christopher (front) outside the House of Assembly. (File phot0)

Representative for the Fifth Electoral District, Delores Christopher has said banks are secretly compiling a list of potential buyers to purchase homes belonging to property owners who are behind on mortgage payments.

She said she received word about the banks’ intentions from persons she described as ‘reliable sources’.

While speaking yesterday at a poorly-attended public meeting on the proposed recovery plan for the BVI, Christopher called on the government to intervene.

“The banks are ready and the buyers are lined up… Some of it is being done without notifying the property owners. We should look into that problem. I don’t think we should encourage that in the Virgin Islands,” Christopher said.

The district representative said while she understands that these financial institutions need to recoup the funds they lend, she does not support their alleged actions.

She said the issue is compounded because some insurance companies continue to drag their feet on making payouts so homeowners have resorted to fixing their properties out of pocket.

Bank tribunal suggested

In response, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said he was not aware of the issue. However, he said it was something government ‘should take seriously’.

“There is now a suggestion that there should be a banking tribunal to look at that issue as well,” the Premier added.

The Premier Smith-led government recently implemented an insurance tribunal, which is said to have resolved a number of the insurance-related issues affecting residents.

Yesterday’s poorly-attended public meeting was held at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School.

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  1. Stella says:

    bottom line no one wants to see the NDP we will be out in big numbers on election day

  2. The watcher says:

    The poor attendance is how the people 5th district thinks about you now,we see the real you with the September hurricanes!

  3. Come on says:

    BVI news this is the second time you have done this. Surely you can find a better pic of the Representative of the 5th for your story…

  4. Nonsense says:

    We do NOT need a tribunal or a committee for every damn thing, just put your feet down as a Government and make it clear you won’t stand for anyone taking advantage of your people, simple.

    • BVI lawyer says:

      Why would we need a tribunal to do this when this is what the courts do? If you fall behind on your mortgage payments the bank is entitled to repossess your house and sell it – that is the whole purpose of a mortgage. But the court supervises the process. Do we now need some political appointees to supervise the court?

      Compiling a list of potential buyers in relation to properties in default is not illegal. No bank ever wants to foreclose – it is time consuming, expensive, and it locks in their losses. But if they do have to foreclose, then they don’t want to be holding the property longer than they have to – they want to be able to sell it on quickly and cut your losses. Identifying potential buyers sounds like a sensible precaution – not some covert criminal act.

      • Delusional says:

        I like your comment and sets out the process. Banks lend money to earn interest on the loan and take security in case there is a default on the loan. Banks do not lend money on the basis that the person will default and they hope that the property has appreciated in value. This is completely delusional and these types of comments only serve to confuse people and contempt for the banks. The National Bank of the Virgin Islands (NBVI) has just received capital from Social Security, which is the money of the people of the BVI. The NBVI would be vilified if it loaned the money out, somebody defaulted, yet the Bank did not seek to foreclose and sell the property to recoup some of the loaned money.

        • Retired says:

          Ms. Delores Christopher please read these comments and try to understand the mortgage legal process before your next public appearance/meeting.

  5. LOL says:

    That pic of Delores tho…

  6. All fool day says:

    Maybe it poorly attended because the plan is a joke.

  7. what a ting!! says:

    MORE RR0WLS: Governmental ask the community to come and give an input yet they do not show up.Then when the Govt makes a decision everyone is crying out. What kind of society is this> You may say it does not make a difference, but it does. There is where you have an opportunity to make your voice heard. Now about the banks::: Some of the representatives are like little pigs Simple issues they could deal with they tell you to make appt and come back. Do they care No. Some of them are heartless and cruel.

  8. Island man says:

    People of the BVI stop the political views and take heed. This is a serious matter and we should ask help from the government and law makers to speak to the Banks ASAP.
    Your home and property are at stake. The very inheritance of your family will be taken away legally and cheaply. People need more time to accumulate money for mortgages.
    If the bank action your property it is a legal action and there is nothing you can do but pay up or loose it.
    Take heed and move swiftly. Warning to my people.

    • Love my bvi says:

      Warning to my people?

      Yes, the warning is, continue to pay for your property of it will suffer foreclosure. Simple. You don’t pay, you lose the right to call it yours.

    • Banker says:

      Stop spreading rumors and lies. There is no interest for the banks to sell your homes.

  9. Online Now says:

    Why would she say this at a public meeting without bringing proof? Why hasn’t she done something about it in her official capacity? More dereliction of duty replaced with sound bites.

    The Real Estate Agents are compiling lists of potential buyers, nothing wrong with that, providing there are willing sellers.

  10. Ginger says:

    Maybe if the landlordsbe fair and rent for a reasonable price ratehr than charging an arm and leg after Irma and exploiting people they’d be able to pay their mortgages God don’t like ugly and he dont sleep

  11. this not new ... says:

    She is right, but this has been happening long before Irma; where the employees within the banks and the law firms alert other friends and family members of properties that will become delinquent in payments. I’ve seen it happen several times.

  12. Soo says:

    It is true. Last month on a Saturday morning show I heard a bank official say they are issuing loans to buyers for homes that homeowners left after the hurricanes. They can issued a loan for up to 100,000.00.

  13. Diplomat says:

    Simply, banks take in demand deposits and pay little interest and loan the money out at high interest rates. A loan typically comes with some type of collateral, ie, house, land, car…..etc and if you default on the loan, the collateral is foreclosed upon. Banks are not in the real estate business and prefer that lenders pay their mortgages instead of having to foreclose on properties.

    Nonetheless, if they are colluding with certain investors by failing to work reasonably with mortgagors who are going through a hard time after the storms so that investors/friends can gobble up their properties for little or nothing, this is sick and unprofessional. The banks should be penalized and run out of town on a boat with neither engine nor oars. If it is a local bank, they should turn loose out to sea the same way. Government is so inept that nothing will happen on this scandalous allegation. Then again who knows who these oportunists are. Pull back the certain. What De Dogg Himself say about opportunists, ie, dey in every damn ting.

    Moreover, some of us build not what we can afford or need but rather a conversation piece for a discussion or to be the talk of the town. What rule says that the last person that builds has the biggest house. Pure nonsense. The talkers are not going to help you pay the mortgage. In fact, they will gossip about you losing your house. Seriously, too many of us over build and a slight set back in a small economy and we are up the creek with no paddle.

    The BVI is in a catch 22 situation. There is a shortage of housing due to large labour import and everyone with a square inch of land wants to build on every square inch to rent out. It is called putting money in the ground, not in the bank.

    The problem is once the 2X4 territory is built out and people move on to the next destination what happens to the excess of multifamily units. They will be available dirt cheap. Make no mistake the BVI will build out quickly like its westerly neighbor——USVI. Anyone remember when St. Thomas was boom town. Nonetheless, the bubble burst rather quickly and St. Thomas is struggling. Let’s learn from their experience.

  14. E. Leonard says:

    This is a serious allegation and if true it is shocking. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Cat 5 hurricanes, devasted the BVI, causing severe damage to single and multifamily housing units. In addition to decimated properties, the catastrophic storms also affected income flows and revenue streams that may have posed some challenges for property owner meeting financial obligations, putting some properties at risk of foreclosures.

    The land and land improvements in most instances are property owners primary and biggest asset. It’s in the national and community interest that these assets are protected and kept in local hands.

    Banks need to work cooperatively, collaboratively, reasonably and in good faith with property owners who are having difficulties paying their mortgages, helping them to avoid foreclosures. How can government assist home owners in retaining property ownership?

    True, government has financial challenges of its own but it should do what it can to help property owners retain their homes, resources permitting. It can offer grants, provide low interest/no interest loans, guarantee loans, bring some heat on insurance companies to settle claims………etc.

    Further, it can and should create a land bank and acquire stranded and distressed properties, keeping them from bank foreclosure. It can maintain the properties and return them to responsible and capable property owners. Moreover, government can as needed place a lien on acquired properties. Protecting home ownership should be part of the currently circulating 5-year recovery plan.

  15. SB says:

    The bank is not doing anything wrong. Based on their analytics the bank knows who will be in default along with the estimated time it wil take for loan to default.
    Got to be prepared to recoup immediatley.

  16. ??? says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with the picture.

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