Half of mortgage assistance applications get approved

Of 165 applications, 81 have been given green light

Nearly half of the applications for the mortgage assistance programme set up with funds received from Dart Realty have been approved. 

Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush delivered an update on the programme during a news briefing Tuesday, 24 April, saying 165 applications had been received and 81 subsequently approved. 

The approved applications equate to about $1 million, which will be forwarded to the Treasury for payment and placement of a second charge on the property by the end of this week, Mr. Bush said. 

“The Save the Home Programme has received 165 applications to date. It took an average of one to two months to receive all documentation in order to fulfil the criteria to process each application,” Mr. Bush said. 

Of the remaining applications that have not been approved, 14 did not meet the criteria, 18 were placed on hold due to the financial institution withholding approval to restructure or denying the government a second charge on the property, three were withdrawn by the applicants, 10 are complete and are awaiting review by the Save the Home Committee and 39 are being processed.  

Last year, Dart provided the Cayman Islands government with US$5 million, US$2.5 million of which is being used for the mortgage assistance programme. Dart paid the government the money as part of the ForCayman Investment Alliance deal, which will, among other plans, lead to the closure of part of West Bay Road, the redevelopment of the former Marriott Courtyard, expansion of Public Beach and the extension of Esterley Tibbetts Highway to West Bay.  

The programme was put in place to assist people on the verge of losing their homes because they had fallen behind or were having difficulties making mortgage payments. It involves giving interest-free loans of up to $20,000 to help homeowners, who have up to 50 years to pay the money back. 

It is open to Caymanians who occupy the property on which the loan is made and the applicants must either be experiencing financial difficulties and have received a foreclosure order/default judgment/demand letters or be at least three months delinquent on their mortgage.  

Mr. Bush said the Ministry of Finance had met with the auditor general in February. Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick said his office had provided advice about the internal controls and management of the project, based on the information received about 
the initiative. 

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