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Banks already have buyers lined up to purchase property in default- Hon Christopher

- According to the Fifth District Representative, this should not be encouraged in the VI
The Fifth District public consultation meeting held at Althea Scatliffe Primary School on Monday, February 5, 2018 had a poor turn out of community members. Photo: VINO
Honourable Delores Christopher, Fifth District Representative, has urged the government to investigate allegations that banks are quickly selling peoples' properties for defaulting in payments following the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO
Honourable Delores Christopher, Fifth District Representative, has urged the government to investigate allegations that banks are quickly selling peoples' properties for defaulting in payments following the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, has commented that he is not aware of the situation of banks quickly selling off the property of persons in default, but will look into it. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), Premier and Minister of Finance, has commented that he is not aware of the situation of banks quickly selling off the property of persons in default, but will look into it. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - During the Fifth District Recovery and Development Plan public consultation meeting held at Althea Scatliffe Primary School on February 5, 2018, Fifth District Representative Honourable Delores Christopher pleaded with the Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), to investigate banks that are selling people's properties who cannot pay for them quickly enough.

"Several persons have been raising their concerns and sometimes we tend to overlook things. I am made to understand reliably several banks are entertaining a list of persons who are looking for the properties of those persons who can't come forward soon enough," explained Honourable Christopher.

She recalled during the meeting that persons have expressed that the insurance companies are taking a long time to pay out claims, while noting that persons have been "tipped off" that there is a buyer already available to purchase their property.

"I don't think we should encourage that in the Virgin Islands (VI). I know the banks want their money but they were there when the hurricanes passed and the insurance companies, who have been collecting peoples money all for years without a claim, all of a sudden they have every excuse why they can't make a payment," expressed the Fifth District Representative.

Possibility of a banking tribunal

In response to Hon Christopher, Premier Smith stated that he is not aware of that particular situation but acknowledged that it is something that can happen and he will look into that situation.

He said, "I haven't heard about it but I know that it is a possibility and it is something that we should take seriously," adding that he is thinking about having a banking tribunal to look into matters such as the one mentioned.

VI lands should be protected from outsiders

It was Hon Christopher, an indigenous Virgin Islander, who spoke out against expatriates purchasing all the land in the Virgin Islands (VI).

Her cry came to light following a statement made by the Premier announcing during a sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA) in December 2017 that his government is planning to amend the territory's residency and belongership policies.

Meanwhile, the Fifth District public consultation meeting had a poor turn out of community support. There were at least five persons from the community present at the meeting.

The next public consultation meeting will be held at Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church starting at 5:00 P.M. today, February 6, 2018.

22 Responses to “Banks already have buyers lined up to purchase property in default- Hon Christopher”

  • no doubt that (06/02/2018, 07:59) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
    We dead under a NDP lead government
    • Observer (06/02/2018, 09:33) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
      If you couldn't be at the meeting to voice your concerns then you are just making unnecessary noise here.
      • dog (06/02/2018, 12:20) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        in a democracy it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the citizens to speak out and change things if they don't like it.
        They are also encouraged to get involved, listen and get informed and speak up-- or they get decisions they
        don't like and then they complain. Be a part of the solution not part of the problem!
        Go to as many public meetings as possible to hear other districts and people. That is what activism is all about.
    • True (06/02/2018, 12:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      But everyone will have amnesia when they hand out envelopes, jobs, higher pay and contracts for votes
  • Truth (06/02/2018, 08:38) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr zzzzzx never aware of anything until after the fact!
    • hope and pray (06/02/2018, 09:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      hope she says that in the House of Assembly and not just at a meeting with 6 persons
  • Interested (06/02/2018, 08:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why do we need a banking tribunal?
    There is banking section at Financial services that used to be headed by Ken Baker.Can they not look into such things ?
    • Yep (06/02/2018, 20:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      There is also an Insurance Division at the Financial Services so I don't know why they needed a new Tribunal for that too.
  • Cowards (06/02/2018, 09:17) Like (6) Dislike (14) Reply
    It is a conspiracy against the people of this country to squeeze them at one end by not settling claims and the banks wanting to deplete their savings and want them to pay loans where some of them trying hard to feed their families. The banks are not putting pressure on the insurance companies but when the customer gets the money to fix the asset so it can make revenue they are controlling it. Instead the pressure is going on the customer the victim of the hurricane.

    You know you read all the time about the racist driven conspiracies to destroy black communities through heartless and unfair policies but you didn't thought that it would be here at least so blatantly. Not to say however that whites in this country including those who are locals are not affected. Where is the leader of opposition and his member why are they not pounding these issues. I wander how these politicians that we elect sleep at night knowing they these things are happening.
    They are the law makers they have the power to change. And I guess it is no coincident either that the insurance company with the best name out their that is settling somewhat with people is locally own
  • Banker (06/02/2018, 09:19) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    Hon. Christopher is totally wrong. The repossession and sale process of properties by banks is laid down in law and Belongers have preferential rights. The realtors have lists of Belongers and non-Belongers who are interested in buying, but only when people wish to sell and all non-Belongers still need Licenses. Let her present facts and not rumors.
    • @ Banker (06/02/2018, 17:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stop talking nonsense one of the ways they are bypassing alien land holding licensees is to form companies. The people here are not stupid and we are fed up of the system and people who operating it failing and taking advantage of us.
      • @@ Banker (07/02/2018, 11:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Only Belonger companies can bypass the requirement for Alien Land Holding License. For a company to be a Belonger company it has to be majority owned by a Belonger.
  • qc (06/02/2018, 09:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    so the tax payers bail out the NBVI so the others must do what again to get them money? NEXT
  • Longshanks (06/02/2018, 10:01) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    I would be surprised if she were indigenous.
  • Weeping (06/02/2018, 12:14) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    We don't have a FEMA nor do we have leaders to implement something similar to help the suffering residents! Surely the government can do like SXM and ANU put a process in place for residents to get government aid in efforts of keeping these vultures out!
  • white man (06/02/2018, 12:54) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Banks are no social enterprises entities or charity operations its a business
  • Diplomat (06/02/2018, 15:41) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    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.
  • wize up (06/02/2018, 17:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    what ah ting and that is nothing new
  • E. Leonard (06/02/2018, 20:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    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.
  • kelo (06/02/2018, 21:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sister d you need to get out of the ndp also
  • boyblue (07/02/2018, 13:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The mentality of the average so called BVIslander is skewed when it comes to reality. They and some of their Distuct reps are simply entertaining but reality is not entertainment. Get real folks!
  • upset resident (08/02/2018, 12:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vote her Ms out one big waste to NDP no help to the 5th at all

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