The deadline for Gregory Watt to leave his home has come and gone, and as of Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Watt told Cayman 27 he’s still there.
As he works to take his fight against foreclosure to a courtroom, Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders called his constituent’s story a sign of societal failure, one he believes a new mortgage law would help to correct.
Gregory Watt ‘s fight against Scotiabank continues. After being foreclosed on for around $3,000 in arrears, he took his story to the public, where it struck a chord with many: among them, his elected representative, Mr. Saunders.
“I can tell you one thing, you’ll be one of the last people ever going through this because one of the things that I’m looking to bring next year, God’s willing, is a proper mortgage law to deal with this issue,” Mr. Saunders told Mr. watt outside his home in Northward Tuesday.
He told his constituent the current legislation governing mortgages is clearly flawed.
“Everything is still running through the registered lands law, and one of the things that I’m looking for, to bring in from out of the UK is they have a mortgage law there from 1974, that we are looking to kind of Caymanize it and see we can do about giving people more protection,” he told Mr. Watt.
Mr. Saunders said he plans to introduce a mortgage law aimed at leveling the playing field between the borrowers and the banks.
“Issues like these require the full weight of the Cayman Islands people behind it, and not just one individual, and that’s why this legislation that we are working on it’s going to be very important.”
Mr. Watt said win or lose, he hopes his struggle with Scotiabank can galvanize the Cayman community in support of Mr. Saunders’ proposal.
“People of Cayman, do not sit back in your comfort zone and say it’s not happening to me so that’s fine, or it’s happening to me but I don’t want to say anything, that’s not going to make it better for you,” said Mr. Watt, who is using his newly-launched Criminal Eviction social media page to spotlight what he considers inequities in Cayman’s mortgage regime.
“We will require a lot of public support, public input, but we are willing to do the work, and we are just hoping other people are here to be with us,” said Mr. Saunders. “It’s clearly a disconnect between what we see and what we do, and right now I think the time for talk is over. If the Caymanian people want, it is time for action.”
Back in August, Mr. Saunders withdrew a private members motion seeking amendments to the registered lands law. He said that was at government’s request. He said the proposed mortgage law would be a comprehensive stand-alone piece of legislation.