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Judge gives Gregory Watt seven days to vacate in foreclosure case ruling

A judge has given Gregory Watt, the man who told Cayman 27 he was foreclosed on for a little more than $3,000 in arrears, seven days to vacate the property.

Justice Richard Williams concluded that Scotiabank acted appropriately and was within its rights to market and sell Mr. Watt’s home.

Although Justice Williams expressed sympathy for Mr. Watt’s plight, especially as the case hit the courts in the heart of the festive season, he said the bank took reasonable steps to work with Mr. Watt, even through four years of inconsistent payments.

Calling it a “sad situation,” Justice Williams referenced multiple demand letters, the first in September 2013, the second in February 2015, and then again in April 2016. After each of these letters… The court heard that Mr. Watt made ‘interim arrangements’ with the bank to pay more than his base monthly payments to catch up with the arrears, which fluctuated from between $3,000 and $6,000, but in each instance, Mr. Watt failed to do so.

More than a month after the initial deadline to vacate his home in Northward, Gregory Watt walked into court Friday with a decision imminent.

Under cross examination from Scotiabank attorney James Austin-Smith Thursday, Mr. Watt reiterated the story he first told Cayman 27 in an interview on November 8th.

“On the 31st I went back because I wanted to, to help the amount below 90 days,” said Mr. Watt in that interview. “When I went to the teller he looked in the system, he got up, and he went to this lady, he came back and said we cannot accept your money.”

A central detail of the case presented before Justice Williams; Mr. Watt’s allegation that a Scotiabank teller refused his payment of $100 on his visit to the bank 31 May.

A Scotiabank employee, a supervisor of the teller who interacted with Mr. Watt on the 31st of May gave evidence Thursday. She said Mr. Watt had made threats to get the media involved, even breaking into tears at one point while giving her account. She said with this background, she kept her distance from Mr. Watt, but she flatly denied his payment was refused.

“Never have I told Mr. Watt or relayed information to tellers or any other employees that we cannot accept any payments to the mortgage,” she said under oath.

Justice Williams concluded Scotiabank staffers dealt appropriately with Mr. Watt, and said ‘threatening’ bible verses Mr. Watt included in his emails with the bank were inappropriate and showed Mr. Watt’s lack of insight as communication broke down between two parties.

Mr. Watt, who has previously expressed his confidence in the judicial system, says he plans to appeal.

“It’s not over until it’s over. When the dust is settled we will see if the justice system really prevailed in my favour, as it should,” said Mr. Watt, in the minutes after the decision had been read.

Mr. Watt’s attorney, Clyde Allen, told the court he plans to appeal on two grounds that involve Sections 64 and 72 of the Registered Land Law. Those regard intricacies in the notifications periods. A third ground of appeal, he said, has yet to be developed.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to josephavary@hurleysmedia.ky

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