Gregory Watt, the Bodden Town man whose fight to save his home from foreclosure is helping fuel calls for a new mortgage law, surrendered his home to Scotiabank last week Friday (5 January)
After his eviction, he reflects on his case, and discusses his future.
“I really did not sleep that night,” said Mr. Watt, describing his restless final night before surrendering his Northward home. “I was just tossing and turning all night, I was like ‘God is this real, this is just a horrible horrible nightmare.'”
While he tries to remain positive, Mr. Watt says the process of starting over has been fraught with challenges.
“New year, new gear, you just have to know when to get up and brush off and start again,” he said.
Chief among these post-eviction challenges: finding a place to live.
“I literally exhausted eCay trade, I could not find anything. At one stage I even slept in my car,” he said, “But then, thankfully, Sunday night I got somewhere, and I can now sleep.”
While he works to get back on his feet, he told Cayman 27 his appeal of Justice Richard Williams’ decision against him is still in the works. At the centre of that appeal: The notifications periods prescribed under sections 64 and 72 of the Registered Lands Law.
“Notices were supposed to be served on me sequentially, 64 first and then 72,” he explained. “I was given the notice, both of them were together, and that is not supposed to happen legally.”
The case prompted Caymanians to take to the streets in support of a new mortgage law, a change Mr. Watt says the country desperately needs.
“I do trust and hope for the Cayman people, for all of us, that that will come to fruition pretty soon,” he said.
And until that day comes, he’s offering one crucial piece of advice to others who find themselves on the slippery slope towards foreclosure.
“Sometimes circumstances, no matter how we try, it’s just way beyond our control as in my case, but if at any point, try your best not to get into that 90 days window, because that’s very dangerous,” said Mr. Watt.
In his 57-page ruling, Justice Williams said Scotiabank made multiple repayment arrangements with Mr. Watt after falling into arrears almost immediately after purchasing the home, and in each case, Mr. Watt failed to meet the terms of those agreements.