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10 days from eviction, foreclosed former firefighter questions lowball home valuation

A former firefighter told Cayman 27 he and his family are just 10 days away from being forced from their Lower Valley home.

We first introduced you to Raul Martinez and his story of foreclosure last month. He said the bank is selling his home for a fraction of what its worth, and he showed Cayman 27 the documents he says proves it.

“That’s my sweat equity right there,” said Mr. Martinez.

Former firefighter Raul Martinez said a 2009 valuation of his property at $787,000 is a lot closer to its current market value than the $285,000 he says the bank has agreed to sell it for.

“Basically the bank and the evaluators and the realtors are trying to rip my family off, you know, with the equity, right. That’s my family’s future right there what they are taking from us,” he said.

After the sale, Mr. Martinez said he will be stuck with a sizable residual debt likely to leave his family penniless.

“$75,000, $80,000, whatever the balance is, I’m still going to have that hanging over my head and then it’s not fair to me,” said Mr. Martinez.

Mr. Martinez said he offers reassurances to his three youngest children, as the19 April deadline to vacate approaches.

Former firefighter Raul Martinez spends a quiet moment with his three youngest children Trinity, Hailey, and Logan.

“My kids cry to me every day, they say they don’t want to go anywhere else from their home, and I have to tell them look. We are not leaving here, some miracle, something is going to work out for us, God is not going to make us go out in the street,” he said.

Mr. Martinez told Cayman 27 his slide deep into arrears came after he was wrongfully dismissed from the Cayman Islands Fire Service several years ago. He said he should have been granted disability for his lupus.

A GIS spokesperson confirmed Mr. Martinez worked for the fire service from 1993 to 2004, but said at the time Mr. Martinez’ illness had not been disclosed.

“Right now we don’t have anywhere to go, this is our home, where do you all expect us to go?” he asked.

He told Cayman 27 he’s taking his family’s story public in the hopes government will take note and make changes.

“The black and white on the paper shows them and everyone else in the public how bad me and my family are getting ripped off,” he said of the discrepancy in the two valuations. “This is where the government needs to step in and take action, to get a team of investigators, and get something investigated.”

He said he’s taking his guidance from a divine voice.

“God is telling me to take a stand, and hold my ground, hold my land which is mine,” he said.

Mr. Martinez showed us several valuations of his land and home, topping out at more than $800,000 in one document.

He is calling on whoever is buying his property of 22 years to pay him the difference in that price, or simply walk away from the deal. Mr. Martinez reiterated his vow to resist eviction.

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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