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Mortgage relief for some Bahamians

NASSAU — Approximately 1,100 Bahamians will likely be eligible for the government’s Mortgage Relief Plan, which will be introduced during the first week of September, Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis revealed yesterday.

During a communication in the House of Assembly, Halkitis also revealed the details of the plan, which is expected to help people facing foreclosures.

He later told The Nassau Guardian how many people would likely qualify for the plan.

Once the plan takes effect, applicants will have a six-month window to apply.

Halkitis said in order to participate in the plan, applicants must occupy a primary residence; the mortgage must have originated prior to January 2009; the outstanding mortgage amount can not exceed $500,000 and the applicant has to have had an acceptable credit history prior to June 30, 2008.

Additionally, the loan must be delinquent due to documented financial hardship caused by involuntary unemployment, under-employment or chronic illness; the mortgagors must have sufficient, sustainable documented and verifiable income to support the restructured payments and the lender must have a valid first and possibly second charge mortgage.

The property must be clear of other mortgages, liens or encumbrances, Halkitis added.

The minister said individuals wishing to participate in the plan will have to apply through their lender.

He said the lender would review each applying borrower’s circumstances and determine what an affordable mortgage is, given the reduced income of the borrower.

“The difference between this affordable amount and the actual mortgage would be the gap, which would be addressed by the plan through rewriting the mortgage loan into two loans — a serviceable loan and a deferred loan,” Halkitis said. (NASSAU GUARDIAN)

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