Nassau, The Bahamas — The Ministry of Housing will continue to process new applications for mortgages despite the 121 accounts that are being processed for foreclosure and 50 that are before the courts, Managing Director of The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation Jerome Godfrey said.


“My board of directors has become more selective in who we grant mortgages to; our process of mortgages has not decreased,” said Mr. Godfrey.


“The Minister of Housing (the Hon. Kenneth Russell) has indicated his desire to proceed with new projects. There are quite a number of persons who we believe can still qualify for mortgage loans but the process will become more selective,” he added.


Mr. Godfrey explained to members of the media that there continues to be a ‘steady’ demand in the number of mortgage applications to the Ministry of Housing who have not been assisted.


He was speaking at a press conference Tuesday, January 7, at The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation’s Mortgage Adjustment and Recovery Centre (BMC MARC) located at Hillside Business Plaza on Thompson Boulevard that will officially open on January 12. He said the Corporation has physically expanded its operations by relocating the arrears department from its Russell Road location to assist clients.


In May of 2008 the Mortgage Corporation reported that mortgage holders were not meeting their loan obligations according to the terms agreed to.


Mr. Godfrey said the loans in arrears at this time were calculated at 27.43 per cent of the total portfolio.  Following an advertising campaign that encouraged delinquent borrowers to arrange repayment programs the Managing Director said the Corporation saw the portfolio decrease from 27.43 per cent in March 2008 to 25.71 per cent in July 2008.


“Regrettably, many of our mortgagors did not take advantage of our initiative and as indicated back then, these mortgage obligations appear to be relegated very low on their list of priorities and most definitely second to consumer loans by other banks and financial institutions,” the managing director said.


Mr. Godfrey revealed that at the end of November 2008 the Corporation’s arrears portfolio was 32.81 per cent or $5.028m. He said it is anticipated that the figures to the end of December 2008 will indicate a further increase in the overall portfolio which is not uncommon during the Christmas season.


“The Corporation was extremely disappointed in the poor response we had to our numerous radio announcements just prior to the Christmas season inviting persons with difficulties to call on us to discuss their positions.


“…the Corporation is undaunted in its efforts to assist its clients who are experiencing genuine problems in making their mortgage payments. For those mortgagors who have the ability to pay but are refusing to pay, the Corporation has proceeded in our foreclosure efforts…,” said Godfrey.


Mr. Godfrey said despite the job layoffs as a result of the economic downturn, the Corporation does not wish to segregate any particular sector of the economy.


“Everybody coming to the Corporation we would wish them to have a fair chance in being considered, qualified and approved for a loan,” he said.


“The applications are coming to us continuously and weekly. We are assisting with the financing of the government project that is going on in Spring City, Abaco where some 70 house are being completed.”


He added, “We have Pride Estates in the Carmichael Road area and we have quite a number of projects there where new applications are coming to us weekly. We see a constant flow of applications coming to us.”





NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation’s Managing Director Jerome Godfrey (2nd from left) announced Tuesday that 121 accounts are presently being processed for foreclosure with approximately 50 of these before the courts. Also pictured from left is Marcia Mortimer, Senior Loans Administration Manager; Sandra King-Storr, Deputy Managing Director and Louise Emmanuel, receptionist. (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson)



NASSAU, The Bahamas — T’rez Hepburn, Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Managing Director of the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation and Cheryl Knowles, clerk pose as customer and employee in the recently expanded arrears department of The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation’s Mortgage Adjustment and Recovery Centre (BMC MARC) located at Hillside Business Plaza, Thompson Boulevard. (BIS photo/Letisha Henderson)