PLP blasts FNM on bad mortgages
The Progressive Liberal Party yesterday accused the Ingraham administration of shattering the Bahamian dream, a day after Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC) Chairman Dr. Duane Sands admitted that nearly 40 percent of mortgages financed by the corporation are in arrears.
On Thursday, Sands revealed that more than 1,000 Bahamians have defaulted on their loans with the corporation, leaving it $80 million in the hole.
The PLP alleged that the government’s focus on infrastructure and road works that have dried up traffic at many local businesses, rather than stimulating the economy in other ways, has contributed to many government homeowners’ inability to pay their loans on time.
“With the economy in such a challenged state and as credit has dried up, it has been harder for families to find affordable loans to purchase a car or pay tuition and harder for businesses to secure the capital they need to expand and create jobs,” said the party in a statement. “In the end, all of us are paying a price for this home mortgage crisis. And all of us will pay an even steeper price if we allow this crisis to deepen – a crisis which is unraveling Bahamian homeownership, the middle class, the working class, and the Bahamian dream itself.”
Sands said the new executive management team is working to take the corporation from the “dismal” position it is in.
He said the BMC is helping to restructure the loans of those who are attempting to continue to pay.
However, Sands said the corporation is going after those who refuse to pay.
The PLP charged that the government is not doing enough to revitalize the economy and is taking the wrong approach to the high level of mortgage delinquency.
“The PLP believes that we must act boldly and swiftly to arrest this downward spiral; the government must seek every avenue to assist Bahamians rather than evict them from homes. The mortgage crisis must be viewed in a larger context. A lost home often begins with a lost job,” said the party.
“Many businesses have laid off workers for a lack of revenue and over-taxation, which results in unavailable capital. Credit has become scarce as the markets have been overwhelmed by the collapse of securities backed by failing mortgages. In the end, the home mortgage crisis, the rising number of unemployed Bahamians, and the failed economic strategy of this government are interconnected.”