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Jamaica Mortgage Bank secures $180m court judgement against YP Seaton

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
File York Saton, owner of YP Seaton and Associates.

The commercial division of the Supreme Court has issued a default judgment against developer York Page Seaton regarding a personal guarantee to the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB) for a loan to his company.

The court noted in the judgement dated June 18 that Seaton is to pay $180 million on which interest would be charged at a rate of six per cent per annum dating from the date of the judgement until payment.

JMB had sued Y.P. Seaton & Associates Company Limited and its sister company, Ebony View Limited, in September 2014 to recover a principal loan and interest totalling more than $1 billion.

The debt in question relates to a $300-million loan issued in November 2006 and priced at 18 per cent per annum for a real estate development known as Ebony View.

Seaton's companies were to have repaid the loans within two years of the disbursements, which were done in tranches between November 2006 and February 2008.

The mortgage bank had initially included Seaton himself in the lawsuit, because of his personal guarantee for the $180 million of the debt. Seaton's name was dropped from that lawsuit, but the current decision indicates that the issue was pursued separately.

The attorney representing Seaton, Annie Gracie of Rattray Patterson Rattray said: "The firm has no comment on this matter."

loan period expired

Seaton himself was said to be out of office when Wednesday Business called. The mortgage bank also opted not to comment, saying that issues surrounding the wider case were still before the court.

The main case between the JMB and defendants Y.P. Seaton & Associates Company Limited and Ebony View Limited is set for an October hearing, Wednesday Business has learnt.

To date, according to court fillings, JMB was repaid only $792,945 of the loan, which the mortgage bank said was remitted in May 2014 after the loan period had expired.

JMB has claimed damages of $1.04 billion, inclusive of annual interest of 16 per cent, to September 30, 2014. Other interest charges and costs pushed the claim to just over $1.048 billion.