The council found that there were 12,800 repossessions by first-charge mortgage lenders in the first quarter of this year, compared with 10,400 in the fourth quarter of last year, and 8,500 in the first quarter of 2008. As a result of these figures, the CML now thinks its original 75,000 forecast looks pessimistic for the year as a whole, and expects to revise the figure downwards in its next update.
CML director general Michael Coogan says: “It is clear that mortgage arrears continued to increase. So did repossessions, but not as much as our 75,000 forecast figure for the year would suggest. So our forecast now looks pessimistic and we expect to revise it over the next month or so.
“Lenders are acutely conscious that behind the statistics are real people, many of whom are affected by the economic downturn and its impacts on unemployment, changes in circumstances and inability to refinance.
“The government has strengthened the benefits system, and while initiatives such as mortgage rescue and the home-owner mortgage support scheme are not appropriate for everyone, they have encouraged more borrowers to discuss their options with lenders and money advisers, which is helpful.
“The key message continues to be for borrowers to talk to their lenders as soon as you identify difficulties emerging, and take advice from an independent adviser if you have other debt issues as well as your mortgage. Lenders do not want to repossess if a realistic alternative solution can be found.”