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Courts reveal repossessions remain high

The Ministry of Justice has revealed that home repossession orders have risen Q2 2008.

The report revealed that 28,658 mortgage possession orders were made by the courts, 24% higher than in the second quarter of 2007 and 4% higher than in the first quarter of 2008.

The courts have ordered repossessions on 56,173 homes in 2008, which broadly keeps in line with figures from the first half of the nineties, when repossessions were at their peak.

The ministry also revealed that although there were 39,078 mortgage possession claims issued in the last quarter, 48% of the orders were suspended.

Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson says to avoid repossession, advice is crucial.

He says: “At Shelter we often see people when it’s too late, but the loss of their home could have been prevented if they had sought our help early on.

“With rising household bills and escalating food costs, it is understandable that many people are struggling with their finances. Help is out there but it is vital people don’t hide away from their problems and seek free independent advice as soon as possible.”

Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association executive director Peter Williams, says: “We’ve had three sets of arrears and possessions related figures in the last fortnight – and they all paint a slightly different picture. Despite the obvious confusion this creates, the numbers all have one thing in common – more people are falling behind on their mortgage payments and more people are losing their homes.

“Possessions only occur as a last resort – mainly to save a borrower from piling up more debt by going heavily into arrears while simultaneously sliding into negative equity. Lenders are already working hard to keep borrowers in their homes until circumstances improve by rescheduling loans and payments, assisting moves and offering advice. But sometimes, unfortunately, possessions are the best solution for everyone involved.

“The next step is for the government to revamp the income support for mortgage interest scheme. Peoples’ homes are now at risk. It’s time for the Chancellor to show his mettle.”

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