Sharp rise in repossession claims and orders

| May 9, 2008 | 0 Comments
Sharp rise in repossession claims and orders

Latest figures from the Ministry of Justice show a 16% rise in the number of mortgage repossession claims in England and Wales, in the first quarter of the year.

While a repossession claim is only the first stage in a legal process and may not end in a homeowner being evicted, the figures show an alarming increase, from 33,344 in the first three months of 2007, to 38,688 in the same period of 2008. This also represents a 7% rise on the final quarter of last year.

The number of mortgage possession orders actually granted by County Courts rose to 27,530 in the first three months of 2008, up 17% on the same period of 2007 and 9% higher than in final quarter of last year.

A mortgage possession order entitles the claimant to apply for a warrant for possession. However, it is common for the proceedings to end because the borrower and lender come to an agreement about how the debt will be managed.

The credit crisis has left many households facing higher mortgage costs because while interest rates have been rising, the number of loans available has shrunk dramatically since the beginning of the year.

Events in the mortgage sector have also coincided with dearer food and fuel prices and a clampdown on unsecured debt.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is predicting that there will be 45,000 repossessions in 2008, up from 27,100 in 2007.

However, earlier this week, housing charity Shelter warned that large numbers of homeowners now have secondary loans on their homes and that Government and industry forecasts are too low because they do not take this into account.

Shelter is putting its 2008 estimate for repossessions at around 53,000.

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