Repossessions up 71% in 12 months as Brits struggle to pay mortgages

29 October 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
New mortgage lending statistics from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have revealed that the number of repossessions in the UK has risen by 71 per cent in just one year.

The figures show that 11,054 repossessions were made in the UK last quarter as Brits struggle to pay their mortgage. This is compared to just 6,746 for the same quarter last year.

The FSA statistics show that the number of Brits whose mortgages are in arrears now stands at 312,000 which is 16 per cent higher than last year.

Commenting on the statistics, Adam Sampson, chief executive at housing charity Shelter, said: "These figures are not only shocking and worse than expected, they highlight the crippling severity of the credit crunch on ordinary homeowners."

Speaking of the need for action to prevent these figures from getting worse, Mr Sampson added: "It is easy for the FSA to issue new figures highlighting the problem, but as the key financial regulatory body it must start using its teeth to stop lenders rushing to court to repossess people's homes."

The Government announced new rules last week aimed at helping home owners who are in financial difficulty. The rules make it clear that repossession must be a last resort for lenders after exploring all other possible alternatives.

The reality of repossessions has been highlighted further by the fact that Shelter has seen a rise of 167 per cent in the number of calls it gets about repossessions in the last six months.

Commenting on the difference a Bank rate cut could make, Mr Sampson added: "The Bank of England should also cut interest rates. A one per cent cut would be a massive and much needed saving of more than £120 a month on a mortgage of £200,000."

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