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‘Repossessions hit 14-year high’ claims CML

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Alarming figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) will reveal that the number of people who lost their homes through repossession reached a 14-year high during 2009.

Approximately 48,000 homes were repossessed in the past 12 months, the highest since 1995. And CML figures are also expected to show that 195,000 people were in mortgage arrears at the end of last year.

However, despite the unenviable statistics, repossession rates were much better than originally predicted.

In early 2009, the CML claimed that repossessions could reach 75,000 before the close of the year. This figure was reduced to 65,000 upon revision and then dropped again following promising market conditions towards the close of the year, while mortgage arrears were also well below original forecasts of 360,000.

Low interest rates, increased lender cooperation and government schemes aimed at combating repossessions have proved beneficial for homeowners, despite a struggling employment market and escalating debts.

The CML’s figures, coupled with recently promising Ministry of Justice figures showing a drop in mortgage possession claims by the courts, have given homeowners some much-needed optimism for the year ahead. But the CML’s Director General, Michael Coogan, believes caution should still be exercised.

“We are not out of the woods yet – 2010 will still be a challenging year for many borrowers, and some households will inevitably find their finances being squeezed if and when interest rates do eventually rise,” said Mr Coogan.

“But borrowers should feel reassured that lenders want to help them keep their homes wherever possible. The vast majority of people who get into arrears manage to keep their homes, and will do so even if interest rates rise. Seeking advice as soon as financial problems occur will help to minimise the risk of the situation getting out of control.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

February 14, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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