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by administrator @, Monday, August 15, 2011, 10:51

With figures showing some households are continuing to struggle to pay their mortgage, Housing Minister, Grant Shapps has urged anyone who thinks that they may be at risk of losing their home to take action immediately.

Figures from the CML show that the level of repossessions is unchanged. The number of properties taken into possession in the second quarter of 2011 was 9,000 across the UK, slightly fewer than the 9,100 in the previous quarter.

Shapps called on struggling homeowners not to bury their heads in the sand but to see their mortgage as a priority and seek early help if they are at risk of repossession. He said that help was available, and so losing your home should only ever be the very last resort.

As the CML left their forecast on the numbers of repossessions this year unchanged at 40,000, Shapps said that the single biggest impact that Government could have was through the ongoing efforts to tackle the record deficit and promote economic growth. He said this would help to prevent rapid increases in interest rates and protect more borrowers from the threat of repossession.

Shapps said: "With the figures underlining how the worst recession for a generation has brought difficult times for Britain's homeowners, my message to those homeowners is clear: the quicker you act, the more options you have to stay in your home.

"The Government is meanwhile getting on with the task of tackling the record deficit we inherited - to avoid the need for rapid increases in interest rates and keep the pressure off already stretched family budgets. I would also urge struggling households themselves to take immediate action to stay in their homes.

"The worst thing anyone struggling to pay their mortgage can do is bury their heads in the sand hoping the problem will go away. No one in financial difficulty should be embarrassed to seek help if they need it. Anyone with money worries should seek early advice by speaking to their lender, Citizens Advice, Shelter, the National Debtline or by visiting the Directgov Mortgage Help website and get free support, including a personal action plan to get out of debt.

"Or of course, by speaking to their local council, who are able to offer support and advice to those worried about losing their home."

Shelter's Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns, Kay Boycott said: "We are relieved to see repossessions have not risen further but this is no time for complacency. 9,000 people went through the nightmare of losing their home and we know many more are on the cusp.

"Of the homeowners we help, many have been struggling for a while but until now have managed to keep hold of their home after agreeing a lower payment plan with their lender.

"But the pressure of rising living costs has finally pushed them over the edge, and in some cases all it took was one missed mortgage payment to send them into a spiral of debt and repossession.

"It is absolutely vital that struggling homeowners get help early. Whether you're worried about missing this month's mortgage payment or already falling behind with your bills, we can help stop things from spiralling out of control."

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