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by administrator @, Friday, August 10, 2012, 11:36

The amount of household repossessions for the second quarter was at the lowest since the final quarter of 2010, according to new figures.

There were 9,600 repossessions in 2012 first quarter, and the reduction in the three months to June to 8,500 was in line with a seasonal pattern that has occurred for the last three years.

The data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) also shows that the number of loans with arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance stood at 157,400 at the end of June - fractionally lower than the total of 157,800 at the end of the first quarter.

The figures show the number of repossessions totalled 18,100 in the first six months of 2012, implying that possessions so far are on a lower trajectory than the CML's forecast of 45,000 for the year as a whole.

The CML's director general, Paul Smee, said: "The figures show that lenders, borrowers and debt advisers are working together to get through the current period of economic difficulty and keep mortgage possessions in check.

"Generally, when borrowers prioritise their mortgage commitments, lenders can provide help appropriate to their individual circumstances. But success in managing temporary payment problems depends on everyone working together, and it is essential for anyone worried about their mortgage to talk to their lender as soon as possible."

Responding to the figures, Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: "Although a fall in the number of households losing their home through repossession is good news, there is no room for complacency.

"For most families and individuals, affordability and security make a house a home. 8,500 families and individuals had their lives ripped apart by repossession in the last quarter alone because they could not afford to keep up with payments.

"We are particularly concerned to see an increase in the number of homeowners with arrears of 10% and over - 28,300 homeowners in total. We're also worried by the trends we're seeing from people calling our free national helpline. In the last year alone calls from homeowners who are living in fear of losing their homes have increased by 110%.

"With the continuing squeeze on household finances, the effects of welfare reform kicking in and a rise in some mortgage rates, thousands of homeowners up and down the country are living on a knife edge."


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