Uncharted Territory - Managing mortgage arrears and possessions

By: Janet Ford and Alison Wallace  Published: July 2009


Shelter commissioned Professor Janet Ford and Dr Alison Wallace from the Centre of Housing Policy at the University of York to research how mortgage arrears and possessions are being managed by lenders and borrowers in the current economic climate. The study looked at the measures that have been put in place to assist borrowers and identified what more needs to be done to protect homeowners over the longer term.

Summary

As the current housing market recession has deepened, there has been a concerted attempt to mitigate the detrimental consequences. The Government has implemented a series of initiatives designed to reduce possessions and since 2004, lenders have been governed by statutory regulation that requires them to treat borrowers fairly.

Despite all this activity, there is no clear overview about how arrears and possessions are at present being experienced and managed by borrowers and lenders. This lack of a systematic evidence base hampers understanding of the likely impact of the current initiatives and discussion about what else might be done, both in the short and longer term, to ensure home ownership is sustainable. The research informing this report aimed to fill this gap.

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