Repossession figures 'unacceptable'

11 February 2010

Cambell Robb

Chief Executive of Shelter Campbell Robb (pictured) has described new repossession figures released today as 'completely unacceptable'.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) figures show there were 46,000 repossessions last year and 53,000 predicted repossessions this year.

Mr Robb said; 'It is still completely unacceptable that 46,000 homeowners lost their home through repossession last year - the highest for 14 years. Behind each one of these numbers is a heartbreaking story of a family losing their home and having to rebuild their lives.

'The tragedy is most people simply do not need to be repossessed. By giving clear help and advice to homeowners at risk of repossession, Shelter and other organisations successfully help almost four out of five households avoid the immediate loss of their home when facing court proceedings.'

'Turning the Tide?' a joint report Shelter published with Citizens Advice and Advice UK, found that 77 per cent of clients advised by them avoided the immediate loss of their home.

Mr Robb continued: 'If Shelter can make this much difference at the brink of repossession, there is no reason why the Government and lenders can’t do the same and ensure repossession is used only as a last resort.

'The Government has helped homeowners through schemes like Mortgage Rescue, plus additional funding for advice and maintaining SMI at its current interest rate, while lenders are showing more forbearance. This has helped figures be lower than expected. But this is no time for complacency as the CML predicts 53,000 more repossessions next year.'

Mr Robb added: 'The real fear is that no political party has made clear what support they would give struggling homeowners if they formed the next Government. All political parties must urgently show their commitment and promise continued and increased funding for advice which will be more important than ever this year.'

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