Repossessions up 50%

15 May 2009

To let signs

New figures released today show repossessions have increased 23 per cent from the previous quarter and 50 per cent from the same period last year.

Sam Younger, chief executive of Shelter, said:

‘These figures paint a very depressing picture of thousands of homeowners across the country struggling to keep up with their mortgage repayments, with many more losing the roof over their head.

‘There have been moves to help struggling homeowners but some lenders are clearly still not doing everything that they can to keep people in their homes. The figures also prove that Government announcements this week to help tenants of repossessed landlords must be implemented as fast as possible.’

Mr Younger added that a new survey released today by advice agencies, including Shelter, found that while 51% of advisers had seen an improvement in mainstream lenders’ practices since the Pre Action Protocol came into force, only 20% of advisers reported that sub-prime and second charge lenders’ arrears collection practices have improved.

Mr Younger said: ‘With sub-prime borrowers the most at risk of repossession in a recession, it is vital these lenders urgently change their practices to help keep people in their homes.

'Unless all lenders urgently sign up to and consistently implement Government or equivalent schemes to prevent repossession many people will fall through the gaps and repossessions will continue to rise. We also need to see stronger enforcement by Government across the entire mortgage sector.’

Mr Younger added: ‘Advice services like Shelter’s are more important then ever in helping prevent rising repossessions. We urgently need the Government to provide further resources for vital debt advice, so that everyone can get free advice when they need it.’

Facing repossession? Get advice