Housing Minister Grant Shapps today reassured anxious homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages of the wide range of support available to help them keep their homes, and ensure that repossession remains the last resort.
Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show the number of homes taken into possession to be largely unchanged, increasing by one per cent on the previous quarter to 9,200.
In light of this, the Council of Mortgage Lenders expects the number of repossessions in 2011 to be lower than their original forecast of 40,000.
The Minister made clear that just as the Government is providing help for people wanting to get on the property ladder, a range of support is also available to keep them in their homes and avoid the threat of repossession.
The Directgov website - www.direct.gov.uk/mortgages (external link) - has lots of free advice and information to homeowners struggling to keep up with mortgage payments and worried about the threat of losing their homes. Helpful advice is also on hand from organisations such as Citizens Advice, Shelter and the National Debtline.
And over the next two years the Government is investing more than £200 million into the Mortgage Rescue scheme. The scheme, available through local authorities, is designed to offer a last resort to the most vulnerable families to avoid repossession.
The Minister argued that the most important thing the Government is doing to help those struggling with their mortgages is to tackle the national deficit and prevent the need for rapid increases in interest rates.
Housing Minster Grant Shapps said:
Owning a home is an aspiration for many people. But just as we are helping people to get onto the property ladder we are also committed to ensuring advice, information and real practical support is available to help ensure that even in tough times people are helped to stay on the property ladder and that repossession remains the last resort.
“Our homes are our havens and with so much at stake it’s easy to see why sometimes people bury their heads in the sand and ignore their mortgage worries. But by tackling the problem early, speaking to their lenders and taking advantage of the free advice and information available from the Directgov website as well as organisations such as Citizens Advice, Shelter and the National Debtline homeowners can regain control and get in the best possible position to keep their homes.
“For our part the Government will continue to tackle the record deficit and avoid the need for rapid interest rate rises, keeping the pressure off homeowners feeling the pinch.”
Notes to editors
- Anyone struggling with their mortgage can go to the Directgov website (external link) for advice on getting their finances back on track.
- Separate figures from the Ministry of Justice show that mortgage possession claims have fallen over the past three months by two per cent, and claims leading to an order between July and September were four per cent lower than in the same period last year. Of the first orders made in mortgage possession claims, 49 per cent were suspended. These figures can be found at: www.justice.gov.uk/publications/statistics-and-data/civil-justice/mortgage-possession.htm (external link).
- The Council of Mortgage Lenders publish their repossession figures today, which can be found at: www.cml.org.uk/cml/media/press/3073 (external link).
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