Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today called on struggling homeowners not to bury their heads in the sand but to seek early help if they are at risk of repossession.
He urged anyone who thinks they may be at risk of losing their home to take action immediately, saying that there is help available, and that repossession should only ever be the very last resort.
It comes as new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders released today show that repossessions in the first quarter of 2011 were down 10 per cent on the same period in 2010.
Mr Shapps said that the Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle the record deficit will continue in order to prevent rapid increases in interest rates.
Grant Shapps said:
No one in financial difficulty should be embarrassed to seek help if they need it. The worst thing for any struggling homeowner to do is to bury their heads in the sand hoping the problem will go away.
Today’s figures underline how the recession has brought difficult times for lots of people. The most effective thing anyone with money worries can do is to seek early advice and speak to their lender to avoid losing their home. As well as help from organisations like Citizens Advice and Shelter, National Debtline and local authorities, I would urge anyone to visit our website at www.direct.gov.uk/mortgagehelp and get free support, including a personal action plan to get out of debt.
For our part, the most important thing that Ministers in Government can do is to continue our efforts to tackle the record deficit to avoid the need for rapid increases in interest rates and keep the pressure off already stretched family budgets.
Latest figures also published today show that one of the schemes aimed at helping the most vulnerable homeowners, the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, has helped 5,039 households receive help and advice from their local authority in the last quarter, with 2,621 homeowners having completed the full process since the scheme’s launch in January 2009.
Notes to editors
1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders published their repossession figures today, which can be found at: www.cml.org.uk/cml/media/press/2914 (external link).
2. The DCLG Mortgage Rescue statistics published today can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/mortgagerescuestatisticsq12011.
3. Separate figures from the Ministry of Justice show that claims leading to a court order have risen over the first three months of 2011 by two per cent compared to the same period in 2010. Of the mortgage possession claims that led to orders, 48 per cent were suspended. The figures can be found at: www.justice.gov.uk/latest-updates/mortgatelandlordpossession.htm (external link).
4. The Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme closed as planned by the previous Government in April with 63 people registered. However many lenders continue to offer comparable arrangements to help households struggling with their mortgage payments.
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