Statistical data set

Live tables on repossession activity

The live tables provide the latest, most useful or most popular data, presented by type and other variables, including by geographical area or as a time series.

Live tables

Table 1300: number of outstanding mortgages, arrears and repossessions, United Kingdom, from 1969

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Table 1301: repossessions, court actions for recovery of residential housing and land, England and Wales, from 1990

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Table 1302: repossessions and repossession prevention - possession actions, orders and repossessions from 1990 (chart)

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Discontinued table

Table 1303: Mortgage Rescue Scheme monitoring statistics, by region (final version)

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Notes and definitions for repossession activity

Mortgage repossessions

This includes details supplied by the Council of Mortgage Lenders on actual numbers of repossessions and the Ministry of Justice for data on county court claims for recovery of residential premises and land in terms of claims issued and claims that lead to an order for possession to be made.

Repossession

A property is repossessed if a lender takes it back from a borrower. This can happen when the borrower fails to meet the terms of the contract they signed with the lender when taking out the loan on that property. It can also happen if the borrower voluntarily gives up the property to the lender.

A repossession is also known as a mortgage possession.

Mortgage arrears

A borrower who takes out a mortgage agrees to pay back their mortgage debt in instalments (commonly monthly). If a borrower misses a payment then they get into arrears.

Possession claim

A claimant begins an action for an order for possession of property by issuing a claim in a county court.

Possession order

The court, following a judicial hearing (or judicial involvement in accelerated procedure cases) may grant an order for possession immediately. This entitles the claimant to apply for a warrant to have the defendant evicted. However, even where a warrant for possession is issued, the parties can still negotiate a compromise to prevent eviction. Frequently, the court grants the claimant possession but suspends the operation of the order. Provided the defendant complies with the terms of suspension, which usually require the defendant to pay the current mortgage/rent instalments plus some of the accrued arrears, the possession order cannot be enforced.

First charge and second charge loans

A first charge or priority charge refers to any type of primary credit secured on a property. The most common example of first charge is a standard residential mortgage. Second and subsequent charge loans relate to any credit secured against a property, which takes precedence behind a residential (first charge) mortgage. If a property is repossessed by one party then when the property is sold the first charge lender gets their loan paid first, provided the sold price covers the outstanding amount, with the second-charge lenders getting paid afterwards in order of when the loan was secured against the property.