Monday, 24 November 2008

Mortgage misery as hundreds more face eviction in Leeds

Published Date: 22 November 2008

NEARLY 400 more homeowners in Leeds found themselves under threat of eviction for failing to meet mortgage payments between July and September, disturbing new figures have revealed.

The 392 mortgage repossession orders slapped on struggling homeowners over the summer marked a 30 per cent increase on the third quarter of last year. A mortgage repossession order is granted by a court and entitles the claimant – usually a lender to apply to have the occupier evicted.

Not all orders result in the properties actually being repossessed because homeowners and lenders can still negotiate a compromise to prevent eviction.

The number of orders made between January and September now stands at 997, which is 26 per cent higher than last year. The number of mortgage repossession claims – the earlier first stage of the repossession process – has also increased in Leeds by 26 per cent, with 469 claims made in the third quarter of this year.

Similarly, the number of claims jumped by 18 per cent in Pontefract, 47 per cent in Dewsbury and two per cent in Wakefield between July and September, compared with the third quarter in 2007. Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said: "The Government is taking action to protect the most vulnerable families from repossession, including a new court protocol to make sure lenders are exploring all avenues before making a claim in the courts, a £200m mortgage rescue scheme, more free legal representation in county courts and more free debt advice.
"Lenders need to do everything they can to help families facing difficulties."

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