Published on Friday, a report for the Ministry of Justice shows that last year mortgage companies began to take legal action through the county courts to repossess 3,000 homes in Cornwall and Devon.
Cornwall was one of the areas of the country most affected, with a 17% rise in the number of claims begun in Bodmin county court compared with 2007, and a 13% rise in those begun in Penzance. In Truro there was a 3% rise.
These figures compare with a 4% average rise for England and Wales as a whole.
Nationally the number of people who lost their homes at the end of the county court claim process was 40,000, or one in 290 mortgages – more than twice the number compared with 2007.
The number of repossessions is at its highest since 1993, when Britain was emerging from the last recession. The forecast is for repossessions to almost double to 75,000 across the whole of Britain in 2009.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said the majority of people who face temporary difficulties successfully work with their lender to stay in their homes. It also warned against householders abandoning their properties and handing back the keys.
CML director general Michael Coogan said: “Despite the upward pressure on mortgage arrears and repossessions arising from the problems in the economy and rising unemployment, both lenders and government are continuing to find more ways to help more people stay in their homes.
“But there seems to be a sharp rise in cases where borrowers are handing back their keys or abandoning their properties. We strongly urge borrowers to contact their lender and work with them before taking this step, as there may be other solutions.
“Borrowers are still liable for their debt, even if they leave the property, so working through their problems is much more likely to be in their best interests.”
View the original article.