A recent study titled ‘Turning the Tide’ issued jointly by three UK charities (Advice UK, Citizens Advice & Shelter) claims that lenders in the UK are still guilty of failing to exhaust all possible options available to keep people in their homes. It would appear this happens in at least one third of all cases they researched. Despite the fact that UK mortgage providers are expected to use repossession only as a last resort it would appear that judges in many cases don’t step in and ensure this protocol is followed.
The only positive news is that with interest rates being at such a low level the actual number of repossessions and the number of families at danger from them has been revised down from 75,000 to 48,000. This obviously leaves many families struggling to cope and under incredible stress. Those who have borrowed from sub-prime lenders may also find they are more likely to face court action earlier than friends or neighbours in a similar position who have borrowed from a mainstream lender.
With redundancies and factory closures still common the reasons as to why many fall in to mortgage arrears are still grabbing the news headlines on a weekly basis and it is those individuals and families with low incomes that are most at risk of losing their homes according to the report. The Government’s Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) Scheme is aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs and kicks in 13 weeks after their claim as long as the mortgage is under £200,000.
David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice said that the “Government, lenders and regulators have taken swift and welcome action to protect people affected by the recession from losing their homes unnecessarily. Our advisers see evidence of these initiatives working in many cases, but our research makes it clear that the safeguards already in place to protect people from avoidable homelessness need to be strengthened if they are to succeed in stemming the rising tide of repossessions.”
Debt Advisory Line continue to receive hundreds of calls every week from individuals who are struggling with debt despite claims by the FSA that mortgage arrears are decreasing with a fall of 10% in the period of July to September compared to the previous financial quarter. Those seeking advice and solutions will be under stress and need advice and access to debt management and elimination solutions from trained advisors who are best placed to advise an individual on the best option for them depending on their personal circumstances.
Debt Advisory Line encourage anyone experiencing debt problems to take a look at their web site at www.debtadvisoryline.co.uk to learn more about debt management and the various options available to reduce and eliminate debts. Alternatively, they can call for free advice on 0800 157 7254.
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