Mortgage repossession claims rise

Michael Lloyd

August 8, 2019

Mortgage repossessions claims have increased by 39% year-on-year in Q2, the Ministry of Justice has found.

Mortgage orders, warrants and repossessions by county court bailiffs have also risen by 40%, 34% and 30% respectively, compared to the same quarter last year.

Tim Waterlow, development director of lifetime mortgage provider Responsible Lending, said: “Financial stress in British households is rearing its ugly head in these figures.

“The number of repossessions may be small in relative terms but this is a keenly watched indicator of economic health for the country.

“Things aren’t nearly as bad as they were around the time of the financial crisis in 2009 when repossessions peaked but such a large jump, topping the year on year rise seen in the final quarter of last year, raises fears serious financial strain among households is on an upward trajectory once again.

“The great mystery here is which large lender alluded to in the report has seen defaults balloon so badly and why.”

Median average time from claim to repossession has decreased to 36 weeks from 42 weeks in Q2 2018, however it has been variable within a range of 34-56 weeks for the past two years.

Landlord possession claims, orders, warrants and repossessions by county court bailiffs have decreased by 9%, 6%, 4% and 10% respectively, compared to the same quarter last year.

The general fall across landlord possession actions continues the long-term decreasing trend seen since April-June 2014.

Overall the median time taken for a landlord possession claim to reach repossession decreased by 0.1 weeks to 19.6 weeks in Q2.

Boston in the East Midlands had the highest overall rate of mortgage repossessions, at 37 per 100,000 households. No repossessions by county court bailiffs were recorded during this period in 65 local authorities.

The highest rates of landlord possession actions are concentrated in London, with nine of the highest 10 claim rates and seven of the 10 highest repossession rates.

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