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Arrears and repossessions fall again

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11/05/2017
Low mortgage rates and the willingness of lenders to work with borrowers to resolve issues is helping them to manage their repayments
Arrears and repossessions fall again

Arrears and possessions continued to fall in the first quarter of 2017, according to lender trade body, the Councl of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The number of mortgages in arrears fell and is down on both the previous quarter and a year ago, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. There were 92,600 mortgages in arrears, representing 0.84% of all mortgages, the lowest quarterly rate on record.

Within the total stock of arrears cases, all arrears bands except the most serious showed a fall. However, the stock of cases with arrears of over 10% of the mortgage balance rose to 26,500. Although this is a small number within the total mortgage market, it does suggest that there is a minority of borrowers for whom arrears are worsening, said the CML.

Double digit fall in possessions

The number of properties taken into possession was also 10% down on a year ago. In total, 1,900 properties were taken into possession, which marks the eighth successive quarter of a repossession rate of just 0.02%.

Paul Smee, CML director general, commented: “This positive picture of mortgage performance is good news, and reflects a continuing benign interest rate and employment environment. However, it is important that borrowers continue to think about the future, and how they would cope with less positive conditions, even if that scenario seems distant.

“Lenders will always work with borrowers to try to help them through the inevitable periods of difficulty that life may throw at them, such as periods of unemployment, illness or relationship breakdown. So anyone facing difficulty should not hesitate to make contact with their lender, who will wish to help them resolve their difficulties and remain in their home wherever possible.”

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