18 months ago The Negotiator reported that home repossessions by banks had dropped by 25% according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). During 2016, 7,700 homes home were taken back by banks, down from 10,200 in 2015, the lowest number since 1982.
Repossessions had peaked in early 2009 following the financial crisis at approximately 50,000 a year then began a prolonged year-on-year decline as the economy recovered, with some of the largest reductions over the previous two years.
However, Paul Smee (pictured), then the Director General of the CML, said, “Customers do need to be ready for a time when the outlook may not be so benign, with pressure on real incomes increasing and as interest rates begin to move upwards again.
“Lenders remain committed to helping borrowers work through any period of temporary payment difficulty and remain in their home wherever possible.”
39% rise in repossessions
It seems that time may have come as the latest official data show that mortgage lenders’ claims for home repossession in England and Wales rose to the highest since late 2014 during the three months to June, this year.
The Ministry of Justice recorded 6,179 claims in county courts for repossession, a 39% rise compared with a year ago and the biggest annual increase since the financial crisis.
“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,” said Tim Waterlow (left), development director of mortgage provider Responsible Lending.
The number of mortgage orders for possession (4,007), warrants issued (4,692) and repossessions by county court bailiffs (1,245) increased by 40%, 34% and 30% respectively.