NEW DATA released by the Ministry of Justice reports the number of mortgage possession claims and orders made in county courts has increased this year. The figures detail mortgage possession claims (4,757) and orders for possession (3,376) have risen – by 6% and 26% respectively – compared to the same quarter last year.
Sellhousefast.uk decided to investigate this issue, to determine which local authorities are most at risk.
It is important to note, the City of London had the highest rate of mortgage possession claims, at 59 per 100,000 households, however, this corresponded to just three properties due to a smaller population and therefore Sellhousefast decided to decline its place within the top 20 repossession hotspots.
We therefore begin with Middlesbrough; found to hold 44.3 mortgage possession claims per 100,000 households, taking its position as the UK’s richest repossession hotspot. Followed by Oldham, in the north west – at 43.6 and Thurrock in the east – at 43.2.
Closing the top twenty, but still rich in risk, are local authorities: Stoke-on-Trent (34.5), Lincoln (33.4) and Wyre in the north west (32.6.)
Alternately, Sellhousefast found the three local authorities with the fewest mortgage possession claims to be: Islington (2.7 per 100,000 households), South Northamptonshire (2.6) and Cambridge at 1.9. To round off the research, the Isles of Scilly, Ryedale, Rutland and Tewkesbury were found to have no mortgage possession claims.
According to leading debt charity, StepChange mortgage arrears is – jointly with council tax – the biggest source of debt in households across the UK, at 31%*. Taking its place above other concerns such as water bills (24.4%), rent (22.2%) and hire purchases (20.6%.) Typically, the average arrears amount, relative to mortgage, is a total of £3,581.
However, further information from StepChange declares household mortgage or secured loan debt remains the highest priority bill, for homeowners in England and Wales and it is therefore concurrent that those who are struggling must seek advice – before it’s too late and house repossession occurs.
*This percentage signifying the number of StepChange clients who have this type of expenditure who are in arrears.
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I’m Falling Behind on Priority Bills: What Can I Do?
Evidently, it is vital to pay your priority bills each month and it is imperative to arrange to clear any priority arrears – if they occur.
- Talk to your mortgage provider to see if they can offer you a lower payment on your mortgage. You may also be able to switch to an interest-only mortgage for a short period of time.
- Use an OFGEM-approved utility price comparison tool, to see if you can get a better deal on your gas, electric or fuel costs.
- Speak to your local council to find out if your property is in the correct council tax band.
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