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Good news for borrowers as repossession rates fall

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Good news for borrowers as repossession rates fall

The total number of second charge mortgage repossessions that took place during the first six months of 2011 has fallen by 12.8 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

There were 429 properties taken into possession by lenders in the first half of this year, figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) have confirmed.
This is good news for borrowers as the FLA forecast for 2011 is less than 900 repossessions.
Head of Consumer Finance at the FLA Fiona Hoyle said: “Lenders continue to make every effort to avoid repossession by working with their customers to agree repayment plans. Although the second quarter saw a slight increase compared with last year, we are continuing to forecast a total for the year similar to last year.” 
Furthermore, in the first half of 2011 the number of properties taken into possession by first charge mortgage lenders fell by 7 per cent when compared to the same period last year, the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows.
Whilst repossession is often a concern for would-be borrowers, CML’s data reveals that the total repossession rate for the first two quarters of 2011 stands at 18,100, significantly less than the 19,500 repossessions that occurred during the first six months of 2010.
Arrears numbers stayed broadly the same in the second quarter of the year, although there was a slight increase in the number of mortgages with low levels of arrears and a reduction in the number in deeper arrears.
Commenting on the data, CML director general Paul Smee said: "Mortgage repayment problems have stabilised against a current backdrop of stable employment and low interest rates.
“Despite current uncertainty in financial markets, we see no need to revise our forecasts. Anyone with debt worries should take advice and speak to their lender at the earliest opportunity, as most temporary financial problems can be resolved.
"It is clear from the low rate of repossession that lenders do want to keep people in their homes, and are successfully doing so in the vast majority of arrears cases. Repossession really is seen as a last resort."
CML revealed that its current prediction is for a repossession rate of 0.35 per cent this year, and 0.4 per cent in 2012, equating to 40,000 cases of repossession in 2011 as a whole, and 45,000 next year.

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