The Government have announced £4million in additional funding for debt advice agencies and 80 court desks across the country to help people facing the threat of repossession.
36,000 cases have been seen by court desks over the past year; while more than 100,000 households have benefited from free advice on managing their debts from charities and councils. And services offering free advice and representation helped stop repossession in four out of five cases making use of their service.
The Government have introduced a range of support options for those facing repossession, including help with mortgage interest payments and special schemes for the most vulnerable households.
New figures from the Financial Services Authority show there were 13,987 repossessions between July and September – 5% less than at the beginning of the year.
This has prompted the Council of Mortgage Lenders to reduce their repossession forecasts for this year by well over a third – from 75,000 to 48,000.
Alongside advice and legal representation, court rules have been toughened-up so lenders have to prove they have exhausted every possible option and considered Government schemes like Support for Mortgage Interest before judges will consider giving the go-ahead to repossession.
Mortgage lenders are also required to inform councils when repossession action is started against residents in their local area, leaving councils able to step in to offer advice and help for those most in need.
To ensure homeowners know where to go for support, the Government’s “It’s Your Home” campaign has been running nationally and in 56 repossession hotspots across the country, pointing people to free, impartial advice either online at www.direct.gov.uk/mortgagehelp, or from the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000.
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