Shock rise in home repossessions
THE number of home repossessions in west Suffolk has more than doubled year-on-year, shocking new figures have revealed.Easy access to credit and high levels of financial illiteracy have been blamed for the sharp rise.
THE number of home repossessions in west Suffolk has more than doubled year-on-year, shocking new figures have revealed.
Easy access to credit and high levels of financial illiteracy have been blamed for the sharp rise.
There were 99 orders for home repossessions made by Bury St Edmunds County Court in 2005 - compared to 47 in 2004 and 48 in 2003.
West Suffolk Conservative MP Richard Spring said the figures were “very worrying”.
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“Mortgage repossession often has enduring and distressing consequences for families and especially children,” he said.
“Therefore we need to try to identify the reasons why we have seen this sudden increase and try to find solutions before it becomes a damaging trend.
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“In some cases it may be a budgetary problem, but if there are more serious root causes, then it is crucial people get advice from their mortgage lenders at the first available opportunity.”
Figures from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Bury reflect a growing trend of evictions, bankruptcies and repossessions.
Over the last financial year, staff in Bury have advised people with £2.3million of new bad debt, a rise from £2m of debt in the previous year.
Jane Ballard, manager of the CAB in Bury, said: “Repossessions are certainly on the increase. It is far too easy to obtain credit and people are over extending themselves and this combined with low levels of financial literacy means people don't realise what they are signing up to.
“Unstable relationships and loss of employment are also factors. People take credit on the basis of two earners but if they have children only one partner can work so this leads to financial complications.
“I would urge anyone to come and see us as soon as they realise there is a problem.
“We can help them to budget and come to an agreement to pay debts so it doesn't reach the stage of eviction or repossession.”
A spokesman for the Council of Mortgage Lenders said: “There are various steps people can take to prevent themselves getting into difficulties. You can take out insurance on your mortgage policy to cover yourself in the event of illness or unemployment.
“However, the increase in the number of repossessions nationally has been modest and we do not expect to rise further. We would urge anybody to consider carefully the amount of debt they take on and what would happen if they lost their jobs.”