Mortgage repossessions increase whilst all other sectors fall

Monday 4th June
Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, has reported a 6.1% increase in the number of mortgage repossession cases listed at Exeter County Court in the year-ending 31st March 2018. This is in comparison to the same period in 2016/17.

Steve Barriball, Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive, said:

“In the last year there were 560 cases listed for repossession, an overall decrease of 5.6%, or 33 cases, on the previous year. However, there was an increase in mortgage repossessions, which were up by five cases.

“There were welcome reductions of 23.3% in private rented sector cases, 6.4% in local authority actions and a 1.1% in housing association repossessions.

“For the last few years we have seen the headline number of cases listed for repossession level out. Therefore, these latest figures on mortgage repossessions are concerning.

“With most commentators suggesting small interest rate rises over the coming years, now is the time for those with mortgages to ‘stress test’ their household finances to better understand the impact of any interest rate rise and to start to think about what they could do to ensure that they keep a roof over their family’s heads.

“Every case listed is a tragedy for those affected and it is essential that they are aware of their rights.

“We know that often landlords are frustrated at the lack of engagement by tenants when they start to build up arrears. If this is left unchecked it can result in repossession proceedings. We would recommend that any tenant in difficulty speaks to their landlord and gets advice as early as possible. “

The charity has advisers present at the Court each Tuesday morning ready to advise and advocate for those facing possession of their home. Where a Citizens Advice adviser has provided assistance repossession was avoided in 88% of cases. There were, on average, 11 cases listed across all housing sectors each week.

Steve continued:

“I am grateful to our staff and volunteers for providing this essential service to families and households facing repossession.”

“We are also grateful to Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council and Mid Devon District Council for funding this service.”

Repossession trends in the period 1 April – 31 March

 

Sector 2016/17

Repossessions

2017/18 Repossessions Difference % Change
Housing Association 189 187 -2 -1.1%
Private 90 69 -21 -23.3%
Local authority 233 218 -15 -6.4%
Mortgage 81 86 +5 +6.1%
Total 593 560 -33 -5.6%