Media Release: New Council of Mortgage Lender figures show Homeowner Bill Must be passed, says housing charity

SPEAKING on the day the Homeowner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill (1), goes through its final stages – and with Council of Mortgage Lender figures showing that repossessions and arrears are higher than 2008 (2), Graeme Brown, director, Shelter Scotland, housing and homelessness charity, said:

“Figures release today (Thursday) but the Council of Mortgage Lenders show repossessions are 15 per cent higher than in 2008 – and arrears are three per cent higher. And overall, repossessions are six times higher than in 2003 (3). Behind each one of these numbers is a heartbreaking story of a family losing their home and having to rebuild their lives.

“These figures reinforce the need for the Homeowner and Debtor Protection Bill (3), which, if passed today in Parliament, will require lenders, by law, to pursue every possible alternative before taking legal action in Scotland.

“Mortgage repossessions may not have reached the peaks predicted a year ago – but this is testament to the work carried out by the Scottish and UK Governments and the forbearance of responsible lenders.

“But, as the CML says today, we are not out of the woods, particularly with predictions of 53,000 repossessions this year. This is no time for complacency. Mortgage repossessions are still higher than five years ago. Interest rates are low and lenders forbearance may not continue forever. Reform of mortgage protection is a must for these reasons.

“The Scottish Government’s action to bring forward these additional protections for homeowners is timely, particularly amid the current financial climate, and Scotland’s flagship commitment to give everyone the right to a home by 2012.”

Anyone struggling with the cost of their mortgages or with any other housing problem should go to or call our free housing advice line on 0808 800 4444.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Stage 3 debate takes place on Thursday, February 11, 2010. See Scottish Parliament website
  2. Please note these figures related to the UK. There are no figures available for repossession levels in Scotland. Shelter Scotland continues to call for these to be collected and published.
  3. In 2003, repossession rates were 7,360. Shelter Scotland evidence to Scottish Parliament
  4. For the Shelter Scotland briefing, please click HERE.

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