RESPONDING to CML figures out today, showing little change year-on-year in the number of repossessions, but an increase in the number of homeowners with arrears of ten per cent and over, Gordon MacRae, head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, said:
“Although the numbers appear to be stable for the time being, there is no room for complacency – 9,600 families and individuals had their lives ripped apart by repossession in the last quarter alone.
“In the last year, calls to our free helpline from homeowners who are living in fear of losing their homes has increased by 110 per cent. We are particularly concerned to see an increase in the number of homeowners with arrears of ten per cent and over – 28,000 homeowners in total – representing the highest number since June 2000.
“With the continuing squeeze on household finances, the effects of welfare reform kicking in and now mortgage rates beginning to rise, thousands of homeowners up and down the country are hanging on by a thread. My fear is that even a 0.5 per cent increase in some mortgage rates will push many over the edge into a spiral of debt, repossession and possible homelessness.
Gordon MacRae added: “It is absolutely vital that struggling homeowners get help early. Whether you’re worried about missing this month’s mortgage payment or you are already falling behind with bills, we can help stop things from spiralling out of control. Call Shelter Scotland’s free helpline on 0808 800 4444 or visit www.shelterscotland.org.”
Notes to Editors:
Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit www.shelterscotland.org or call 0808 800 4444.
Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
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Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
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Contact: Sabina Kadic-Mackenzie
Phone: 0844 515 2442