April 25 2014 Latest news:

According to data released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), the 36,300 repossessions accounted for 0.3pc of all mortgages.

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The figure represented a fall of 24pc on the previous year, while the number of mortgages ending 2010 with arrears of 2.5pc or their outstanding balances fell by 13pc to 169,600.

The final three months of last year also saw positive developments. During the quarter, the number of repossessions was 7,900 – down 11pc from the previous quarter and down 26pc on the same period a year earlier. It represented the fifth consecutive quarterly decline in repossessions.

However, the CML expects the situation to get worse this year, with a forecast of 40,000 repossessions and 180,000 mortgages in arrears in 2011.

“As we go through 2011, the number of people facing payment pressures may increase if interest rates rise, and as a result of the spending cuts that have resulted in reductions in the level of public support available,” said CML director-general Michael Coogan.

Meanwhile, figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) showed that repossessions for second-charge mortgages –additional loans on top of homeowners’ main mortgages – were down by 41pc last year. Second-charge mortgage providers repossessed 864 properties in 2010.

Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer finance at the FLA, said: “Our members are also working closely with first-charge mortgage providers to avoid situations where both first and second-charge lenders are trying to repossess the same properties, minimising legal costs for borrowers.”

But she added: “Household income is likely to come under further pressure in 2011 if unemployment levels and interest rates rise.

“Homeowners need to think now about how they would manage if their monthly repayments increased and what changes they may need to make to their current budgets.”

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