Increase in mortgage repossession orders

The number of homeowners at risk of losing their homes has risen by nearly a fifth in the past year, figures showed today.

Government data showed that a total of 27,530 mortgage repossession orders were made during the first quarter of this year, up 17 per cent from the same period a year ago. It is also a 9 per cent rise compared to the last three months of 2007.

The number of repossession claims was also 16 per cent up at 38,688 compared to a year ago, and 7 per cent higher than the previous quarter.

The data offers an early indication of homeowners' ability to cope with higher mortgage repayments as a result of coming to the end of short-term fixed rate deals following the impact of the credit crunch.