Simon Read: Do so many people need to lose homes?
Saturday 14 November 2009
The number of people facing the misery of repossession is falling, which is great news. The Council of Mortgage Lenders this week slashed its repossession predictions for the year to 48,000. Earlier in the year, it predicted some 75,000 people could lose their homes in 2009. Is this a sign that the recession really is over for home owners and the good times are back?
Not really. The reason for the revised forecast is a combination of "lender forbearance", government measures and the beneficial effect of low interest rates, according to the lenders. "We are glad to have been wrong on our previous forecast for mortgage repossessions this year," said the CML's director-general, Michael Coogan. "Although the economy is not out of the woods yet, we no longer expect a dramatic rise in properties being taken into possession, unless interest rates rise from the low levels that most commentators now expect to persist for some time."
Of course, such predictions are scant help for those who have already been turfed out of their homes by less forbearant lenders. And, let's remind ourselves, even if the final tally for the year is nearer the 48,000 the CML now predicts, that's still an upsetting increase of 8,000 – or 20 per cent – over last year's figure. Which means there's still little to smile about. Indeed, the latest quarterly repossession figures – for the July to September period – show an increase both over the previous quarter, of 3 per cent, and over the previous year, of 5 per cent.
Behind the statistics, of course, are thousands of tales of woe of people who are the real victims of banks' and building societies' previous irresponsible lending. I don't know how many of the predicted 48,000 homes that may be snatched back by lenders this year belong to families with children, but you can bet that there have been plenty of youngsters thrown out on to the streets by less forbearant lenders.
And despite the CML's citing of "government measures" being instrumental in it cutting its repossession predictions, I gather the Government's much-vaunted Home Owners Mortgage Support Scheme has been virtually useless in helping people to avoid having their homes taken away. Industry insiders tell me the take-up of the scheme has been paltry. Its aim of allowing struggling borrowers to take a holiday of up to two years from interest payments on their mortgage has simply failed, partly because of a lack of lender support in some areas, but partly because some people are simply unable to cope with the problems associated with severe debt.
For many people, the stress and anxiety of debt worries can be crippling, leading to a cycle of misery and deeper debt. It's totally understandable, which is why we need to do more to help folks in danger of losing their home. There are several debt charities around that offer free advice to help people get back control of their finances. Anyone struggling should go to their local Citizens Advice Bureau. Or go online to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service at www.cccs.co.uk. Its debt remedy could help save your home from a lender's clutches.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens