Borrowers admit to repayment difficulties

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The Independent Online

The number of homeowners having trouble paying their mortgage has risen for the fourth year in a row, the Bank of England said today.

The proportion of borrowers admitting to difficulties in meeting payments has risen from just over 7 per cent to 7.7 per cent. It hit a low of 5 per cent in 2003. However the annual survey showed that the number of households who admitted their unsecured debt - bank loans and credit card bills - was a burden fell, perhaps reflecting a recent shift towards secured debt.

For the first time, the survey of 1,844 people commissioned by the Bank asked whether they ever had problems repaying their debts. The finding, which will support the Bank's sanguine attitude towards the potential dangers posed by the UK's record household debt levels, was that 87 per cent of homeowners said they never had difficulties meeting payments. Just 6 per cent admitted it was a problem every month.

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