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Could bad mortgage debt rise this autumn?

Could bad mortgage debt rise this autumn?

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 08/09/2010
First Published: 08/09/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Despite a cut in the number of people predicted to have their homes repossessed in 2010, bad mortgage debt could well rise in the autumn.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recently revised its prediction for the number of repossessions this year from 53,000 to 39,000.

In addition, mortgage arrears fell by 5% in the first six months of 2010.

However, Payplan has said that such figures could be something of a 'smokescreen'.

Its managing director, John Fairhurst, said positive figures could be painting a false picture, with a return to bad mortgage debt over the next couple of months.

"Despite historically low interest rates the proportion of homeowners calling us for help is at an all time high and for this reason we treat the CML figures with caution.

"Our own experience suggests it is a problem only in temporary decline," he added.

Calls from worried homeowners to Payplan have increased from 40% of all enquiries in 2008 to 60% currently.

It is feared that any expansion in interest rates could prove to be a tipping point for thousands of homeowners that are currently struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments.

Opinion is split on when the base rate will be increased, with some economists expecting a rise before the end of the year or in early 2011.

Others believe the measure will remain at its historic low for some time to come, with Ernst & Young saying it could remain at 0.5% until 2014.

Homeowners that find themselves in mortgage arrears or are worried about their circumstances have been told to talk with their lender as soon as possible.

Those with temporary cash flow problems may be able to work out a plan with their lender which could provide some much needed relief in tough times.

As well as talking to your provider, debt advice specialists such as the CCCS and Debt Free Direct will offer free and impartial advice to those with debt problems.

Helpful information can also be found in Debt Free Direct's Debt Advice Guide, Debt Management Plan Guide and IVA Guide, which can all be downloaded for free.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.