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Government must protect local families from repossession threat

December 27, 2008 12:00 AM

Rising repossessions are a threat to local people say Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats.

Michael Mullaney Bosworth Liberal Democrats parliamentary spokesman said "The Council of Mortgage Lenders' are forecasting that 75,000 people will have their homes repossessed next year, a rise of 67%. If these figures are accurate it will mean many more repossessions here in Hinckley and Bosworth.

"The most recently published figures showed that the number of repossession orders made against local people are already soaring.1,027 people had repossession orders issued against them at Leicester County Court in the first three quarters of 2008. This was a rise of 27% compared to the number issued in the same period of time in 2007.

"So far the Government has only taken action to help a few people. With many more families set to lose their homes, ministers must act urgently to protect them.

"Today's mortgage law is based on eighteenth and nineteenth century law and is completely inadequate.

"Unless the Government reforms the law and makes sure repossession is only ever an absolute last resort this will devastate families, as well as councils and the housing market as a whole."

Lib Dems are calling for the following action to help people at risk of repossession;

• allowing families struggling with repayments to sell all or part of the equity in their house and rent it back from a housing association or private firm to help keep them in their home;

• letting councils and housing associations borrow money to buy up land and empty new homes for use as social housing ;

• giving guidelines to courts to allow homes to be repossessed only in extreme circumstances, making the mortgage lenders' voluntary code binding on all lenders.