National debt advice charity National Debtline has seen a 30% increase from callers in mortgage arrears, and a 22% increase from those with second charge mortgage arrears in the last 12 months.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of National Debtline speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Arrears and Possessions conference, says: “These figures show the real impact of the credit crunch on households across the UK.
“With 1.4 million people coming off their fixed rate mortgage this year and a reduction in the number of mortgage products available, many households are now struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments and other commitments.”
She adds: “Until recently, many homeowners have seen their properties increase in value. This has resulted in an increase in the number of people releasing that equity and securing credit debts against their property.
“It is therefore imperative that during these difficult times debt advice providers work closely with mortgage lenders to ensure that help and advice is available to those who need it.
“It was encouraging to hear at the conference some examples of debt advisers working closely with lenders; it must be everyone’s aim to keep home owners in their property wherever possible.”