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Friday, 25 April 2014

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More Cumbria householders face repossessions

A CLEAR divide over how Cumbrians are coping with the tough economic times has emerged – with families in parts of the south and west of the county struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

The number of people threatened with losing their homes across South Lakeland, Eden, Carlisle and Allerdale has fallen, while claims have risen in Copeland and Barrow.

Between October last year and the end of September this year, 125 families in Barrow were threatened with repossession as people struggle with the financial crisis – an increase of 21 per cent on the previous 12 months. Copeland increased by eight per cent, to 90 claims in the year, while South Lakeland claims fell by nine per cent to 70.

Interest rates were held at 0.5 per cent this week which is believed to contribute to the nationwide fall in repossessions as people on variable mortgages would have seen their payments remain low. But that is no consolation for the 285 families across the three areas who had claims started against them – the first stage of taking back a property.

The figures do not reveal the actual number of evictions because even after a claim has been made, a person can still settle their debts and save their home.

The Ministry of Justice data shows an overall reduction of five per cent across Cumbria.

Mortgage lenders now have a duty to inform the local authority as soon as action is being taken against any property in the area, so council chiefs can ensure the residents are getting the appropriate help and advice they need.

Nationally, claims fell by 12 per cent across England and Wales in the 12-month period.

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