Monday, 21 May 2012 07:50



SHADOW Housing Minister, Mark Isherwood AM, has called on the Welsh Government to ensure mortgage borrowers in difficulty receive the support they need to avoid repossession.


Mr Isherwood has welcomed the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showing that repossessions in the UK are stable, that arrears are falling and that it may be levelling down its forecast for repossessions in 2012. However in light of the fact that the CML has cautioned that there are always factors that can disrupt this, he has asked the Housing Minister what dialogue he has had with lenders and local authorities in Wales to ensure that mortgage borrowers in difficulty, who approach either body, receive joined-up support and signposting, “hopefully to avoid, wherever possible, the repossession of their homes.” 


The Minister, Huw Lewis, replied: “I am worried that that could be the calm before the storm, in that some mortgage lenders might feel that it is hardly worth the bother of repossessing now in such a deep economic downturn, because the sale of the property, the asset, would be at a depressed price and would be slow in coming. I might be overly cynical, but if the economy picks up a little, we could see a surge in repossessions as lenders realise that they can cash in the asset to which the loan is secured. I say to Mark Isherwood that what the White Paper will have to say about advice and support services will cover the whole housing system”.



Mr Isherwood added: “I fear that the Minister is being over cynical. As the CML state ‘Lenders remain committed to possession only as a last resort. A concerted effort by borrowers, lenders, government and debt advisers (all helped by historically low interest rates) has kept mortgage possessions in check. Possessions appear to have peaked in 2009 and are running at around half the level of the last market downturn.  Borrowers in difficulty, supported by debt advisers, must continue to talk to their lenders and prioritise mortgage commitments. Government support is also crucial”.








Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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