Shapps: Struggling homeowners should take early action

It comes as new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders released today show that repossessions in the first quarter of 2011 were down 10 per cent on the same period in 2010.

Mr Shapps said that the Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle the record deficit will continue in order to prevent rapid increases in interest rates.

Grant Shapps said:

"No one in financial difficulty should be embarrassed to seek help if they need it. The worst thing for any struggling homeowner to do is to bury their heads in the sand hoping the problem will go away.

"Today’s figures underline how the recession has brought difficult times for lots of people. The most effective thing anyone with money worries can do is to seek early advice and speak to their lender to avoid losing their home. As well as help from organisations like Citizens Advice and Shelter, National Debtline and local authorities, I would urge anyone to visit our website at www.direct.gov.uk/mortgagehelp and get free support, including a personal action plan to get out of debt.

"For our part, the most important thing that Ministers in Government can do is to continue our efforts to tackle the record deficit to avoid the need for rapid increases in interest rates and keep the pressure off already stretched family budgets."

Latest figures also published today show that one of the schemes aimed at helping the most vulnerable homeowners, the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, has helped 5,039 households receive help and advice from their local authority in the last quarter, with 2,621 homeowners having completed the full process since the scheme’s launch in January 2009.

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