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Credit card debts increase distressed homeowner inquiries

* January credit card debt drives spike in inquiries as repossession looms;
* Deprived South East London home to latest casualties;
* Official end to recession will not stem flow of repossessions.
* PPR’s distressed seller inquiries for Q4 2009 remain at Q3 levels, but are up 17% on Q4 2008;
* Inquiries in up and coming parts of South East London surge by 55% year on year in January;
* Repossessions rose in Q3 2009 and over 15,000 new possessions are forecast for Q1 2010.

Nick Hopkinson, Director of PPR, said: "The surge in January inquiries reveals that a large number of homeowners, hit by unemployment and diminishing household incomes, were burying their heads in the sand pre-Christmas. Having continued to fall into mortgage arrears and overspent on credit cards, they are now faced with large January bills and, on the brink of
repossession, are finally contacting PPR for help.

"Last year, very few of our inquiries came from Greater London and the South East, with homeowners in the Midlands and Northern cities the worst affected by the recession.

"However, in January 2010 we are seeing new inquiries from distressed sellers in key regeneration areas of South East London, such as Peckham and Lewisham, for the first time. This is a worrying sign of future problems with unemployment and repossessions in these strategic regeneration zones."

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