Building society suffers mortgage arrears hit

The extent of the mortgage debt situation in the UK has been indicated by Britannia Building Society’s latest interim results.

In the first half of 2008, the society’s pre-tax profits were £50.5 million, down from £81.7 million last year. This decrease is partly due to people finding themselves in mortgage arrears, unable to repay debts.

Furthermore, the Business Scotsman has said around 720 homes were repossessed. The majority of these were dealt with by Platform, Britannia’s intermediary lender.

The statistics also show a decline in the amount of mortgage lending due to the credit crunch, with the total falling from £3.7 billion in 2007 to £1.9 billion this year.

Neville Richardson, chief executive of the group, said: “We’re not immune to the market downturn.”

Also this week, the Ministry of Justice released statistics on landlord and mortgage possession actions in England and Wales. An increase was indicated but the ministry pointed out the figures did not accurately reflect the true number of repossessions.

For those with financial problems, debt help is available.

By Morwenna Kearns

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