Mortgage repossession claims hit five year high in aftermath of Liz Truss mini-budget

Mortgage possession claims have hit a five year high in the aftermath of Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget.

New figures show they soared by more than a quarter in just three months and are now at their highest level since 2019.

Experts warn millions of households across the country are struggling with huge mortgage bills after the average two-year fixed rate jumped to more than 6 per cent, although it has since fallen.

Ms Truss has refused to take the blame for the higher rates that hit homeowners following her October 2022 mini-Budget.

The subsequent fallout saw her ousted from office by her own MPs after less than six weeks as prime minister.

High mortgage rates are hitting cash-strapped households across the UK (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)
High mortgage rates are hitting cash-strapped households across the UK (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)

Mortgage possession claims happen when banks or lenders take homeowners to court before repossessing their home.

The latest figures show there were 5,182 in the first quarter of 2024, the highest number since 2019 and a rise of 28 per cent in three months.

After the figures were published by the Ministry of Justice the Treasury said it acknowledged that “many people are continuing to struggle”.

Lib Dem Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said the statistics were “deeply worrying” and show a “steep rise in families at risk of losing their homes due to soaring mortgage rates”.

She accused the Conservatives of crashing the economy with the mini budget and then failing “to lift a finger to help those impacted by this Conservative chaos. It is unforgivable and shows just how out of touch the Conservative Party is with people struggling to get by.”

Sarah Olney (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)
Sarah Olney (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Housing charity Shelter said the figures also showed no-fault bailiff evictions had soared to six year high, with 2,682 households affected between January and March – a rise of 19 per cent in a year.

Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive said evictions were “rocketing to new heights” five years after ministers “pledged to rebalance the scales in private renting”.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “Interest rates are high across the developed world as economies work to tackle high inflation and the UK is no different. While it is welcome news that we have met the pledge to halve inflation, we know many people are continuing to struggle.

“Anyone struggling with their mortgages should contact their lender, and where relevant, consider the flexibilities in our Mortgage Charter, which can make it easier to manage monthly repayments and gives extra protections against repossessions.”