THE number of people at risk of losing their homes has risen nearly a fifth in the past year, figures showed today.
Government data showed 27,530 mortgage repossession orders were made in the first quarter of this year, up 17 per cent from a year ago and a 9 per cent rise over the last quarter of 2007.
The number of repossession claims was also 16 per cent up at 38,688 compared to a year ago, and 7 per cent higher than the previous quarter.
The data offers an early indication of peoples' ability to cope with higher mortgage repayments after coming to the end of short-term fixed rate deals.
A mortgage repossession order is granted by a court and entitles the claimant - usually a lender - to apply to have the occupier evicted. A claim is issued in a county court and begins an action for repossession.
The numbers of both actions are at their highest levels for at least six years.
The Bank of England resisted making its fourth interest rate cut in six months yesterday as rates were held at 5 per cent.