Debt map reveals repossession hotspots

An interactive map of debt hotspots has revealed which areas of the UK have been affected with the highest proportion of repossession claims and repossession orders.

The map, which has been launched by the Centre for Responsible Credit, shows that Corby (Northants), Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Knowsley, Thurrock, Burnley and Luton had the highest proportion of repossession claims per 1,000 of the population in 2009. These areas also had the highest proportion of repossession orders handed down by the courts.

Gwynnedd, Ipswich, Woking, Gosport and Wrexham were the areas where repossession claims were most likely to result in an order for possession being granted by the courts.

Personal insolvencies showed the highest concentrations in Torbay, Hull, Lincoln, Plymouth and North Tyneside. Corby also made the top 10 for personal insolvencies, indicating that it is one of the areas worst hit by the recession.

Steven Jackson of Beat My Debt said “It is not surprising that areas which are weaker economically have a high percentage of people who are struggling to pay their mortgage and other unsecured debts. The most important message is that there are solutions available. I would urge anyone with a debt problem to seek advice early when there is the best chance that a answer can be found”.

Government resources should be targeted

Damon Gibbons, chief executive of the Centre for Responsible Credit, said: “The impacts of the credit crunch and economic downturn are not evenly distributed.

“That has major implications for the targeting of resources to help households who are now struggling with debts, and in some cases facing repossession and insolvency. With public spending under pressure, it is important that responding to debt problems does not fall off the list of local priorities when competing with statutory obligations to fund education and social services.

“But there is a challenge for Government here too, and we want them to ensure that access to debt advice and other support for people with debt problems does not become subject to a postcode lottery moving forwards.”

The maps also showed that in contrast, Eden, Camden, Cotswold, Cambridge and West Dorset have hardly been affected by mortgage repossessions, while house prices relative to earnings remain the highest in London, the South East and South West.

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