Socialist Worker

Evictions on the rise as banks scramble for profits

Issue No. 2126

Hundreds of tenants in Colwyn Bay and Pensarn in north Wales and Stoke-on-Trent are facing eviction.

More than 350 people had received eviction or repossession orders and been told they had to move out of the properties owned and managed by Whalley Huws.

The Wales-based property company is being investigated by police. But some tenants have already had to leave their properties.

This is just one event in the ongoing chaos in the housing system. Tenants are also being evicted by buy-to-let landlords.

Figures released last week by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) show 11,054 people lost their homes between April and June – 120 a day.

That is a 70 percent increase over the past year. The figure was just under 6,500 during the same period last year, and 9,172 in the first three months of 2008.

The FSA figures also reveal an increase in the number of people who are in arrears on their mortgage. By the end of June this year, some 312,000 families were behind on their mortgage payments, up 16 percent compared to the same period in 2007.

Meanwhile, the housing charity Shelter says it has seen a 167 percent rise in calls to its helpline over the past six months from people seeking advice on repossession.

The collapse in house prices means people don’t just face repossession but also being pursued to bankruptcy by the banks.

Last week just two auctions saw nearly 250 repossessed homes sold.

One apartment in Altrincham, Cheshire, went for £121,000 – £108,000 less than when it was bought in 2005. Desperate families are being chased for mortgage debts years after their homes have been repossessed.

Because the houses are sold for less than the mortgage, the banks can pursue people for the money for six years.

Nationwide, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, and Northern Rock all attempt to recoup their losses after repossessing homes.

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Tue 4 Nov 2008, 18:30 GMT
Issue No. 2126
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