RTTNews - Monday, the British government doubled its extra funding programme intended to provide help for families facing repossession of their home.

British Housing Minister John Healey said the ministry decided to double the funding programme to GBP 1.5 million from GBP 750,000. The programme provides free, on-the-spot, legal advice to people in the U.K. who are facing home repossession.

Free legal advice and representation through court desks is just one of a range of help measures introduced by Government to protect people's homes.

It is real backstop help for those closest to the point of losing their home, Healey said. All's not lost, even in court. In four out of five cases, the court desk advisers stop immediate repossession or eviction.

The announcement came after the Council of Mortgage Lenders or CML downwardly revised their repossession forecast for 2009 to 65,000 from 75,000.

On the same day, data released by the Financial Services Authority showed that the number of repossessions in the first quarter rose to 14,825 from 13,115 in the fourth quarter. That represents an increase of 62% over the previous year.

However, helped by lower interest rates, numbers of new arrears cases in the first quarter were 12% fewer at 60,000 after the 68,000 recorded in the final quarter of 2008.

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