RTTNews - Friday, UK's Council of Mortgage Lenders said repossessions by first-charge mortgage lenders rose to 12,800 in the first quarter from 10,400 in the fourth quarter of last year and 8,500 in the first quarter of 2008.

The CML forecasts the number to rise to 75,000 for the year as a whole and expects to revise the figure downwards in its next housing market forecast update.

The number of mortgages in arrears continued to rise on all measures, the CML said. The number of loans with arrears of more than 2.5% of the mortgage balance rose 12% to 205,300 in the first quarter of this year from 182,600 in the fourth quarter of 2008. Compared to the previous year, it was an increase of 62%.

Commenting on arrears and repossessions, CML Director General Michael Coogan said, Lenders are demonstrably increasing the forbearance they are offering, while many struggling borrowers have gained some breathing space through lower interest rates feeding through to lower monthly payments.

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