Jo backs action to save homes from repossession

House sales in East Dunbartonshire are down on last year

PLANS that could save residents in East Dunbartonshire from the trauma of home repossession have been backed by Jo Swinson.

According to new figures announced by Registers of Scotland, the number of homes sold in East Dunbartonshire between April and June 2008 fell by 3% compared to the same period last year. Earlier this month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that repossessions across the UK are at their highest level for 12 years. With the credit crunch biting, households are struggling to keep up mortgage payments and risk losing their homes.

This week, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable MP launched plans that could stop many people being thrown out of their homes during the growing mortgage crisis.

Jo said:

“The fear of repossession is stalking communities in East Dunbartonshire and neither the SNP at Holyrood or the UK Labour Government are doing enough to protect people from the worst effects of the mortgage crisis.

“People who lived through the last mortgage crisis under the Conservatives will never want to experience the same situation again. Vince Cable has put forward a set of proposals that get to the heart of the problems facing our housing market and make avoiding repossessions the number one priority.”

The Liberal Democrat proposals include:

• allowing families struggling with repayments to sell all or part of the equity in their house and rent it back from a housing association or private firm to help keep them in their home;

• letting councils and housing associations borrow money to buy up land and empty new homes for use as social housing;

• giving guidelines to courts to allow homes to be repossessed only in extreme circumstances, making the mortgage lenders’ voluntary code binding on all lenders.

Vince Cable added:

“The Government seems obsessed with fighting a losing battle to artificially prop up the housing market, rather than finding ways to deal with its worst effects. Ministers must act to help the thousands of families struggling to keep a roof over their heads.”

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