Homeowners facing repossession has risen by 17% in the first quarter of 2008, meaning that more people are just one step away from losing their homes than at any time since the early 1990s.

The Ministry of Justice have reported that there were 27,530 repossession orders made so far this year, which is up from 23,438 in 2007. The reason is being cited as homeowners being unable to keep up on expensive mortgage payments, the banks unwillingness to lend out new deals due to the credit crunch.

Mortgage Possession claims were also up by 16%, with 38,688 claims being issued. A Mortgage Possession claim relates to the first stage of the repossession process when homeowners are threatened with action by their lenders.