The number of homes threatened with repossession in England and Wales has jumped by 24%. According to the Ministry of Justice, this figure now stands at 28,568 in the second quarter of 2008. This figure has rose by 4% from the first quarter of the year, suggesting that there is an increase in the number of homeowners who need help to manage debt.

Mortgage possession claims, which is the first stage of the repossession process, has grown 17% from the same period last year. These figures show a worrying trend which can be seen as a result of the credit crunch, as fixed term mortgages have come to an end and have been replaced with more expensive mortgage deals.

Although not everyone of these petitions will end in repossession, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report that 18,900 homes has been repossessed during the first 6 months of the year, the highest figure in 12 years. They also predict a 50% rise in repossessions this year, which could mean that 45,000 borrowers would lose their homes.