Watchdog ruling cuts house repossessions by 93pc as 2 million take mortgage holiday
PROPERTY repossessions have plunged 93pc after homeowners rushed to use mortgage holidays and banks were banned from seizing the houses of coronavirus-hit customers.
Just 90 owner-occupied homes were repossessed in the second quarter of 2020, a drop of 93pc from a year earlier. There were 130 buy-to-let properties taken into possession, down 80pc on the same period of 2019, according to bank trade body UK Finance.
The plunge comes after banks were ordered to treat homeowners fairly by the Financial Conduct Authority and given a stern warning against evicting any customers. All repossessions were banned unless the homeowner agreed or the property was empty.
The watchdog also told banks and building societies to grant mortgage payment holidays to all homeowners who requested one to help them get through the crisis. Over 2 million mortgage payment deferrals have now been approved, UK Finance said, with just under 1m still in place.
However, there are concerns that the hundreds of thousands of renters who now owe money to their landlord could be kicked out once they exceed eight weeks of arrears.
Rules set up at the start of the crisis blocked eviction cases from being heard before Aug 24. Mortgage lenders should not start or continue court action for repossession until Oct 31.