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Repossession up 54%

Cloudy skies over houses
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 21 February 2009
at 1204 BST
On Radio 4 and Online

The number of homes in the UK repossessed by lenders last year rose by 54% to 40,000 according to figures out on 20 February from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The level of arrears among mortgage borrowers also became worse.

And anyone who falls behind with their mortgage payments not only has to pay the arrears, but also what are called "administration charges" on top - which can range from 20 to 50 a month.

Debt advisers say these charges are undermining customers' attempts to get their finances back in order and should be scaled back or even suspended in the current economic climate.

So why aren't lenders doing more to help struggling homeowners?

Bob Howard reports and we speak to Natalie Elphicke of the Centre for Policy Studies and Sue Anderson from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Further information/related stories:

A jar labelled "savings" with money falling into it
If you have a windfall where should you put it for safe keeping?

Savings rates dropped to an all time low in January according to figures published by the Bank of England.

Returns paid on branch-based instant access and notice accounts, tax-free cash ISAs and fixed-rate savings bonds are all at the lowest level since records began.

So what should you do if you have some savings but do not want to see them withering away?

We are joined by Peter Hargreaves, CEO of investment management firm Hargreaves Landsdowne.

Further information/related stories:

Credit cards
Certain credit card refunds come under 1974's Consumer Credit Act
Credit cards

Are you covered by your credit card provider if you buy something online that turns out to be faulty?

Most people think that they are - but Money Box listener Bill Gilmour found otherwise.

So what exactly is covered and what conditions must be met?

We find out more from Ingrid Gubbay, consumer lawyer at the law firm Cohen and Millstein, Hausfelt & Toll.

Further information/related stories:

Kaupthing Bank sign
KSFIoM's liquidation would trigger the island's compensation scheme
Other news

Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man (KSFIoM) savers should receive back at least 60% of the money they have lost under a scheme of arrangement approved in a Manx High Court hearing on 19 February.

Treasury officials believe the scheme would offer a better outcome for the 10,000 depositors than a liquidation.

The hearing was adjourned until 9 April for further changes to the scheme, which needs depositor approval.

In a web extra, we speak to John Spellman, director of the Financial Services Division of the Treasury, Isle of Man Government.

Further information/related stories:

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 21 February 2009 at 1204 GMT.

The programme was repeated on Sunday 22 February 2009 at 2102 GMT.

External internet links
21 Feb 09 |  Moneybox

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