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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 03:27 GMT 04:27 UK
Thousands risk all for mortgages
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Hundreds of thousands of people are failing to maintain mortgage payments and risk losing their homes, according to a national charity.

Some 770,000 people have missed one or more repayments in the past year, a Citizens Advice survey suggests.

More than one in 10 of the 2,057 adults surveyed wrongly believed missed repayments did not threaten their home.

The charity said people, particularly the young, needed to be more aware of the financial commitment of a mortgage.

There is a clear need for more information and advice
David Harker
Citizens Advice

David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "We are very concerned about the numbers of people who are missing payments.

"Missing payments on mortgages or secured loans could lead to arrears and possibly repossession.

"There is a clear need for more information and advice about the consequences of taking on financial commitments, particularly for younger adults."

Younger people are most likely to fall behind with their financial commitments, according to the survey.

Over-borrowing

It also found that 11% of all those surveyed wrongly believed a secured loan meant they could miss repayments but their home would still be safe.

A further 10% of people thought it was a loan where borrowers could pay back as little or as much as they want each month.

The survey suggests two million people fear they cannot keep up with their monthly payments.

Last year the charity helped to deal with 1.25 million debt problems and received 51,000 enquiries about mortgage and secured loan arrears.

Mr Harker added: "If people are considering becoming homeowners they need to understand clearly what they are taking on.

"We don't want people to borrow far more than they can afford."

People having difficulty meeting their mortgage repayments should let their lender know, and borrowing more money to cover debts should be avoided, said the charity.


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