We are becoming known as ‘generation rent’ and so, it is safe to say, getting on the property ladder isn’t easy. Therefore, when we finally do, we expect we will move on when we are ready, perhaps to upsize or change locations – house repossession is the last thing on our mind. That is until the day we find ourselves in debt – debt that spirals out of control so quickly that suddenly losing our home becomes a very, very real possibility.

House repossession comes about because you are in debt and debt doesn’t happen overnight. It will have been building up over time – meaning putting food on the table and paying bills has been an ongoing issue that has been causing you a significant amount of stress and worry before the repossession of your house even happens. But, having your home taken off you is the nail in the coffin – and one that comes with a whole new level of stress and worry. Is it any wonder that debt and house repossession are linked to mental health? Does it really come as a surprise to hear that people slip into depression when they are sinking further and further into debt, so much so that they could be out on the streets and they can’t see a way out of it.

A review by the British Medical Journal has uncovered a link between the 2008 recession (which followed the financial crisis) and mental health. This recession led to a rise in unemployment, homelessness and poverty – all important detriments of health.

An increase in house repossession from 2005, rising unemployment from 2008 and falling wages from 2009 as well as an average increase in household debt were all cited as causes behind a spike in ‘adverse health outcomes.’

However, there is good news and perhaps at least a dim light at the end of the tunnel because house repossession has actually been at an all time low. In fact, in 2014 the number of homes repossessed by lenders fell to their lowest levels since 2006. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) says repossession fell by 26% to 21,000 with mortgage arrears also falling to an eight-year low. The improvement has been put down to the rising levels of employment and continuing low interest rates.

HML, a mortgage servicing firm, has predicted that 10,326 repossessions will take place this year. While these figures are promising no one should be lulled into a false sense of security, believing that the low interest rates we are currently experiencing will last forever.

Plus, there is, of course, still a chance this could happen to you and there is no comfort in the fact these numbers are lower if you are one of the many still facing repossessions.

But, you do have options… and there are things you can do to avoid it or, at the very least, postpone it. Start by talking to someone and getting advice on your specific situation from the experts, which could even result in you selling your home quickly to stop house repossession from happening to you and freeing up some money to help you get you back on your feet.

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One Comment

  1. Robert Jones says:

    A) Stop thinking of acquiring a home as clambering up the “property ladder”: that’s what feeds house-price inflation; B) yes, of course repossession is likely to be extremely bad for your mental health, although as it will come as the culmination of a long period of struggling with unmanageable debt – perhaps because you thought of this as a ladder to riches in the first place – and might actually be a relief in the end.

    Poor housing, and the struggle to find somewhere decent to live, is a prime cause of both mental and physical ill-health. This has been known for many years, and until governments take action to ensure that slum landlordism is ended, rents are contained, properties are available at prices which don’t require mortgaging your entire life and your grandchildren’s too, it will continue to be.

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