The number of possession claims made by mortgage lenders has grown by 16% in the first quarter of 2008, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.
The rapid decline in the availability of mortgages, caused by the credit crunch, and rising food and fuel costs are thought to be key reasons for borrowers falling behind with their monthly payments.
The first three months of 2008 saw 38,688 mortgage possession claims, up from 33,344 in the first quarter of 2007.
However, most claims do not result in repossession as arrangements can still be made between lender and borrower.
Actual repossession figures, published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), will not be available until August but the CML expects the number of repossessions will increase from 27,100 in 2007 to 45,000 in 2008.
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