BOROUGH MP Andrew Miller says the government is working hard to minimise the number of home repossessions.
He gained the reassurance from Minister for Housing Margaret Beckett during a House of Commons question and answer session.
Mr Miller said afterwards: “I was pleased she could assure me that the Government is working with a range of stakeholders, including mortgage lenders, local authorities, the courts and third sector advice agencies, to ensure that appropriate support is available for all households in financial difficulty.”
And, when asked by Mr Miller what she could do to ensure the message gets through loud and clear and there are no further unnecessary repossessions, Mrs Beckett replied: “It is important that we convey the message of where people can seek help – and that they should seek help, rather than waiting until the last minute.
“Some 340 local authorities, as well as lenders, money advice agencies and officials from the Housing Corporation, have attended briefings, at a regional level and in other ways, to try to get information across.
“As Mr Miller will be aware, we are working particularly with the Ministry of Justice to improve provision of advice at the courts.
“It is very important that people in difficulties contact their lenders as early as possible; it will often be possible to make arrangements with which those people can live and which they can readily meet.
“However, for those who go as far as the door of the court before seeking advice, we, with the Ministry of Justice, have funded court desks in about 90% of courts across the country, including Mr Miller’s constituency.
“They have had an average success rate of 85% in averting repossessions, even at that late stage.”
Mr Miller added: “I can be contacted either at the House of Commons on 020 7219 3580 or at my constituency office in Whitby Park on 0151 357 3019.”