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Mortgage arrears up sharply with landlords hardest hit

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The number of people falling behind on their mortgage payments rose sharply over the summer months, figures from the banking sector show.

Rising interest rates have put pressure on homeowners, with 87,930 in arrears said UK Finance, up 18% compared with July to September last year.

Among landlords, the number in arrears doubled in a year.

Home repossessions are rare, but lenders and charities urge people to act early when facing trouble.

Despite the sharp rise in mortgages in arrears, the number where payments have fallen behind still represent just 1% of the 8.8 million outstanding mortgages, trade body UK Finance said.

That will come as a relief during a period of tough cost-of-living pressures and steadily rising interest rates.

However, homeowners tend to prioritise their mortgage repayments, sometimes leaving them unable to pay other bills. Such circumstances are masked by these figures.

But there has now been a relatively sharp rise in arrears, as the pressure gets more intense and fixed mortgage deals expire and are replaced by more expensive loans. An estimated 1.6 million deals will expire next year, with the vast majority rolling onto much higher rates of interest.

The number of homeowners in arrears was up 7% in July to September compared with the previous quarter, UK Finance said.

One 79-year-old homeowners said that he had cut back on other costs as much as he could, but was only able to pay part of his mortgage bill each month.

“The anxiety is affecting my health,” he said, claiming that he had received slow responses when highlighting the issue to his lender.

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