Mortgage Repossessions

Oral Answers to Questions — Lord Chancellor's Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17 February 1998.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Kidney David Kidney Labour, Stafford 12:00, 17 February 1998

What assessment he has made on the basis of the last 12 months' figures of the trend in mortgage repossession cases being filed at court and possession orders being made. [28105]

Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department

The trend is downwards. In 1997, fewer mortgage possession actions were issued and fewer possession orders made than in each of the previous two years.

Photo of David Kidney David Kidney Labour, Stafford

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for pointing out that the figures are down. Nevertheless, every repossession represents a personal tragedy, and the figures are still shamefully high compared with previous periods under a Labour Government when the number of mortgage repossessions was tiny. Will he confirm that that shows the need to manage the economy properly to avoid periods of boom and bust, so that people are not thrown out of their homes as a consequence of the mismanagement of the economy? Has not Labour promised to talk to the mortgage industry about more flexible mortgages, and will he confirm that that may be a way forward to avoid such tragedies happening again?

Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his suggestions. Ministerial colleagues with direct responsibility for housing matters are considering those questions as part of the detailed housing comprehensive spending review that is being undertaken by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions with the Department of Social Security. I assure my hon. Friend that the outcome of their considerations will be announced to the House in due course.