Northern Rock repossessions '3.5 times the industry average'

Date:Monday 20th October 2008

The number of repossessions by Northern Rock is 3.5 times above the average figure for the industry, it has been claimed.

Homeless charity Shelter passed the figures on to Channel 4 News ahead of publication.

The charity said that the data comes from the period of January to June this year.

It stated Northern Rock had 3,710 repossessed properties on its books in its half-year statement, equivalent to 0.56 per cent of the mortgage lender's stock.

Shelter said the industry average was 0.16 per cent.

Northern Rock claimed that going to court is only a last resort and refuted "any suggestion that we have adopted an overly aggressive stance to repossession".

Debt charity Credit Action has also accused Northern Rock over rising repossessions.

The Times reported the charity's claim that the nationalised bank pursues struggling homeowners "aggressively".

Northern Rock spokesperson Simon Hall rejected the claims and said mortgage arrears have increased across the entire sector.

Mr Hall added that figures cited against the bank referred to unsold repossessed homes in September, not repossessions in total in the first half of the year.