Manchester is Britain’s Debt Capital

According to ITV’s documentary Repossession Repossession Repossession (to be shown tonight at 10.35pm on ITV1) the northern city is where the highest percentage of those with serious debts and facing repossession, can be found.ITV Programme Repossession Repossession Repossession

The programme will claim that 29% of households in Manchester are facing serious financial problems and possibly home repossession.

Fuelled by easy credit access in the last 10 years, many of those in trouble are under 30. They have grown into adulthood being able to constantly re-finance their credit card debts until at some point the only option may have appeared to be consolidating their loans and securing them against their homes.

Now the credit crunch has forced lenders to be ultra cautious as to who they lend to (or the less reputable to be able to charge ever more disproportionate interest rates) most of those with high Loan to Value mortgages (85% and above) also have secured debts that in some case can mean they are more than 110% mortgaged.

In this case even the sale of the property would not realise enough equity to repay all the loans.

Lenders are increasingly using the repossession process to recover their money, some of them on the basis that in the current financial climate the money is better off with them than being risked as a total loss if another of the homeowner’s creditor decided to repossess.

The programme can be seen 5th Feb 2008 at 10.35pm on ITV1

BBC Puts HSBC in Spotlight Over Aggressive Loan Tactics

From BBC News today

Banks ‘prey on customers in debt’

Some people are agreeing to make payments they cannot afford
Banks are being accused of pressurising customers who have financial problems to take out expensive loans to try to ease their debts, the BBC has learned.

Some banks are repeatedly telephoning customers to try to get them to take out costly loans, against the advice of debt charities.

Citizens Advice said it has received many complaints about the increasingly aggressive tactics being used.

Banks say interest rate charges are up to them.

HSBC bombard customers with loan offers

Continually telephoned

People find that even after they have been dealing with us they have found that they have been continued to be written to. They get aggressive letters and phone calls from their lenders
Peter Tutton, Citizens Advice

The BBC’s Breakfast programme has discovered some customers who have an agreed debt repayment plan with a debt advice charity are being put under pressure to take out loans, sometimes at a higher interest rate than they are already paying.

One HSBC customer, Simon Chandler, said that even though he had declined the bank’s offer of a “managed loan”, they had continually telephoned him to try and make him change his mind

The interest rate on the managed loan is 13% – double what he is paying at the moment.

He said: “I have had multiple letters from HSBC saying they want to help people in financial difficulty – when clearly they don’t.

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