More than 200 homes in Norfolk repossessed by court orders in five years
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More than 200 homes in Norfolk have been repossessed by court orders over the last five years, figures have revealed.
Data from the Ministry of Justice shows county court bailiffs have repossessed 223 properties mortgaged by homeowners in the county since October 2014.
Mortgage lenders can take possession of a property through a county court as a last resort, but because many cases do not make it to court, the number of repossessions could be much higher.
And while the number of repossessions in 2018 was lower than 2015, figures show the number of homes being repossessed has been increasing since 2016.
Since 2014, lenders have lodged 1,045 court claims for properties in Norfolk.
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These led to judges granting 407 orders for people to leave their homes by a certain date and 265 suspended possession orders letting homeowners stay, providing they keep up their payments and pay back funds owed.
A total of 955 warrants to evict people in breach of previous orders were also issued.
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John Cheyette, chief executive of Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureau, said the organisation was seeing people come to it for increasingly complicated reasons.
He said: "The knowledge from the statistics we've got is that people are coming to see us with ever increasing debt issues and those issues are ever more complicated.
"Last year we saw more than 20 thousand people with 60 thousand issues, so individuals who come to use are coming with at least three different issues.
"A general feeling is that people are experiencing more and more problems including issues of debt," he said.
Lesley Burdett, hub manager at Shelter Norwich, said: "It's hugely distressing for anyone to lose their home, and we see the terrible long-term impact of such stress and upheaval on families every day in Norfolk.
"If you're struggling right now with mortgage arrears it's vital to act fast, and you can get free, impartial online housing advice from Shelter.
"If you're a homeowner who's received a repossession order, there are still things you can do, but it starts with expert advice. And if you're a tenant whose rented home is at risk of repossession, you urgently need to know your rights."