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Mortgage possession orders up

The number of mortgage possession orders issued in England and Wales rose during the first quarter of this year, official data has shown.In January to March there were 21,931 orders made at county courts, one per cent up from the first three months of 2006.Coming the same day as the government showed a record 30,075 people declared themselves insolvent in the same period, the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) says that 46 per cent of possession orders were suspended compared to half in the corresponding period last year.Landlord possession claims stood at 35,979 in the first quarter, down from 18 per cent against the beginning of 2006.Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at Global Insight, said the figures reinforced the debt culture message given out by the insolvency statistics.Citing the 10.2 per cent quarterly jump in mortgage possession claims to 33,715, he explained: "Rising interest rates, elevated utility bills, limited real disposable income growth, the fact that many people have stretched themselves to the limit to buy a house and record high debt levels have contributed to the rise in individual insolvencies."Next Thursday the Bank of England is widely excepted to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.5 per cent.

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