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460,000 mortgages 'unpaid over last six months'

There were over 460,000 cases of missed mortgage payments over the past six months, according to research by MoneyExpert.comThe comparison website added that in 2006 an average of 36,000 homeowners defaulted on mortgage payments each month. People aged between 35 and 44 were the most likely to have missed mortgage payments, according to the chief executive Sean Gardner said: "Missing a mortgage payment is a real signal of distress and anyone in such dire straits needs to address the issue as soon as possible."He advised mortgage holders close to defaulting on payments to cut spending and to reduce debt by keeping credit card expenditure under control. Mr Gardner also recommended looking at consolidated loans and secured loans against the value of homes if one was in danger of not meeting payments.The Bank of England has raised interest rates by 1.25 per cent since August 2006 and the latest increase has increased payments on tracker mortgages and standard variable rates. It has also made mortgage repayment a heavier burden for those whose fixed rate deals had just come to an end.

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