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Citizens Advice reports increasing mortgage distress

More and more people are contacting Citizens Advice after falling behind on their mortgage payments, the charity said today.According to the new data, advice requests for mortgage arrears have increased by 50 per cent over the past 12 months.Citizens Advice also said that there had been a marked upwards trend in energy bill distress.Around ten per cent more are reporting trouble with their gas and electricity bills than did so last year.David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "While we are pleased to see the number of consumer credit problems going down, the increase in the number of enquiries about basic essentials is worrying and these figures show how the current economic situation is hitting vulnerable and low-income households the hardest."He added: "To prevent this situation worsening, it is vital that mortgage lenders and fuel companies do everything in their power to help people in arrears to come to a workable solution over repayment arrangements, rather than piling on extra charges."

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