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New Year rent and mortgage crisis for millions


One in 11 people are living in fear that they will not be able to meet their household bills such as rent and mortgage payments in January following the costly Christmas period, according to charity Shelter.

Despite signs of a recovering economy, many are still facing personal financial crises due to wage freezes, rising food and energy bills. Of those affected, families with children are struggling the most 70% struggling or falling behind with payments. Furthermore, more than one in three people in general are expecting to struggle or fall behind on their rent or mortgage payments over the next 12 months.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said "It's a worrying sign of the times that so many of us are starting the New Year worried about how they'll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014.

"Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year."

Even more worrying, 18% of those surveyed admitted to not opening post if they thought it might be a bill or late payment reminder, demanding money, whilst 14% even admitted to throwing away this post without opening it.

Liz Clare, a helpline adviser at Shelter, said: "We all know how difficult it can be to face up to financial problems and we often hear from people who've been avoiding urgent post, but the reality is that not confronting it means things can spiral out of control."

However, housing minister Kris Hopkins argued there were still positives in the current economic climate by claiming that interest rates were down, rent rises have been below inflation and mortgages are more affordable as a result of the current government’s efforts to tackle the UK’s deficit.

Furthermore, Hopkins went on to say “mortgage arrears are at a record low and repossessions at their lowest level since records began in 2008."

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