MORE mortgage holders in Bradford risked losing their homes last year, new figures show.

A charity has warned the cost-of-living crisis and high mortgage costs are putting people in danger of becoming homeless.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show 264 mortgage possession claims were made in Bradford in the year to March – 30 which led to a property being repossessed by a bailiff.

While more mortgage holders were at risk in 2023-24, the actual number of repossessions dropped by half.

By comparison, in 2022-23 there were 211 claims, leading to 59 homes being repossessed.

If a claim is successful, the defendant will be ordered to leave the property. If they do not come to an agreement with the claimant they can be evicted, leading to a repossession.

In the first quarter of 2024, there were 5,182 such claims made across England and Wales – a 28 per cent increase from 4,035 a year earlier.

Mortgage rates remain at high levels since surging in late 2021, albeit with some rates being cut in recent months.

The figures show renters are also suffering, with a six per cent increase in landlord claims over the same period across the country.

In Bradford, landlords made 597 claims in the year to March, with 168 resulting in a repossession. This was down from 2022-23, when there were 727.

Law Society president Nick Emmerson said: "We are concerned about the number of people who are at risk of becoming homeless.

"With the cost-of-living crisis and high interest rates, many are struggling with rent and mortgage payments and are at risk of losing their homes."

He cautioned legal aid is the only hope for many, but "remains out of reach", with more law firms no longer offering advice.

StepChange is a charity that offers advice and support for those in arrears with their mortgage or rent.

Policy manager Jonathan Chesterman said: "Rent or mortgage payments are priority bills, so if you are in arrears with these payments, they should always be addressed before any consumer credit debt."

"Mortgage lenders have a regulatory responsibility to treat borrowers fairly, offering support and forbearance for people who are in difficulty," he added.

A Treasury spokesperson said: "Interest rates are high across the developed world as economies work to tackle high inflation and the UK is no different.

"While it is welcome news that we have met the pledge to halve inflation, we know many people are continuing to struggle.

"Anyone struggling with their mortgages should contact their lender, and where relevant, consider the flexibilities in our Mortgage Charter, which can make it easier to manage monthly repayments and gives extra protections against repossessions."