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Rossendale, Blackburn and Burnley in top ten for repossessions
THREE East Lancashire boroughs are in the top 10 areas in England most at risk of house repossessions.
Rossendale comes fifth, Blackburn with Darwen seventh and Burnley eighth in a league table of every council district ranked by number of properties threatened with repossession by mortgage lenders per thousand homes.
The list by housing charity Shelter highlights the threat many families face of losing their homes in the current economic climate.
It named the top 10 areas most at risk of repossession proceedings, with Barking and Dagenham in London named England's worst with 8.44 repossession claims per thousand homes.
Rossendale comes fifth at 6.46, Blackburn seventh with 6.16 and Burnley eighth at 6.11.
Using official figures Shelter found that the national average was 3.5 claims per 1,000 homes.
Possession claims, which are recorded by the Ministry of Justice, are the first step in making a repossession and not all houses end up being seized.
Researchers found a strong link between rising unemployment and repossession, with jobless hotspot areas seeing claims rising fastest.
Chief executive of Shelter Campbell Robb, said: “Most people think that repossession will never happen to them, but rising unemployment, rising living costs and high house prices mean that many people are living close to the edge already, and risk falling into a spiral of debt and repossession.
“The journey from being a homeowner to becoming homeless is frighteningly swift.”