The number of mortgage lenders taking homeowners to court has reduced in all areas, government figures have confirmed.

Ministry of Justice statistics published yesterday show all stages of mortgage possession actions recorded in county courts from April to June this year have decreased, compared with the same quarter last year.

Mortgage possession claims are down by 9% to 4,430, orders for possession are down 9% to 3,106 and warrants of possession are down 14% to 4,828.

The number of repossessions by county court bailiffs has also fallen by 14% to 1,176.

These reductions continue the long-term downward trend seen since the first quarter of 2009.

Compared with last year, landlord possession claims have fallen by 6% while orders for possession are down by 4%. 

The MoJ reported that the average time from a claim being issued to the repossession by the county court bailiff is now 116.3 weeks, up from 107.1 weeks in the second quarter of 2015.

The time for landlord possession claims has also increased, from 39.6 weeks to 41 weeks.

The report says the fall in mortgage possession actions since 2008 coincides with lower interest rates, a proactive approach from lenders in managing consumers suffering financial problems, and government interventions such as the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.

A downward trend in the proportion of owner occupiers (64% in 2014/15 from 71% in 2003) is also believed to be a factor.

The number of mortgage claims per 100,000 households by local authority ranged from zero (in six local authorities) to 46 (in Redcar and Cleveland). Three other areas had more than 40 mortgage possession claims per 100,000 households: Nuneaton and Bedworth, Blackpool and Rochdale.