THE number of people seeking advice about repossession evictions has increased three-fold in the last year, according to Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

The charity said views of its page providing advice to those facing eviction because of their home being repossessed have rocketed by 341% since May last year.

Statistics for May this year also indicated more people are turning to its online mortgage calculator with unique page views more than 20 times higher than they were last May.

Pages providing advice for those who are homeless or at risk of being on the streets attracted their highest ever number of views last month, with the figure up 30% on May 2022.

Meanwhile, views of advice around a lender trying to repossess a home was up by 103% last month compared to last year, and reached its highest ever point in May 2023.

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It comes after the average two-year fixed mortgage rate hit 6% last week as interest rates were upped to their highest level for 15 years.

CAS said lots of people, through no fault of their own, had fallen into debt because of food and energy prices along with soaring monthly mortgage costs.

David Hilferty, CAS social justice spokesperson, said the number seeking advice on evictions from repossession is “really concerning”.

He said: “Lots of people on variable rate mortgages are facing higher monthly payments. Meanwhile, lots of people with fixed rate deals that will expire soon are understandably concerned about how much more they could pay and trying to budget for different payments.

“On that basis we are seeing a surge in demand for our online mortgage calculator, as well as other aspects of housing advice. Pages offering advice to people facing homelessness, repossession actions from their lenders, or eviction from their home once it has been repossessed have all seen big increases.

“People facing an increase in their monthly mortgage costs are also seeing high costs elsewhere. None of this is happening in a vacuum, many people will prioritise paying their mortgage but increasing demand for advice around repossessions and evictions is really concerning.

“Lots of people, through no fault of their own, have fallen into debt to simply keep up with essential bills like food, shelter, and energy.  People taking on new debt on these circumstances could see that line of credit cost even more. It becomes a vicious cycle, trapping people in rising debt.

“There’s also the cumulative impact here – this was the 13th interest rates increase in a row since December 2021 and inflation has been high through that period too – that really grinds down people’s financial resilience.”

Hilferty added people should seek advice from CAS if they are concerned about their finances.

“People who are worried about their bills should know that free, impartial and confidential advice from the Citizens Advice network is available.

“Last year one in six people who sought advice from the CAB network saw some type of financial gain, the average value of which was over £4200. That money could make a huge difference to people during this crisis.”

Cases CAS has been dealing with in recent months include a disabled man whose monthly tracker mortgage payments had gone up £110 a month and an NHS nurse with a brain injury whose mortgage payments increased from £400 a month to £707.

The nurse had to quit her job due to illness triggered by the injury, resulting in her relying on Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payments and an occupational pension.

If you are struggling with your finances, visit the CAS website here for support.