Mortgage foreclosures in the United Kingdom are expected to soar by two-thirds, from 6,000 in 2004 to about 10,000 by the end of 2006, the Financial Times reported today.

The U.K.’s Council of Mortgage Lenders said it expected rising bankruptcies to be one factor pushing up mortgage repossession figures, the Times reported.

Also, figures from the U.K.’s Department for Constitutional Affairs show that the number of mortgage repossession actions going through the courts has reached the highest level for five years, according to the Times.

Mortgage lenders brought 77,818 actions to repossess homes in 2004, the highest number since 1999, according to media accounts.

Michael Coogan, chief executive of the CML, told the Times that his organization expects an uptick in foreclosures because of an increase in jobless figures and bankruptcies, among other things.

The CML said a large number of homeowners face higher monthly mortgage payments because they are coming off fixed-rate mortgage deals, which have sheltered them from five successive interest rate rises in the U.K., the Times reported.

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