§ Mr. Kidney
To ask the Minister of State, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has made of the numbers of mortgage repossession cases(a) commenced and (b) executed since 1997 and of the likely trend in such numbers in 1999–2000. 
§ Mr. Hoon
[holding answer 16 February 1999]The information requested is in the table. Departmental costs (including the cost of around £75,000 for the review of civil justice and legal aid included in Lord McIntosh of Haringey's answer of 7 July 1997,Official Report, House of Lords, columns 51–55), are being met from existing Departmental budgets. External costs, where applicable, are shown in the table.
Mortgage possession actions entered Possession warrants executed January 1997-December 1997 67,073 46,865 January 1998-December 1998 178,865 59,701 1 Figures for local authority mortgages have been estimated since the third quarter of 1998 at 3 per cent. of the total figure; historically since 1996 local authority mortgages have represented between 1 per cent. and 5 per cent. of the total.
The trend is upwards; but it is difficult to forecast with any accuracy for forward periods because of the factors which may affect the housing market.