Ascent continues its rise as home debts fall

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Specialist debt collection agency Ascent says it has increased its share of the market for advising people who have defaulted on their mortgage payments.

The company, which is part of Sheffield-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, helps mortgage lenders to reduce the amount they are owed.

It does that by visiting people in arrears, before legal action to recover debts or eviction proceedings start, in a bid to develop a sustainable and affordable payment plan that will clear their debt.

Ascent achieved a turnover of £3 million last year and reckons it has gone from a standing start three years ago to having 15 per cent of the market for counselling people with mortgage arrears on behalf of lenders.

The number of pre-litigation visits Ascent carried out in the first half of the year was up by almost 42 per cent on the same period last year and and pre-eviction visits were up by 70 per cent.

Ascent’s chief executive, Niall Gilhooley, says the number of cases it is handling is increasing, despite a general improvement in mortgage lenders’ portfolios.

“Institutions increasingly see our early intervention as the best way to improve the performance of their portfolios. We are confident about the future,” said Mr Gilhooley.