Cuts in interest rates and pressure on lenders to be lenient on people struggling with mortgages appear to have borne fruit, according to data published yesterday. The number of mortgages slipping into arrears in the first three months of the year dropped by 12 per cent from the previous quarter to just under 60,000, the Financial Services Authority reported. Most of the decline was in non-regulated mortgages, which are dominated by buy-to-let and interest-only loans, but regulated mortgages falling into arrears were also slightly lower. Repossessions rose by 13 per cent to more than 14,800 in the first three months of the year, up from 13,100 in the previous quarter. This rate of increase was significantly slower than the 20 per cent or more seen in the second and third quarters of last year.