Chester is the repossessions black spot of England and Wales – with almost triple the number of homes taken back by lenders in comparison to the national average.
The city has a repossession rate of 8.4 homes per thousand households, three times the national average of 2.8.
Other towns and cities faring badly in the repossessions league table are Blackpool (4.5), Oldham (4.3) and Wigan (4.2).
The town with the fastest growing repossession rate is Carlisle, Cumbria, with a 37% rise despite still having a below average rate of 2.0.
Overall, more than 66,000 homes were repossessed in the 12 months ending July 31, 2013. This was a 17% drop on the previous year, when almost 78,000 homeowners had to hand over their keys for failing to pay their mortgages.
The statistics – taken from official court figures – also show a third more homes are repossessed in the north than in the south.
Almost three out of four northern towns and cities had a repossession rate that surpassed the average. The figures were worst in the North West, where 80% of towns and cities had a rate over the average.
Just over a fifth (22%) beat the average in the south.
The growing gap is blamed on the traditional reliance of public sector jobs in the North West that have been lost due to government and local authority spending cuts.
The south also seems to be leading the way in economic recovery, with more people in work and less likely to default on their mortgage repayments.
In the south, the fastest growing repossession rates were in Taunton (34%), Torquay (30%) and Plymouth (28%), while further east, homeowners in Brighton (30%) and Reading (27%) were also struggling to keep up with their mortgages triggering more repossessions.
According to an analysis of the figures by property firm e-surv, the north-south repossession gap is at the widest for six years.