ACCESS NL > Housing in the Netherlands > Mortgages in the Netherlands > What happens if I find that I can no longer afford to pay my mortgage?

Mortgages in the Netherlands

How do I get a loan for buying an apartment or a house?

Are there restrictions on how much I can borrow for my mortgage?

What are the types of mortgages available in the Netherlands?

How can I decide which mortgage is best for me?

How is the interest on my mortgage calculated?

What type of information is required when getting a mortgage?

When do I start to repay my mortgage?

What happens if I find that I can no longer afford to pay my mortgage?

It should be remembered that your house is considered by the mortgage lender as security against the loan. Therefore, effectively you do not own your house until the mortgage is paid off in full. Should you default on your monthly payments (due to personal circumstances, e.g. getting into debt, becoming unemployed or divorced), the lender has the right to repossess and sell your house to pay off the remaining debt. However, this is very much a last resort for the lender, as most banks realise that the housing market in the Netherlands is still very recovering. Therefore, it may be difficult to sell your house and the current value of your house may be less than the original loan value on the mortgage.

The banks will always explore possibilities with you to address your current difficulties, before taking the more drastic action of repossessing and selling your property. If a bank does decide to sell your house and the sale value is less than the remaining mortgage value, you will still be expected to pay off the difference (with interest).

The National Mortgage Guarantee (Nationale Hypotheek Garantie –NHG) is provided by the Homeownership Guarantee Fund (Waarborgfonds Eigen Woningen – WEW). The main aim of the fund is to promote the responsible purchasing of private property. Hence, if you take out a mortgage to buy a house, you may be eligible for the NHG coverage. The NHG is only applicable for mortgages up to a certain limit. A summary in English can be found at www.nhg.nl/english-summary/Information-for-consumers/What-is-nhg. You may have to check the Dutch version in order to find the current maximum value.

If you are forced to sell your property by your mortgage lender and the value of the sale is less than the original mortgage loan, then the NHG may settle your outstanding debt with your mortgage provider.