More households have mortgage arrears, forced to sell their home

The number of households at least four months behind on their mortgage repayments rose 25% last year, according to debt registration agency BKR.

By January 1, 2013, the agency registered 77,145 mortgages in arrears, up from 62,453 a year ago. With unemployment continuing to rise, the BKR expects a further increase in people with mortgage problems this year.

The BKR wants information about student loans plus tax, health insurance and other debts to be included in its records. This, it says, would allow banks to make a more considered opinion when assessing the financial situation of people who apply for a mortgage.

Junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma has pledged to come up with a position paper on the issue before April 1. The BKR currently lists credit agreements with banks, mortgage providers and other official credit agencies.

Sales

Meanwhile, housing minister Stef Blok told MPs on Thursday there has been a rise in the number of people forced to sell their home because they cannot meet the repayments.

Last year, 2,488 houses were told at auction by banks, down nearly 200 on 2011.

However, the number of householders selling their home through an estate agent because of mortgage arrears is increasing rapidly, the minister said. According to Dutch banking association figures, the number of off-auction forced sales was around 4,500 last year, up over 700 on a year ago.

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