More Norwegians defaulting on mortgages

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More than 15,000 properties in Norway were ordered sold last year, after their mortgage holders failed to make payments. The number of ordered sales has risen more than 35 percent in the past three years.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported, however, that only around 10 percent of sales ordered actually were carried out with borrowers losing their homes. That’s because most manage to bring their payments current or work out a solution with their lenders.

“For many, it takes time for them to understand the seriousness of their situation,” lawyer Torolv Sundfør, who deals with default cases, told DN.

Many of the cases involve other unpaid debts than the mortgage, including credit card debt. One lawyer told DN that he thinks some creditors move too quickly to petition for a forced sale, with one borrower threatened with losing his home because of failure to pay a bill for just NOK 4,000 (USD 700).

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