The mortgage is a real security granted by the borrower on a real estate to the benefit of a lender, generally a bank.

In concrete terms, the lender has a guarantee on a real estate property, in case of default of payment by the borrower. The lender will be able to force the sale of this property in order to be reimbursed.

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In France, the mortgage must be established by the notary and published at the land registry office.

  • The rank of the mortgage

Sometimes several lenders have a mortgage on the same property.
The rank is a fundamental criterion that will determine the order of priority for repayment when the property is sold. The rank simply depends on the respective dates of registration of the mortgages.

However, it should be noted that in the event of liquidation of a company, the mortgage lender may be preceded by creditors with a general lien such as the Treasury or the company's employees, and potentially lose all or part of its claim.


The mortgage gives the creditor (lender) the right of preference and the right to follow.

  • The right of preference

The preferential right allows the lender, in case of non-repayment of a debt, to demand the forced sale of the property at public auction.

In other words, if the loan agreement is not honored, the lender has the right to have the property sold and thus repay itself with the proceeds of the sale.

  • The right of resale

Thanks to the right of resale, once the mortgage has not been discharged, the borrower cannot sell the property without first repaying the loan unless the new buyer agrees to accept a mortgaged property.

Example: With a view to the acquisition of a property, a real estate developer issues a €500,000 bond loan with a 12-month term, secured by a first-ranking mortgage. If the borrower does not repay this loan within the time limits stipulated in the contract, the company Raizers, in its capacity as representative of the bondholders, may obtain the seizure of the property in order to force its sale and thus obtain its reimbursement.

The release

One year after the last credit term, the registration of the mortgage expires by itself, but it can be extended if the loan is not repaid.
If the property is resold before the loan is fully repaid, the purchaser of the property will request the release of the mortgage, as the creditor can have the property sold even if the owner has changed. The cancellation of the mortgage is done with the mortgage registrar through a notary. It thus entails costs that are to be paid by the seller.


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