AgentMortgage

Operating abroad risky for U.S. mortgage lenders

Currency issues, lien enforcement are big drawbacks

"I plan to buy a house on the Costa Brava in Spain. Can I find a U.S. lender for the mortgage I will need?" No, the best you could do is get a referral to a local (Spanish) lender. With very few exceptions, U.S. mortgage lenders don't lend outside the United States. In most other countries, you must be licensed to make mortgage loans, which U.S. lenders are not. Even if no license was required, U.S. lenders making mortgage loans in other countries could not enforce their liens against borrowers in default except by complying with the local rules regarding how liens are established and enforced. These rules are mainly determined by local laws and customs, and are often affected by local politics. It is difficult enough, even in the United States, for a lender to take someone's home away from them for failure to repay their loan. No lender wants to do it in a foreign country. Even within the United States, our 50 states have 50 different sets of laws on lien enforcement. While differi...