Abstract: The problem of excessive debt among households in Sweden is increasing. As a result of the development within the financial sector, households in Sweden have increased their debt incurrence markedly. It has been relatively easy to borrow money, due to the deregulation of the credit market in Sweden in the 1990s and the low interest rates in recent years. As mortgage loan is the bulk of the total household debt, the risk that individuals will be affected by excessive debt incurrence and insolvency has therefore increased. Therefore, a number of new legislative changes have been implemented to overcome this problem. In order to prevent these risks, the Financial Authority has adopted a rule that stipulates that new loans should not exceed 85% of the property market value. Reports from both the Swedish Enforcement Authority and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority show that 20% of Swedish households have a difficult time making ends meet. Those who are affected by excessive debt often experience a lower standard of living since frequently they are impacted by distraint.
The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the excessive debt situation in terms of insolvency and effects on households and society. Firstly, we intend to investigate foreclosures in Sweden, both regionally and over time. Why are certain regions less frequently affected by these risks while other regions show higher levels of risk even during generally good years? Secondly, we will investigate whether (a) whether properties that have undergone executive auction are sold at a lesser value, (b) if these properties have an impact on the property prices in the vicinity and (c) if those who buy these properties themselves run a greater risk of insolvency. Thirdly, a closely related area of legal interest is investigating to what extent legislation provides a protective net for the debtor who, through the executive auction, thereby loses his/her residence.European Review of Private Law