How do I apply for a court-ordered precautionary mortgage?

Verified 26 September 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you doubt that your debtor reimburse you on the scheduled date, you can request a court mortgage on a property (house, apartment, land ...) belonging to it. This mortgage, temporary and then final, gives you the guarantee of being repaid, whatever happens.

Step-by-step approach

You must ask the court to authorize you to register a mortgage on the property (house, apartment, land ...) belonging to your debtor.


in view of the complexity of this procedure (in particular the deadlines to be respected), it is advisable to use a lawyer.

In order for your application to be admissible, you must have proof:

  • that the debtor actually owes you money
  • and there is a risk that the debtor will attempt not to pay the amount due.

The court concerned depends on the nature of your claim :

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Debt linked to a contract with an individual

You must submit a request to enforcement judge of the court where the debtor resides.

If the claim is greater than €10,000, the application must be made by a lawyer.

However, given the complexity of the procedure (obligation to respect certain deadlines), it is advisable to use a lawyer, even if the claim is lower.

The judge makes his decision without the debtor being summoned and without debate.

Claim linked to a contract with a professional

You must address the President of the Commercial Court of the place where the debtor lives.

Who shall I contact

Decision of the judge

If the judge considers your application to be well founded, he or she will authorize you to register an interim mortgage (also known as conservatory mortgage) on one or more assets of the debtor.

The decision of the judge, called ordinance, specifies the following 2 items:

  • Amount of the claim concerned
  • Property(ies) concerned
Registration of the mortgage

You must have a lawyer register the interim mortgage with the property advertising service (ex-mortgage retention).

Registration must be made within 3 months of the judge's decision.

It is valid for 3 years.

Who shall I contact
Informing the debtor

You must then instruct a Commissioner of Justice (formerly a bailiff and judicial auctioneer) to inform the debtor of the registration of the mortgage. The Commissioner of Justice must inform the debtor within 8 days of the registration of the mortgage.

Effects of the provisional mortgage

If the debtor sells the mortgaged property, the amount he owes you may be deducted from the sale price. This amount is kept by the notary before being given to you.

After the provisional registration of the mortgage, you have 1 month to take legal action to obtain a enforceable title, unless you already have one.

Once you obtain the enforceable title, you have 2 months to permanently register the mortgage in the land advertising service.

Please note

If the amount of the claim is large, and the debtor does not pay you on the scheduled date, you can incur a foreclosure proceedings.

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