Mortgage loan novation | Jesús Benavides Notary's Office
Real estate and mortgage

Mortgage loan novation

Step 1

What is a mortgage loan novation?

It is the notarial document that takes place when the owner of a mortgaged property reaches an agreement with his creditor financial institution to modify the initial conditions of the mortgage loan granted, so that, by mutual agreement, some or several of the essential aspects of the loan contract signed in the past are modified.

Step 2

What documentation do I need to go to the notary to formalize my mortgage loan novation or modification?

Step 3

How much does it cost to formalize the novation of my mortgage loan before a notary?

Through the following calculator it is offered to be able to know in advance with great exactitude which will be those expenses of notary, registry and tax (in its case). This calculator has parameterized both the notary and registry fees. From a fiscal point of view, the general rule is that the modification of conditions in the mortgage loan is exempt from the Tax of Documented Legal Acts (as long as the financial entity does not increase the amount of the loan).

We are currently developing this calculator. Please check back soon so that we can calculate your budget.
Step 4

More frequently asked questions

What is the novation or modification of a mortgage loan?

The novation or modification of a mortgage loan, as its name indicates, is an operation by virtue of which both contracting parties, that is to say, the financial institution as creditor and the owner of the mortgaged property, as debtor, agree to vary or modify some of the essential elements of the loan contract with mortgage guarantee that they subscribed in the past, so that, reached this new agreement, said aspect of the contract will be modified for the rest of the validity of the same.

What aspects of the contract can be affected by the novation or modification of the mortgage loan?

The novation or modification of the mortgage loan can affect, in essence, any part or covenant of the original contract, however, the most common modifications that we can find in reality are the following:

  • Modification of the interest rate: The percentage of the loaned capital that the debtor pays to the creditor as remuneration for lending him the money is modified.
  • Modification of the repayment term: The parties agree to extend the loan repayment term, so that if, for example, the principal loaned was initially to be repaid within 30 years, after this modification, the debt will be repaid in installments over a period of 35 years. Logically, extending the life of the loan will result in a reduction of the monthly payment.
  • Increase of the borrowed capital: Faced with new financing needs, creditor and debtor agree to increase the amount of the loan , so that if, for example, the bank initially lent us 150,000 euros, it now lends us an additional 50,000 euros, so that the total debt is fixed at 200,000 euros.
  • Change of loan holders, so that the debtor's position, previously held by several persons, is now held by only one.

Beyond these most common modifications, as indicated above, novation can affect any other clause or agreement in the contract, such as:

  • The modification of the amortization system, that is to say, of the mathematical-financial formula that determines the monthly amount of the installment to be returned to our creditor financial institution.
  • Introduction of a grace period, i.e. a period in which no principal will be returned to the Bank or Savings Bank, but only the interest accrued.
  • The modification of the guarantees of the operation, so that if the loan now presents more risks, new assets can be encumbered with new mortgages or, on the contrary, if the debtor experiences an increase in its economic capacity or patrimony, a reduction of the same.

What can the novation or modification of the mortgage loan be used for?

The novation or modification of the mortgage loan, as has been indicated, implies a modification of some essential aspect of the contract. Thus, on this basis, depending on the specific aspect or aspects that are modified, the operation may contribute to satisfy different needs, among which the following stand out:

  • If the interest rate is modified, as a general rule, it will mean a reduction in the interest rate, since logically, the debtor will rarely accept a modification of his loan that involves applying a higher interest rate. Thus, if there has been a generalized and structural drop in interest rates in the real estate market, which is expected in the long term, so that the interest rate we are currently paying is much higher than that which corresponds to the new operations that are formalized, it is reasonable to think that the debtor, with the capacity to negotiate given the above circumstances, may agree with his Bank or Savings Bank a modification, downwards, of the interest rate applicable to his loan, which will essentially mean a reduction in the monthly payment he pays back to the entity.

    Likewise, if applicable, the modification of the applicable interest rate may involve a change from a variable to a fixed interest rate or, conversely, from a fixed to a variable interest rate.

    a) On this matter, the reader should bear in mind that, at present, given the circumstances of the mortgage market, opting for a fixed interest rate will mean paying a higher installment, but with the positive aspect that this will not change throughout the life of the loan.

    b) On the contrary, if we opt for a variable interest rate, at present, the installment to be paid will be lower, but with the uncertainty as to what will happen in the future, since if the interest rates rise, our installment will also be increased notably.

    In short, and for all the above, a modification of the interest rate of our loan can allow us to reduce the monthly payment (in case the circumstances of the market are more favorable) or, in its case, to modify the applicable interest rate for another different modality, which for example, in case of opting for a fixed interest rate, will allow us to make sure that during the whole life of the loan we will pay the same payment, which without a doubt contributes certainty and tranquility to our family economy.
  • If the repayment term is modified, this can be a way of obtaining a "cushion" in the face of a complex economic situation, because if the loan repayment term is extended, the monthly payments to be made will be lower, which can help a family to cope with a specific difficult financial situation, such as the unemployment of one of its members or an unforeseen increase in monthly expenses.
  • In case of opting for an increase of the loaned capital, its usefulness is evident, since the financial entity will lend us more money, with which we will be able to face that expense or investment whose necessity has appeared a posteriori, as for example it can be a few works of reform, the purchase of another real estate, the payment of the studies of a son, etc.
  • In the case of the modification of the debtors, it can serve to clarify the patrimonial situation after a separation or divorce, so that the spouse who is awarded the property of the habitual residence, now assumes exclusive ownership of the mortgage loan.
  • If we opt for the modification of the amortization system, this will have an impact on the monthly payment to be returned to the Bank, since depending on the new system chosen, this will imply a variation, both present and future, of the amount of the monthly payment that we pay to our entity. Thus, if we want to pay less money each month now, we can opt for an increasing installment system, while if on the other hand we want to pay more money in the present and less in the future, we can opt for a decreasing installment system.
  • If our mortgage loan is modified to introduce a grace period, this can help us to cope with a difficult economic situation, since during the grace period (for example 6 months or 1 year), we will only pay back to the Bank or Savings Bank interest and not capital, which will greatly reduce the amount to be paid each month, thus contributing to alleviate the financial stress that our personal finances may experience.
  • In the event of opting for a modification of the guarantees of the operation, this may imply:
  • ~Or a reduction thereof, so that, for example, if the debtor has experienced a significant increase in its assets or its economic capacity, the financial institution no longer considers it necessary to encumber the acquired property with a real right of mortgage, since it understands that the personal guarantee is sufficient. In such a case, by releasing the property from the encumbrance of the mortgage, if applicable, this may allow the owner to apply for another loan, now providing the released property as collateral.
  • ~On the other hand, if, for example, more money has been requested from the bank, it is possible that the bank will demand an increase in the guarantees, which may result in the need to mortgage another home, such as a second home owned by the debtor.

What do I have to do if I want to novate or modify my mortgage loan?

If I wish to modify or novate my mortgage loan, altering any of the conditions or aspects of the contract that have been explained, to achieve any of the purposes that have also been detailed, undoubtedly, the first and essential step will be to go to my Bank or Savings Bank to negotiate this modification, since like any contract, the loan that binds me to my financial institution can only be modified if both contracting parties reach an agreement in this sense.

Therefore, we will have to go to our manager at our Bank or Savings Bank, present the need that has arisen and negotiate accordingly the modification or modifications that we consider convenient, reaching an agreement between the parties if possible.

Once the modification to be made has been agreed, the next step will be to go to a Notary's office to formalize the novation of the mortgage loan, through the execution of the corresponding public deed, which, subsequently, must be registered in the corresponding Property Registry.

What is the novation or modification fee?

The novation or modification fee is the fee that a financial institution may charge if it agrees with its debtor client to modify the terms of the loan.

See more frequently asked questions

Is it legal for the financial entity to charge me a fee for the novation or modification of the mortgage loan?

Of course, this is possible and legal, as long as this commission and its possible amounts have been previously agreed in the loan contract, and all the requirements of transparency and non-abusiveness of the contractual clause in question are met.

Is there any limit to the fee for the novation or modification of the mortgage loan?

Beyond what the parties may have agreed, there are a series of rules that impose maximum limits on the novation fee that may be charged.

Thus, if the novation only involves an extension of the amortization term, in accordance with Article 10 of Law 2/1994, of March 30, 1994, on subrogation and modification of mortgage loans, the modification fee may not exceed 0.1% of the principal amount pending amortization.

In addition, if the novation or modification of the loan refers, specifically, to the applicable interest rate, it is necessary to take into account that Law 5/2019, of March 15, 2009, regulating real estate credit contracts (which will be applicable if the debtor is a consumer individual and the creditor is a professional, and the loan is intended for the purchase of a dwelling for residential use) establishes a series of limitations to its collection, namely:

  • If the novation of the interest rate involves the application during the remaining term of the contract of a fixed interest rate in substitution of a variable one, the compensation may not exceed the financial loss that the lender may suffer.
  • In addition, it is necessary to take into account that, after the first 3 years of the term of the loan contract, the lender may not demand any compensation or commission in the event of novation of the applicable interest rate, when this determines the application, henceforth and for the rest of the life of the loan, of a fixed interest rate".

Does the novation or modification of the mortgage loan imply the obligation to pay taxes?

In principle, it will indeed be necessary to pay the Stamp Duty, which can be between 0.5 and 1.5% of the value of the property, an amount that will be paid by the financial institution.

However, Law 2/1194 establishes a series of tax benefits, so that if the novation affects the initially agreed interest rate or the repayment term of the loan, the transaction will be exempt from the gradual modality of the Stamp Tax (Impuesto de Actos Jurídicos Documentados).

What other expenses may be involved in the operation and who pays for them?

The novation of the mortgage can, in some cases, and in others without doubt, generate a series of additional expenses that it is necessary to take into account, which are detailed below:

  • Appraisal of the property: If a new appraisal of the property is necessary, it will be at the expense of the debtor-owner.
  • Notary and Land Registry fees: In accordance with the recent Law 5/2019 and the doctrine of the Supreme Court, these must be paid by the lender.

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