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The Law and Economics of Secured Lending

Book | 1st edition 2021 | Belgium | Frederic Helsen

How can it be that people and businesses are ever unable to obtain credit? Why do lenders not simply increase the interest rate for high-risk borrowers? And if increased interest rates can’t solve the problem, then surely the use of collateral can?

As it turns out, things are not that simple. It seems that the laws of supply and demand do not fully apply to the credit market: low interest rates attract high demand, a part of which is never met, no matter what the interest rate. What is more, excessive interest rates seem to exacerbate the problem. Common knowledge holds that security interests provide at least a part of the answer, and yet economic theory has been ambiguous about them, to say the least.

This book provides an in-depth analysis of both the general economic theory of secured lending, as well as the very concrete and detailed aspects of the legal framework in which it takes place, in Belgium and the United States. Legal practitioners will find a deeper economic understanding of how credit works, and answers to legal questions that no traditional, inside-the-box legal handbook will ever ask. Economists will find theory applied to, and checked by, the legal reality in which they necessarily operate, down to minute detail.

DR. FREDERIC HELSEN (°1988) studied law, economics and business administration (bachelor, KU Leuven, 2009) and law (master, KU Leuven and Duke Law School, 2011). He then obtained a PhD from the Law Faculty of KU Leuven in 2016, after research stays at Harvard Law School (2014-2015) and Berkeley School of Law (2015) as a fellow of Fulbright and the BAEF. During this period, he also obtained his master's degree in Notary law from VUB in 2014. In 2021, he was appointed a notary, and is currently a partner in the leading Brussels-based firm Berquin Notaries.

Digital version available on :

  • Strada lex Belgium

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Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Hardback
EAN / ISSN 9781839701504
Series name Property Law Series
Weight 900 g
Status Available
Number of pages xii + 552 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jun 21, 2021
Available on Jurisquare Yes
Available on Strada Belgique Yes
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Part I. Introduction
  • Chapter I. Basic Economic Problem and Search for a Legal Solution
  • Chapter II. Methodology
  • Part II. Economic Framework
  • Chapter I. Secured Lending Theory: Preliminary Questions on the Efficiency of Security Interests
  • Chapter II. Credit Rationing
  • Chapter III. Why is Credit Rationing a Problem?
  • Chapter IV. Beneficial Effects of Security Interests on Credit Rationing
  • Chapter V. Costs of Security Interests
  • Chapter VI. Normative Implications – A Functional Design of the Optimal Security Interest System
  • Part III. Legal Framework
  • Chapter I. Location in Research Methodology
  • Chapter II. General Principles of Bankruptcy
  • Chapter III. Mortgages
  • Chapter IV. Movables
  • Part IV. Conclusion
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography