In a given legal environment, a lot depends on whether you can just walk away from a mortgage. One reason for the subprime crisis in the United States was the fact that it was relatively easy for people to contract a mortgage and then just walk away. The government was backing home ownership.
In many English common law countries, it is not that simple. Canada, for example, does not let a homeowner just walk away from a mortgage. That is because the government doesn’t get involved, except for policing the soundness of banks. Mortgage lending is based on the savings invested in the bank, savings that will not likely be required in the next few weeks—but might be.