MORTGAGE

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The conveyance of an estate or property by way of pledge for the security of debt, and to become void on payment of it. An estate created by a conveyance absolute in its form, but intended to secure the performance of some act, such as the payment of money, and the like, by the grantor or some other person, and to become void if the act is performed agreeably to the terms prescribed at the time of making such conveyance. Both real and personal property may be mortgaged, and in substantially the same manner, except that a mortgage being in its nature a transfer of title, the laws representing the necessity of possession of personal property and the nature of instruments of transfer being different, require the transfer to be made differently in the two cases. The foregoing definitions are applicable to the common-law conception of a mortgage. But in many states in modern times, it is regarded as a mere lien, and not as creating a title or estate. It is a pledge or security of particular property for the payment of a debt or the performance of some other obligation, whatever form the transaction may take, but is not now regarded as a conveyance in effect, though it may be cast in the form of a conveyance.