A mortgage is a method of using property either real or personal as security for the payment of a debt.
The term mortgage originates from the French language where it means "death vow" or a vow until death which to many seems very apt when looking at the beginning of a 30 year mortgage!
Mortgage refers to the legal device used in securing a property, but it is also commonly used to refer to the debt secured by the mortgage, or in other words the mortgage loan.
In most jurisdictions mortgages are strongly associated with loans secured on real estate rather than other property, such as ships, and in some cases only land may be mortgaged. Arranging a mortgage is seen as the standard method by which individuals and businesses can purchase residential and commercial real estate without the need to pay the full value immediately.
Participants in a mortgage over a property are the creditor such as a bank or lender who is often referred to as the mortgagee. The creditor has legal rights to the debt secured by the mortgage.
A debtor or debtors are referred to as the mortgagor, borrower or obligor. The debtor must meet the requirements of the mortgage and loan conditions that have been imposed by the creditor to avoid the creditor enacting provisions of the mortgage to recover a debt.
Other participants to a mortgage are often a lawyer, solicitor or conveyancer to assist with the legal exchange. A mortgage broker, finance broker, financial planner and or mortgagors accountant can also be participants in the process of acquiring or disposing of property subject to a mortgage.