Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Mortgage

An arrangement under which a borrower puts up the title to real estate as security (collateral) for a loan to buy the real estate. The borrower typically agrees to make regular payments of principal and interest to repay the loan. If the borrower falls behind (defaults) on the payments, the lender can foreclose on the real estate and have it sold to pay off the loan. Compare: trust deed
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