WHAT IS A MORTGAGE?
A legal agreement that conveys the conditional right of ownership on an asset or property by its owner (the mortgagor) to a lender (the mortgagee) as security for a loan. The lender's security interest is recorded in the register of title documents to make it public information, and is voided when the loan is repaid in full.
Virtually any legally owned property can be mortgaged, although real property (land and buildings) are the most common. When personal property (appliances, cars, jewelry, etc.) is mortgaged, it is called a chattel mortgage. In case of equipment, real property, and vehicles, the right of possession and use of the mortgaged item normally remains with the mortgagor but (unless specifically prohibited in the mortgage agreement) the mortgagee has the right to take its possession (by following the prescribed procedure) at any time to protect his or her security interest.