What is a “mortgage”?

Updated March 13, 2023.

The word “mortgage” is typically used to refer to a loan to buy real property. Technically, however, the document that evidences the borrowing of money is called a “Note” or a “Promissory Note”. The note outlines the terms and conditions of the loan. A “Mortgage”, on the other hand, is the document that ties the real property to the loan as collateral or security for the repayment of the loan. If the Note is not paid in accordance with the agreed upon terms, the Mortgage allows the lender to sell the real property in order to pay off the loan. Contrary to popular belief, the fact that the bank holds your mortgage does not mean that the bank “owns” your house. You own your house. The bank simply has the right to use the value in your house to pay off your obligation to them, if you fail to do so.

FEATURED NEWS AND ARTICLES

Read our latest news and blogs that discuss important legal issues.

person writing with a pen on a table next to a calculator
Federal Estate Tax Change Scheduled for January 1, 2026. Be Aware of the New York State Tax “Cliff”.
Read More
Foam linked to cancer
Chemicals in Firefighting Foam Linked to Cancer
Read More

Get in touch

Please do not provide any sensitive information (i.e. bank account information or social security number).

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Why Choose Lacy Katzen

Our mission is to ethically serve our clients with excellence and teamwork each day.

experience
Over 73 Years of Experience
best
Nine Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America®
ranked
Ranked by Best Lawyers as a Best Law Firm®
super
Six Attorneys Named as Super Lawyers
college
One Attorney is a Fellow at the American College of Trial Lawyers

Accessibility Toolbar