Is “mortgage” a Noun or a Verb?


Much of the confusion concerning mortgages and notes today actually stems from a semantic problem:  Is “mortgage” a noun or a verb?  Unfortunately, many people use the word “mortgage” to mean a loan, saying things such as “I got a mortgage from the bank”; or “Who owns the mortgage?”.  This leads to confusion since “mortgage” is really a pledge of property as security, and does not have a separate existence from the note that it guarantees.  Since “mortgage” really means to pledge, which is a verb, it should not be used as a noun.  Here are some common misuses of the word “mortgage”:

WRONG
CORRECT

I got a mortgage from the bank.
I got a loan from the bank.
I took a mortgage.
I borrowerd money and I mortgaged the house.
I signed the mortgage.
I signed the mortgage document.
The owner of the mortgage is not the owner of the note.
The title owner of the note/mortgage is not the equitable owner of the note/mortgage.

While the difference between relating to the word “mortgage” as a noun or a verb might seem trivial, we will see that misuse of the word has caused endless headaches, misunderstandings, confusion, and legal wrangling.