Mortgages and trust deeds

Mortgages and trust deeds are liens, or charges upon a property, by which property or title has been made the security for repayment of money by the borrower. The term "mortgage" is commonly used with two different meanings. In its generic meaning, the word mortgage is used to describe any device used for the pledging of property to a creditor as security for the payment of a debt. In that sense of the word, it is correct to say that in California we usually use the deed of trust as our form of mortgage. In California we have "mortgage companies," not "trust deed companies." On the other hand, a standard mortgage contract is technically quite different from a trust deed and is rarely used in California, although it is still used in a majority of the states.

We will look at mortgages and trust deeds as distinctly different instruments, although both have the same purpose as security devices.

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