A mortgage loan, also referred to as a mortgage, is used by purchasers of real property to raise money to buy the property to be purchased or by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose. The loan is "secured" on the borrower's property. This means that a legal mechanism is put in place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property to pay off the loan in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a "law French" term used by English lawyers in the middle ages meaning "death pledge", and refers to the pledge ending when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure. Mortgage borrowers can be individuals mortgaging their home or they can be businesses mortgaging commercial property. The lender will typically be a financial institution, such as a bank, credit union or building society, depending on the country concerned, and the loan arrangements can be made either directly or indirectly through intermediaries.
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