Legal English – Peter’s Pills – Lesson 35 – Mortgage

Legal English for Notaries - By Federnotizie




Be careful of how you translate “Mortgage”. We use it to mean at least four different things like:

1. A loan (prestito; mutuo): We ask the bank for a mortgage when we want to buy a new home, e.g. (i) The bank granted her a mortgage of £200,000. (ii) She has to repay a mortgage of £200,000;

2. An agreement (Il contratto per il mutuo): It is a contract made between the bank that is lending money and the borrower. The mortgage agreement will specify the amount of money that the borrower receives, interest to be paid, and will state that the lender receives a lien (pegno) on the property. e.g. The mortgage will be signed tomorrow in the Regent Street branch of the bank;

3. A lien (pegno; vincolo): The mortgage is the lien over the real estate which the borrower grants to the lender. e.g. The bank has a mortgage over that home and must be repaid before title can pass to the new owner;

4. An instrument (strumento): The instrument by which rights are transferred. A civil-law hypotheca is the equivalent to an English mortgage by legal charge.

Remember that the person who borrows money from the bank and gives real estate as security (garanzia) is called the Mortgagor (debitore ipotecario). “Mortgager” and “Mortgageor” are less common spelling variations of “Mortgagor”. On the other hand, the bank, who accepts property as security, is called the Mortgagee (creditore ipotecario).

Thank you very much and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your Legal English!

The UK government has introduced a mortgage guarantee scheme to help people with limited resources to access mortgages. Read more here: “The mortgage guarantee scheme“.

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