A mortgage is a debt instrument typically used as a finance mechanism to purchase real estate. When purchasing a piece of property or a home, new owners typically do not purchase the entire piece of real estate up front.
As a mechanism to make a claim on the property while agreement to a set arrangements of payments to purchase it, a mortgage can be initiated. Over a period of several years, the borrower repays the loan, plus interest, until he/she eventually owns the property free and clear.
Mortgages are also known as "liens against property" or "claims on property."
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