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Mortgagee versus Mortgagor

Posted by Sherry Rioux on December 22, 2011

People often get confused by the difference between “mortgagor” and “mortgagee”.

It certainly is confusing because of the common language we use which is, all wrong.  When buying a home, we go to a lender “to get a mortgage” but actually, that is that is not what we are doing at all.

A mortgage is a financial claim against your property. You sign a document giving that claim to the lender, and in return they give you the money.

In effect, YOU are giving the lender something and that is, a personal promise to pay. It is YOU who mortgages the property.  The lender doesn’t GIVE a mortgage, they TAKE a mortgage.  They are taking a financial claim against your property and you are giving them a promise to pay.

So, you don’t go to a lender to “get a mortgage” but you do go to a lender to have them take a mortgage. The person who performs the action is the “or” or “er” actor. Think of “employer” or “donor”. That makes YOU, the borrower, the “mortgagor”. You’re doing the mortgaging.

The lender on the other hand, takes your mortgage. And the recipient is always the “ee” figure. That makes the lender the “mortgagee”.

I read a tip somewhere that said you can remember the difference by noticing that “borrower” has two “o”s in it, and so does “mortgagor.” “Lender”, on the other hand, has two “e”s, and so does “mortgagee”.

So now you know.  Clear as mud?


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