A mortgage is the transfer of an interest in land as security for a loan or other responsibility. It is the universal method of financing real estate transactions. The mortgagor, usually a financial institution, is the provider of the loan or other interest given in exchange for the security interest. In general, a mortgage is paid in installments that include both interest and a payment on the principle amount that was borrowed. Failure to make payments results in the foreclosure of the mortgage. Foreclosure allows the mortgagee to affirm that the entire mortgage debt is due and must be paid immediately. This is accomplished through an acceleration clause in the mortgage. Failure to pay the mortgage debt once foreclosure of the land occurs leads to seizure of the security interest and its sale to pay for any remaining mortgage debt. The foreclosure process depends on state law and the terms of the mortgage. The most widespread processes are court proceedings (judicial foreclosure) and grants of power to the mortgagee to sell the property (power of sale foreclosure). Many states regulate acceleration clauses and allow late payments to steer clear of foreclosure.
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