Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mortgagors and mortgagees

A quick grumble - in today's Herald Jessica Irvine and Phillip Coorey write that:

MORTGAGE holders will be about $1000 a month better off in total next week

Leaving aside the problem of the assumptions underpinning this prediction, the use of the term 'mortgage holders' is wrong.

Irvine and Coorey mean to refer to persons who have borrowed money from banks. These persons are not mortgage holders. They are mortgage givers, or 'mortgagors'. It is the banks who are the mortgage holders, or 'mortgagees'.

A mortgage is an interest in property. It gives its holder certain rights over the property in certain circumstances. A property owner can, so to speak, carve out a mortgage from their own interest in the property, and give the mortgage to another person. Typically they will do so in return for the other person having lent them money.

  • mortgagee = lender
  • mortgagor = borrower
Boo to Irvine and Coorey, and double boo to their subeditors at the Herald.


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