Monday, July 9, 2012

Mortgage holder = lender

WARNING: pedantic rant follows.

Now see here, you lot. Let's get this straight.

The term 'mortgage holder'. It refers to a lender.

The lender holds the mortgage (that is, a legal interest in property) as security for the loan they've given.

The mortgage is given by the borrower. For this reason, the borrower is sometimes called a 'mortgagor' (and the lender a 'mortgagee'). If you want to call the borrower anything else, they should be called a 'mortgage giver'. You're probably better off just calling them a 'borrower'.

Long-time Brown Couch readers might recall that we've raised this issue before. At the time, we booed a couple of journalists for misusing 'mortgage holder'. Seems we didn't go far enough.  Seems that every journalist and sub-editor is doing it.

Now we've got the Federal Government – and even the otherwise learned National Housing Supply Council – misusing 'mortgage holder' for 'borrower'.

Seems everyone in Australia is getting it wrong.

Mind you, in other countries people get it right. Do a quick google of the term 'mortgage holder' and you'll find any number of international sources, including dictionaries, that refer to mortgage holders as lenders. And you'll find a bunch of Australian sources doing the opposite.

Keep it up and we'll probably end up also mixing up 'mortgagee' and 'mortgagor', while the rest of the world thinks we're babbling idiots.

Mortgage holder = lender.

Pedantic rant ends.

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