According to the Webster’s dictionary, a mortgage is “The pledging of property to a creditor as security for the payment of a debt.” In plain terms, it is the legal contract that says if you don’t pay the loan back (along with all of the fees and interest that are included with it), then the lender can have your house.In the states following the “title theory”, the lender holds the title to your house until the debt is completely paid off, and the lender will sell your house in order to get the money back if you can’t make your mortgage payments. In states following the “Lien Theory”, the mortgagee holds a lien on your property and can foreclose on that lien and sell your property in the event you default under the mortgage.