What is a dead pledge?
Well, that is the literal translation of the word mortgage:
1390, from O.Fr. morgage (13c.), mort gaige, lit. "dead pledge"
(replaced in modern Fr. by hypothèque), from mort "dead" + gage
"pledge;" so called because the deal dies either when the debt is paid
or when payment fails. O.Fr. mort is from V.L. *mortus "dead," from L.
mortuus, pp. of mori "to die" (see mortal). The verb is first attested
The term comes from the Old French "dead pledge," and apparently meaning
that the pledge ends (dies) either when the obligation is fulfilled or
the property is taken through foreclosure:
Coke, Edward. Commentaries on the Laws of England. “[I]f he doth not pay, then the Land which is put in pledge upon condition for the payment of the money, is taken from him for ever, and so dead to him upon condition, &c. And if he doth pay the money, then the pledge is dead as to the Tenant”
Now you know . . .