“Dead Pledge”

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
1467.

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 . . .

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. yanni raz commented on Jul 23

    Wake up call number 6? IndyMac is not the first one to go.

    American’s woke up to another slap in the face, IndyMac.
    The bank giant where many people deposited their life savings is going out of business.
    There you had them!

    People waiting in line to take their money out, only to be rejected later by other bank institutions when trying to deposit their money or what they could get of it because the letterhead of the cashier’s check had the infamous word: Indymac.

    It was reported in the media that a california woman tried to deposit a cashier’s check from Indymac at a washington mutual branch in pasadena and she was told that it could take up to eight weeks for her funds to be available
    Other bank institutions said that they are following the federal guidelines in regards to availability of funds on the new deposits, and that those same guidelines apply to checks from indymac.

    The truth of the matter is that failures like indymac’s have name: greed from the Real Estate boom.
    Now banks are paying the consequences, first it was Countrywide that have bailed out by a purchase from Bank of America, not without having the ceo (angelo mozillo) walk away with a multimillion severance package.
    Now indymac is under investigation by the fbi for possible fraud in the subprime market.

    According to the media reports, the investigation is focusing in the company and not in the individuals who run it.
    Apparently, indymac officials approved loans to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to qualify for one, leaving now thousands on the verge of foreclosure.

  2. Azran commented on Jul 23

    Stimulus Package “Deja vu”, Not really!

    As the brains of our economy continue to brainstorm how to get us out of the mess the real estate market first got us in and now high gas prices and a declining economy over all the easy way out seems to be again, an economic stimulus package.

    Not so fast, not again.

    First president bush opposes it.
    Second, according to the experts only 20 percent of the people who got stimulus package number one said the rebate led them to spend more and the rest, well it seems that the rest just took the money and put it into their savings account.

    Economic stimulus package number one was suppose to get our slow economy going, by then president bush had not heard of a 4 dollar a gallon of gasoline.
    By now that’s old news and as he put it on he’s own words “he’s heard of it now”.

    Well now mr president one gallon of gas almost hits the 5 dollar mark, have you heard of it?

    Anyhow, the 100 billion dollars in checks that circulated among many Americans (600.00 for singles, 1,200.00 for couples) apparently didn’t help.
    The money went out on time and gas prices went up just on time as well.
    With gas prices, food prices also went up.
    Isn’t that how it usually works?
    Gas prices go up everything goes up, after all business have to make up for the extra expenses and they just pass the check onto us.

    Here’s an idea!

    How about lowering the tax on gasoline?
    Do we really know how much money we pay on gas taxes in the u.s?
    Aren’t this taxes imposed by our government, well maybe our government can really give a stimulus to our morale and lower the taxes we pay on gas prices.
    A lower tax in gasoline prices will stimulate business and consumers, it’s not rocket science!

    Source for this quote: Wikipedia
    “Fuel taxes in the United States vary by state. For the first quarter of 2008, the average state gasoline tax is 28.6 cents per US gallon, plus 18.4 cents per US gallon federal tax making the total 47 cents per US gallon”

  3. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Jul 23

    “Beaurocratic capture,” is the crux of why we are in this mess – Oh but Mr./Mrs. Congress Person: I can give you this rate of interest; or how about some money towards your next election; perhaps one of your relatives need a job; have you ever thought about buying our stock? Here, will put you on our corporate board and give you some options.

  4. BustaMove commented on Jul 23

    Is that why all my friends who bought a house in the last couple of years have a ghostly pallor?

    BR – Great post! I’m a huge fan of Etymology, and this one seems apropos.

  5. super-anon commented on Jul 23

    IIRC at the end of the Great Depression people were horrified at the emergence of these long-term mortgage loans.

    “One day they’ll bring down the entire nation.”

  6. O2 commented on Jul 23

    “Here’s an idea!

    How about lowering the tax on gasoline? ”

    Here’s another idea: Gas prices wouldn’t matter so much if we weren’t so dependent on fossil fuels. Lowering taxes and more drilling are short term (short sighted, too) solutions to a long term problem. Time to step away from the pitcher of Koolaid.

  7. John F. commented on Jul 23

    In a deflationary environment, people will be mortified at how slowly their debt amortizes.

  8. W P Gardner commented on Jul 23

    When the word “mortgage” was new it was about a very shameful thing: aristocrats were supposed to keep their land in their family for perpetuity. There was a related term, “mortmain”, a dead hand, which was a legal restriction saying that an institution (a church, say) owned property in perpetuity but could not sell or mortgage it. The dead hand is sort of like auto-pilot. These words are of Norman French origin, like a lot of other English legal terms.

    It is funny that somehow mortgages became “nice”. I own my house; I have no mortgage. I am a member of a small minority of people in that category.

    In some languages–German, for example–the word used is related to the word “hypothecate”, which is of Greek origin.

  9. Braunn commented on Jul 23

    Azran, did you read the rest of that Wiki entry? $.47 of your “nearly $5 mark” gallon of gas is near or below 10% in taxes. Most European nations (at least those cited in that article) are paying 50% or more in taxes.

    If you do lower or remove the gasoline tax, where do you come up with the funds to keep the roads and bridges in operation? Though, I suppose, if the roads crumble and the bridges collapse, we won’t need automobiles anymore…problem solved.

    IMHO, O2 is on the right track…solve our dependence on foriegn (or any other) oil. Perhaps what we should do is RAISE taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels and use the increased (albeit temporarily, as people will modify their consumption in response) revenues to fund research into alternatives.

    Alternatives are a pipe dream? A viable electric car is impossible? Tell that to the people currently selling them for $100k each. (google Tesla Roadster)

    Not to mention the fact that its been done before! (google Who Killed the Electric Car?)

    If we could get Detroit, or heck, even Japan, to pick up this ball and run with it, they could have a viable mass-produced reasonably priced option on the market before the first drop of oil is pulled from ANWR.

  10. omodes commented on Jul 24

    wow. I was thinking the same exact thing just two days ago. with a focus on the mort part meaning dead.

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