Memorandum of Entry for equitable mortgages: A Mortgage by Conduct?

– Neha Sinha, Assistant Legal Advisor | Shraddha Shivani, Executive |

Mortgage is a transfer of an interest in a specific immovable property for the purpose of securing the payment of money advanced or to be advanced by way of loan, an existing or future debt or the performance of an agreement, which may give rise to a pecuniary liability.

Section 58(f) of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (“TP Act”) provides, among other modes, for the creation of mortgage by deposit of title deeds, widely known as equitable mortgage.  Applicable to the notified towns under this provision, when a person delivers to a creditor or his agent documents of title deeds to immoveable property, with an intent to create security, then the transaction is called mortgage by deposit of title deeds.

Legally there is no document needed to create an equitable mortgage. In fact, if there is a document, it will be mortgage by instrument and not mortgage by conduct, and hence, will cease to be an equitable mortgage. The Supreme Court expounded in Rachpal Mahraj v. Bhagwandas Daruka and others[1]

“…when the debtor deposits with the creditor the title deeds of his property with intent to create a security, the law implies a contract between the parties to create a mortgage, and no registered instrument is required under section 59 as in other forms of mortgage.

However, in practice, a memorandum accompanies the deposit of title deeds. The lender may execute a Memorandum of Entry (“MoE”) which records the delivery of title documents for the creation of mortgage by the mortgagor to the lender. The purpose of the MoE is most intuitive – the title deeds are valuable documents, and lie with the lender or a trustee for the lender. The MoE serves as a matter of record that the borrower placed these documents of his own free will with the intention to create a charge on his property with the lender/trustee, as also serves as a safeguard if the borrower were to play mischief claiming those very title deeds having been lost.

The borrower may also give an undertaking known as Memorandum of Deposit of Title Deed (“MoDT”) which states that the borrower, at his own free will, has deposited his property’s title document with the lender in order to secure a loan by creating a mortgage.

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