“A conveyance of lands by a debtor to his creditor as a pledge and security for the repayment of a sum of money borrowed, or performance of a covenant . . . with a proviso that such conveyance shall be void on payment of the money and interest on a certain day.” Traditionally, mortgaged property provided the creditor a guarantee or security for repayment without denying the debtor use of the property. In courts following English legal traditions, mortgaged land was held “merely as a pledge or security” and the person paying the mortgage was “held to be the real owner of the land, the debt being considered the principal, and the land the accessory.”