Understanding Mortgages in Banking Law: A Comprehensive Guide


Banking institutions play a crucial role in facilitating commercial transactions and fostering economic development. This article explores the significant role of mortgages in banking law, with a focus on India. Mortgages serve as essential tools for banks to secure loans, mitigate risks, and ensure the repayment of borrowed funds with interest. We’ll delve into the various types of mortgages and their legal implications, shedding light on their importance in the banking sector.

  • The Banking Landscape in India: Banking institutions are vital pillars of economic growth in India. These entities primarily deal with public money, responsibly managing and channeling funds for various purposes while safeguarding the interests of depositors. Given the complexity of their responsibilities, banks often rely on collateral and security measures to minimize risk and protect depositor funds.
  • The Significance of Collaterals and Securities: To strike a balance in the banking business, collaterals and securities for loans assume paramount importance. Collaterals are assets or properties pledged by borrowers to secure loans. In the event of default, banks can seize and sell these assets to recover their dues. In this context, the law of mortgages plays a crucial role in shaping the banking landscape.
  • Understanding Mortgages in Banking Law: Mortgages of immovable properties and charges on them are regulated by Chapter IV of the Transfer of Property Act, encompassing Sections 58-104. Mortgages come in various forms, including simple mortgage, mortgage by conditional sale, usufructuary mortgage, English mortgage, mortgage by deposit of title deeds, and anomalous mortgage. Of these, mortgage by deposit of title deeds, also known as equitable mortgage, is particularly relevant to banking institutions.
  • Equitable Mortgage: A Banker’s Ally: Equitable mortgage, facilitated by the deposit of title deeds, offers banks a flexible and cost-effective means of securing loans. Unlike other forms of mortgages, equitable mortgages do not require extensive documentation, stamp duty, or registration. This type of mortgage focuses on the borrower’s interest in the property rather than the property itself, making it an attractive option for securing loans.
  • Creating an Equitable Mortgage: To create an equitable mortgage, the borrower must deliver the title deeds of the property to the lender, demonstrating an intent to secure the loan. This delivery of title deeds is essential for the mortgage to be legally binding. Notably, the property being mortgaged can be located anywhere in India, even in designated cities other than its actual location.
  • Legal Implications of Equitable Mortgages: Equitable mortgages are exempt from stamp duty and registration requirements, simplifying the lending process for banks. Various court decisions have upheld the validity of equitable mortgages, making them a reliable tool for banks to secure their loans.
  • Rights and Remedies of Mortgagees: The law provides several rights and remedies to mortgagees (lenders) in case of default by the mortgagor (borrower). These include the right to sell the mortgaged property to recover dues, marshalling, and contribution. Additionally, the Debt Recovery Tribunal Act and the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act empower banks to recover debts expeditiously.
  • Challenges and the Way Forward: While the legal framework supports banks in recovering their dues, challenges persist. High-profile default cases and political interference have highlighted the need for stricter fiscal discipline and regulatory oversight. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as India’s central bank, plays a crucial role in monitoring and enforcing fiscal discipline to protect depositors’ interests.


Mortgages are integral to the functioning of the banking sector, providing banks with the necessary security to lend funds for economic development. Equitable mortgages, in particular, offer a streamlined and cost-effective way for banks to secure loans. Understanding the legal aspects of mortgages is crucial for both lenders and borrowers, ensuring a transparent and efficient banking system.

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner