At law, a mortgage of land formerly took the form of a conveyance to the creditor on condition that if the money was repaid on the specified date, the creditor would reconvey the land but if the condition was not strictly complied with the debtor would lose the land forever and remain liable for the debt. The Court of Chancery intervened to permit the debtor to redeem the mortgage on performance of the conditions, notwithstanding his failure to do so by the specified date, and this right, known as the 'equity of redemption', arose to provide relief against penalties1.
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