EQUITY OF REDEMPTION. A right which the mortgagee of an estate has of
redeeming it, after it has been forfeited at law by the non-payment at, the
time appointed of the money secured by the mortgage to be paid, by paying
the amount of the debt, interest and costs.
2. An equity of redemption is a mere creature of a court of equity, founded on this principle, that as a mortgage is a pledge for securing the repayment of a sum of money to the mortgagee, it is but natural justice to consider the ownership of the land as still vested in the mortgagor, subject only to the legal title of the mortgagee, so far as such legal title is necessary to his security.
3. In Pennsylvania, however, redemption is a legal right. 11 Serg. & Rawle, 223.
4. The phrase equity of redemption is indiscriminately, though perhaps not correctly applied, to the right of the mortgagor to regain his estate, both before and after breach of condition, In North Carolina by statute the former is called a legal right of redemption; and the latter the equity of redemption, thereby keeping a just distinction between these estates. 1 N. C. Rev. St. 266; 4 McCord, 340.
5. Once a mortgage always a mortgage, is a universal rule in equity. The right of redemption is said to be as inseparable from a mortgage, as that of replevying from a distress, and every attempt to limit this right must fail. 2 Chan. Cas. 22; 1 Vern. 33, 190; 2 John. Ch. R. 30; 7 John. Ch. R. 40; 7 Cranch, R. 218; 2 Cowen, 324; 1 Yeates, R. 584; 2 Chan. R. 221; 2 Sumner, R. 487.
6. The right of redemption exists, not only in the mortgagor himself, but in his heirs, and personal representatives, and assignee, and in every other person who has an interest in, or a legal or equitable lien upon the lands; and therefore a tenant in dower, a jointress, a tenant by the curtesy, a remainder-man and a reversioner, a judgment creditor, and every other incumbrancer, unless he be an incumbrancer pendente lite, may redeem. 4 Kent, Com. 156; 5 Pick. R. 149; 9 John. R. 591, 611; 9 Mass. R. 422; 2 Litt. R. 334; 1 Pick. R. 485; 14 Wend. R. 233; 5 John. Ch. R. 482; 6 N. H. Rep. 25; 7 Vin. Ab. 52. Vide, generally, Cruise, Dig. tit. 15, c. 3; 4 Kent, Com. 148; Pow. on Mortg. eh. 10 and 11; 2 Black. Com. 158; 13 Vin. Ab. 458; 2 Supp. to Ves. Jr. 368; 2 Jac. & Walk. 194, n.; 1 Hill. Ab. c. 31; and article Stellionate.