Some states make the legal assumption, based on title theory, that the mortgagee is a partial owner of the real estate securing the mortgage and remains as is until the debt is fully paid. That is, if the borrower defaults, the lender may take immediate control of the property for purposes of satisfying the outstanding debt. In other states where lien theory is followed, the mortgage lender may not take immediate possession of the property, but rather must initiate foreclosure proceedings.
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