Written instrument creating a lien on real property; means by which title to real property is held as security for the repayment of a debt. In the case of a mortgage, buyer borrows money from a lender (beneficiary). Loan is documented with a promissory note and secured by a mortgage or other security interest from a grantor (the trustor). In states that recognize deeds of trust, title to the property is conveyed to a third party (the trustee), who holds the property for the benefit of the lender. The trust document states that if the obligation is satisfied, the property will be reconveyed to the borrower. If the borrower defaults, the trustee must sell the property and use the proceeds to pay the lender.