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Laws Of Chattel Mortgages

( Originally Published 1918 )



Alabama.—Mortgage must be recorded in the county where the grantor resides, and also in the county where the property is, and if removed to a different county, must be recorded there within three months from such removal. May be fore-closed under a power of sale contained in the mortgage.

Arkansas.—Mortgage must be acknowledged and filed or recorded in the county where the mortgagor resides. After condition broken and suit, judgment is rendered for sale on three months' credit, the purchaser to give bond.

California.—Mortgage must not only be recorded in the county where the grantor lives and in the county where the property is, but, to hold against creditors, must be accompanied by an affidavit of all parties that it is made in good faith.

May be foreclosed after debt becomes due by public sale, as in the case of pledges, or foreclosure may be by action.

Colorado.—Mortgage must be acknowledged and recorded in order to bind third persons with-out actual notice, except where indebtedness does not exceed $300, and the time in which it is to mature does not exceed six months. No pro-vision as to foreclosure, except when in the form of a trust deed, when the trustee may sell at public auction.

Connecticut.—Must be executed, acknowledged, and recorded the same as deeds. Foreclosed upon breach of condition by sale by order of court.

Delaware.—Mortgage must be recorded within ten days, and be renewed every three years. Fore-closed by order of court.

Florida.—Mortgage must be acknowledged, or proved, the same as deeds, and must be recorded within ninety days, unless the property be delivered to the mortgagee. Foreclosed by petition to the circuit court of the county where the property is; if not exceeding $100 may be foreclosed in a justice's court.

Georgia.—Mortgage must be executed in the presence of, and attested by, a notary public, or a judge or clerk of court. Must be recorded within thirty days in the county where the mortgagor resides, and if the property is in another county, in that county also. Foreclosed by affidavit before justice, notary, or (if non-resident) commissioner for the state, as to amount due, filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county where the mortgagor resides. Sale after four weeks and advertising weekly by the sheriff.

Idaho.—Mortgage must be acknowledged by the mortgagor, who must make oath that it is made in good faith. Must be recorded in the county where the property is. Foreclosed by action in court and sheriff's sale.

Illinois.—Mortgage is not valid against third persons, except where property mortgaged is de-livered to the mortgagee, unless duly acknowledged and recorded. In counties having a population of less than 200,000, acknowledgment must be before a justice of the peace or county judge in the county in which the mortgagor resides; in counties having a population of more than 200,-000, before a justice of the peace (in Chicago, a clerk of a municipal court) of the town or precinct where the mortgagor resides. Must be filed for record in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, in case of a non-resident, in the county where the property is. Foreclosed usually by power of sale contained in the mortgage, except on household goods, wearing apparel, or mechanic's tools, which can be foreclosed only in a court of record. Wife must join in mortgage of household goods.

Indiana.—Mortgage must be acknowledged, and recorded in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, in the county where the property is, within ten days, or it will not be valid against third persons, unless possession of the property is delivered to the mortgagee. No formal suit for foreclosure is required, except in case of household goods.

Iowa.—Mortgage must be recorded in the county where the grantor resides, in order to be valid against third persons, and if duly recorded, is then good against all though the mortgagor remains in possession. If for the payment of money only, and the time of payment is fixed, may be foreclosed by notice and sale, unless other-wise provided, or by action in the superior court. Wife must sign with her husband in mortgage of property exempt from execution.

Kansas.—Unless the property be delivered to the mortgagee, to be valid against third persons. the mortgage or a true copy thereof, must be forthwith deposited in the office of the register of deeds in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, then where the property is.

After condition broken, the mortgagee may sell the property on ten days' notice by posted hand-bills without further proceedings. Any surplus goes to the mortgagor or subsequent mortgagee. Wife must sign with the husband in mortgage of property exempt from execution.

Kentucky.—Mortgage must be acknowledged, and recorded in the county where the mortgagor resides. Foreclosed by suit in equity. Mortgagor may redeem within five years ; and five years possession of the mortgagor acts as a bar to the mortgage.

Louisiana.—Chattel mortgages are unknown, but all corporeal things susceptible of alienation, and incorporated movables, such as credits and claims, can be pawned, and the creditor must be put in possession of the thing pawned by actual delivery, unless already in his possession. Pledge can lawfully authorize sale or other disposition of pledged property without intervention of courts.

Maine.—Unless the property is delivered to the mortgagee, to be valid against third persons the mortgage must be recorded in the town clerk's office where the mortgagor resides, or, if non-resident, where property is. Foreclosed by writ-ten notice served on the mortgagor by the mortgagee (or published, or copy left at place of last and usual abode, if he is out of the state) and recorded in the same place as the mortgage; foreclosure is completed in sixty days after the notice is recorded.

Maryland.—Mortgage must be acknowledged the same as deeds, and must be recorded within twenty days in the county or city where the mortgagor resides. Foreclosed by sale by order of a court of equity.

Massachusetts.—Mortgage, unless possession is given, to be valid against third persons must be recorded in the city or town where the mortgagor resides and also in the city or town where he transacts business, or, if a nonresident, in the city or town where the property is. Such record must be within fifteen days from date of the mortgage, but if to be recorded in two places the second record may be made within ten days of the first. Need not be under seal or acknowledged. Mortgagor may redeem after breach of condition. Right of redemption may be foreclosed by the exercise of the power of sale in the mortgage, or by failure to redeem for sixty days after the recording of a notice of intention to sell for breach, and affidavit of service of such notice upon the mortgagor, personally or by publication.

Michigan.—Mortgage, or a true copy of it, must be filed in the office of the township or city clerk of the township or city where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, in the office of the clerk of the township or city where the property is, or it is void as to third person, unless there is an actual and continued change of possession of the property mortgaged. Affidavit as to continuing interest must be filed by mortgagee every year. Mortgage usually contains a power of sale, and where it does not, may be foreclosed by proceedings in chancery.

Minnesota.—Mortgage must be made in good faith, and unless accompanied by immediate de-livery and followed by actual and continued change of possession of the things mortgaged, is void as to third persons, unless attested by two witnesses and duly acknowledged, and filed in the office of the clerk or recorder of the town, city, or village where the property is. Record ceases to be notice after six years from date of filing, unless the whole debt is not then due by the terms of the mortgage, in which case the lien continues two years after maturity. Husband and wife must join in mortgage of exempt property. The mortgagor or lien-holder may redeem after condition broken at any time before foreclosure, and two days after foreclosure sale. Foreclosure is by public sale, upon previous written notice, given at least ten days before the sale.

Mississippi.—Mortgage must be acknowledged, and recorded in the office of the court of chancery of the county where the property is. Fore-closed according to terms of the mortgage.

Missouri. Mortgage must be filed in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county where the grantor resides, or, if a non-resident, in the office of the recorder of deeds of the county or city where the property is, otherwise it will be void as to third persons, except where the property is de-livered to and retained by the mortgagee. Fore-closed, if for less than $100 (exclusive of interest), by the mortgagee after sixty days' notice, and thirty days' notice of time and place; if for a larger amount, by petition to circuit court and judgment.

Montana.—Mortgage must provide that the property may remain in the possession of the mortgagor, and must be accompanied by an affidavit of good faith, and be acknowledged, and filed, together with the affidavit, in the office of the county clerk of the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, of the county where the property is. Without compliance with these requirements the mortgage is void as to third per-sons, except where the mortgaged property is delivered to and retained by the mortgagee. Fore-closed the same as mortgages on real estate; or mortgage may contain a power of sale and be foreclosed in accordance therewith.

Nebraska.—Mortgage, or a true copy of it, must be filed in the office of the clerk of the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, in the county where the property is. Need not be acknowledged unless upon household goods, when it must be signed and acknowledged by both husband and wife. Ceases to be valid against creditors, purchasers, or mortgagees in good faith after five years from filing thereof. May be foreclosed by power of sale contained in the mortgage or by action.

Nevada.—Mortgage is not valid against third persons unless possession of the property be delivered to and retained by the mortgagee, or unless the mortgage be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county where the property is, and also in the county where the mortgagor resides. Foreclosed by action and decree for sale of the property.

New Hampshire.—Actual possession of the mortgaged property must be taken and retained by the mortgagee, or the mortgage must be re-corded in the office of the clerk of the town where the mortgagor lives, or, if a non-resident, where the property is. Unless the foregoing provisions are complied with, and unless both of the parties make a prescribed affidavit that the mortgage is made in good faith and to secure the existing debt, the mortgage is void as to, third persons. The mortgagee may sell the property after thirty days from condition broken, posting notices of the sale in two public places in the town, and giving the mortgagor, if he resides in the town, a written notice of the sale at least four days, prior thereto, and may apply the net proceeds to his debt.

New Jersey.—Mortgage, if not accompanied by immediate delivery and followed by actual and continued change of possession of the property, is void as against third persons unless duly acknowledged and recorded with the clerk or register, if any, of the county where the mortgagor resided, or, if a nonresident, where the property is. An affidavit made and subscribed by the holder of the mortgage, his agent or attorney, stating the consideration, and as nearly as possible the amount due and to grow due thereon, must be annexed to the mortgage. Foreclosed by advertisement and sale, or by filing a bill in the court of chancery. Five days' notice in writing, stating the amount due, must be given before foreclosing on household goods.

New York.—Mortgage, if not accompanied by immediate delivery and followed by actual and continued change of possession, is absolutely void against third persons, unless it or a true copy thereof is filed in the town or city where the mortgagor resides, or, if non-resident, where the property is. After the expiration of the first year, or any succeeding term of one year, within thirty days next preceding the expiration of each such term, the mortgagee must file a copy of the mortgage and an affidavit showing his interest in the property, or a statement describing the mortgage, the date and place of record, and the interest of the mortgagee therein. Foreclosed by seizure and sale after three days notice, or ac-cording to terms contained in the mortgage.

North Carolina.—Mortgage must be recorded in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, in the county where the property is, unless it consists of choses in action, in which latter case, in the county where the mortgagee resides. Wife must join in mortgage of house-hold goods. Foreclosed by action, or by sale if mortgage contain a power of sale.

North Dakota.—Mortgage must be signed by the mortgagor in the presence of two witnesses, and no further proof or acknowledgment is required. Is void against third persons unless filed by depositing it, or an authenticated copy thereof, in the office of the register of deeds of the county where the property is ; and it ceases to be valid as against third persons after the expiration of three years from its filing, unless within ninety days next preceding the expiration of said term of three years, a copy of the mortgage and a statement of the amount of the existing debt, sworn to and subscribed by the mortgagee, his agent or attorney, are filed anew; this renews the mortgage for three years more. Foreclosed by action in the district court, or, if the mortgage contains a power or sale upon default, by public sale on six days' notice if published in a newspaper, or ten days if posted.

Ohio.—Mortgage or a true copy of it, to be valid against third persons, must be deposited with the clerk of the township where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, of the township where the property is; and before such depositing the mortgagee must enter on the mortgage a verified statement, in dollars and cents, of the amount of his claim, and that it is just and unpaid, if given to secure a sum of money only; if given to indemnify the mortgagee as surety for the mortgagor, such sworn statement must set forth the liability, and that the mortgage was taken in good faith to indemnify against loss there-from. It is void after one year from filing, unless within thirty days next preceding the expiration of the year a true copy of such mortgage, together with a statement, verified as above, exhibiting the interest of the mortgagee in the property at the time, of such filing, claimed by virtue of said mortgage, is again filed in the office where the original was filed. Foreclosed the same as real estate mortgage.

Oklahoma.—Mortgage must be executed in the presence of two subscribing witnesses, and filed in the office of the register of deeds of the county where the property is. May contain a power of sale and provision for attorney's fees. Not valid against third persons after three years, unless within thirty days next preceding the expiration of said term, and every three years thereafter, a copy of the mortgage and a statement of the amount due thereon, verified by affidavit of the mortgagee or his assigns, or agent or attorney, be filed anew in the office of the register of deeds in the county in which the mortgagor then re-sides. Foreclosed by notice and sale of the property.

Oregon. Mortgage must be executed, witnessed, and acknowledged and recorded in like manner as conveyances of real estate. They are void as against third persons if they are not accompanied with immediate delivery and followed at once by actual and continued change of possession, unless they are recorded. Foreclosed by action, or, where mortgage provides for method of foreclosure, that and no other must be followed.

Pennsylvania: Mortgage must be executed in form prescribed by statute, and duly acknowledged and recorded. Property must be delivered, except certain specified articles for sums not less than one hundred dollars. The articles specified are: All iron ore mined and prepared for use, pig iron, blooms, and rolled or hammered iron in sheets, bars, or plates, iron and steel nails, steel ingots and billets, rolled or hammered steel in sheets, bars, or plates, and all boilers, engines, oil, gas, and artesian well supplies, and all steel or iron castings not in place, all petroleum or coal oil, crude or refined, in bulk, all roofing and manufactured slate, as well as slate quarried to be used in the manufacture thereof, all manufactured cement, including all material on hand used in the manufacture thereof. Foreclosed by public sale.

Rhode Island.—Mortgage must be recorded within five days in the office of the clerk of the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, where the property is, unless possession is taken and retained by the mortgagee, other-wise it is void as against third persons. Foreclosed usually by sale under powers in the mortgage, but mortgagee may take possession on breach of condition.

South Carolina.—No chattel mortgage, except mortgages or deeds of trust covering the whole or any part of the real or personal property of a railroad company or manufacturing company, shall be valid or good to convey any interest or right whatever to the mortgagee, unless the property mortgaged shall be described in writing or typewriting, but not printing, on the face of the mortgage. Must be proved by affidavit of sub-scribing witness, and recorded within forty days in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, where the property is. Fore-closed by sale after postal or published notice.

South Dakota.—Mortgage, to be valid against third persons, must be signed by the mortgagor in the presence of two subscribing witnesses. No acknowledgment is necessary. Must be filed by depositing the original or an authenticated copy in the. office of the register of deeds in the county where the property is. After three years, within thirty days next preceding such term, a copy of the mortgage, and a statement of the amount of the existing debt, sworn to-and subscribed by the mortgagee, his agent or attorney, must be filed anew; this renews the mortgage for three years more. Foreclosed by public sale.

Tennessee.—Mortgage, to be valid against third persons, must be duly acknowledged or proved, and registered in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, where the property is. Foreclosed by bill an equity, or in accordance with a power of sale contained in the mortgage.

Texas.—To be valid against third persons, unless accompanied by immediate delivery and followed by actual change of possession, the mortgage or a true copy thereof, must be forthwith deposited and filed in the office of the county clerk of the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, where the property is; when a copy is filed the clerk must compare it with the original, which in this case must be acknowledged as for record, or witnessed by two subscribing witnesses, and must be found a true copy. Foreclosed by suit.

Utah.—Mortgage is not valid against third persons unless possession is given to and retained by the mortgagee, or the mortgage provides that the mortgagor may retain possession, and is accompanied by an affidavit of the parties, or their agents or attorneys, that it is made in good faith to secure the amount named therein, and without any design to hinder or delay the creditors, and be witnessed, acknowledged, and filed together with the affidavit with the county recorder in the county where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, where the property is. Within thirty days after the expiration of the term of one year, and within thirty days after the expiration of each year thereafter, the mortgagee, his agent or attorney, must make and file with the county recorder an affidavit exhibiting the interest of the mortgagee in the property, and the amount yet due and unpaid. Not valid for more than five years. Foreclosed by suit, or in accordance with power of sale contained in the mortgage.

Vermont.—Mortgage must be recorded in the office of the clerk of the town or city where the mortgagor resides, or, if a non-resident, where the property is. Parties must make and subscribe an affidavit that the mortgage is made in good faith to secure the debt specified, and for no other purpose whatever, and that the same is a just debt, honestly due and owing from the mortgagor to the mortgagee ; which affidavit, with the certificate of the oath signed by the officer administering the same, must be made upon, or appended to, the mortgage, and be recorded therewith. Foreclosed by public sale.

Virginia.—Mortgage must be executed, acknowledged, and recorded the same as deeds. To avoid the necessity of foreclosure by suit in equity, it is usual to make the chattel mortgage a trust deed, when the trustee can, of course, sell on breach of condition.

Washington.—Mortgage must be accompanied by the affidavit of the mortgagor that it is made in good faith, and without design to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors, and must be acknowledged and recorded in the same manner as deeds. Wife must join in mortgage on property exempt from execution. Foreclosed by public sale, or by action in the superior court.

West Virginia.—Mortgage must be executed, acknowledged, and recorded the same as deeds. Not required to be renewed. Foreclosed by a decree of a court of equity. Deeds of trust almost always used instead of chattel mortgages.

Wisconsin.—Mortgage not valid against third persons unless possession of the property is de-livered to and retained by the mortgagee, or, unless the mortgage, or a copy thereof, be filed in the office of the clerk of the town, city, or village where the mortgagor resides, or, if a nonresident, where the property is. Ceases to be valid against third persons after two years, unless within thirty days before the expiration of such term, the mortgagee, his agent or attorney, shall make and annex to the mortgage on file an affidavit setting forth the interest which the mortgagee has by virtue of such mortgage in the property therein mentioned; a like affidavit must be made and filed every two years. Foreclosed by the mortgagee taking possession of the property, and after five days' notice selling the same. Wife must join with husband in mortgage of household goods, in presence of two witnesses.

Wyoming.—Mortgage must be executed and acknowledged the same as deeds, and unless accompanied by immediate delivery, and followed by an actual and continued change of possession of the property, is void as to third persons, unless filed in the office of the county clerk of the county where the property is. Valid then against all for the term for which it was given and for two months thereafter. May be renewed for one year by the mortgagor filing an affidavit setting forth his claim to the mortgage or any part thereof; and by succeeding affidavits the mortgage may be, in like manner, continued indefinitely. Fore-closed by selling the property at public auction for cash, at which sale the mortgagee may be a bidder, at a time and place named in a notice of sale required by the statute to be advertised and published for three weeks before the day of sale.



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