(3) With reference to the oral release of an equity of redemption, if the realty in question is encumbered by a mortgage which shows on its face that it is a mortgage, a contract for the sale or release of the equity or redemption of such realty is a contract for the sale of lands and is within this clause of the statute.1

If, however, the mortgage is in outward form an absolute deed, which can be shown to be a mortgage only by extrinsic oral evidence, if at all,2 a contract for the release of such an equity of redemption to the holder of the legal title is not within the statute.3