Under the common law, a mortgage was considered merely what it purports to be, namely, a deed of the land with a condition subsequent. The condition subsequent which might defeat the estate of the grantee, and re-invest the estate in the grantor, was the repayment of the money by the grantor. If such payment was not made strictly according to the terms of the deed, the estate in the mortgagee became absolute. Upon the giving of the mortgage the mortgagee acquired the present legal estate, while the mortgagor only retained a possibility of revertor.

5 Am. & Eng. Ency. of Law, Vol. XX, pp. 899-900.

6 Coke on Littleton, 205a.

Possession passed to the grantee, unless reserved to the grantor by the terms of the deed.