A chattel mortgage is a conditional transfer or conveyance of the property, and if the conditions are not duly performed the whole title vests absolutely at law in the mortgagee.13

The protections given to the mortgagor of real property are, in general, wanting to mortgagors of personal property. This difference is mainly due to the less degree of importance attached by the law to personal than to real property. It is sometimes provided by statute, however, that certain mortgages of property must be foreclosed in court. For example, the law of Illinois makes this provision in the case of mortgages of household furniture, except in the case of purchase money mortgages.

A bill of sale absolute on its face may be shown by parol to have been intended as a mortgage.

13 Wright vs. Ross, 36 Cal., 414.