An instrument recognized as evidence by law by which property is hypothecated or pledged as security for the payment of a debt or obligation and by which a procedure for foreclosure is established bystatute in event of default. A home loan is a transaction in which you promise to repay money you have borrowed and also give the lender a mortgage on your home to secure repayment. In California your promise to repay ordinarily is in the form of a promissory note and the mortgage is ordinarily in the form of a deed of trust. You need to make certain that you understand the terms of the loan before you become obligated. Whether you obtain a loan through a mortgage broker a financial institution or some other lender you should ask questions about the loan process and paperwork so that you understand the form of the transaction and the terms of the loan before you agree to them.