You are making a distinction that requires a discussion of the mechanics behind a mortgage.
The note is the buyer’s personal promise to make the repayments. If there is a foreclosure against the property and the foreclosure sale does not yield enough to cover the outstanding mortgage debt, the note serves as the basis for a deficiency judgment against the borrower for the balance still due.
The mortgage itself is a document that gives the lender the right to have the property sold to repay the loan if the borrower defaults. Since the mortgage in effect gives the mortgagee (the lender) an interest in the land, the mortgage is recorded at the county clerk's office.
That is why it is imperative to see if you signed the note.
A note is a loan obtained from the lender.
A mortgage is lien obtained by the lender against the property to secure the money that was loaned in the note.
If your name is on a mortgage, you will be named in a foreclosure action.
However, you cannot be sued for the money owed under the note, unless your name appears on the note or some ancillary document in which you assumed liability for the note.
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