Pretty Boy Floyd, a bank robber in the 1920’s, would destroy mortgage documents during robberies, which freed many citizens of their debts.
The word Mortgage is a French Law term meaning “death pledge”. It doesn’t refer to the person (like a pledge to pay until death) or anything sinister like that. It refers to the fact that the deal “dies” either when payments cease or the principle is paid.
Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, a Great Depression-era gangster and notorious bank robber, endeared himself to the public by destroying mortgage papers at the banks he robbed, freeing many from their debts.