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Land Tenure in Oregon. 73 CHAPTER VIII. Mortgages. In 1900, 20 per cent of the farm homes in the United States were encumbered, and about the same proportion in Oregon. The percentage of mortgages on farms increased a Httle over one per cent both in the United States and in Oregon during the decade from 1890 to 1900. Foreclosures in every part of the United States are very rare, averaging between one and two per cent of the farm mortgages. No statistics can easily be collected at this time on the number of foreclosures in Oregon, but they are known to be very rare. Our mortgage system, if handled in a judicious way, as it is in the great majority of cases at the present time, is the stepping stone from tenancy to ownership. It is the means that assists the energetic farmer who wishes to acquire a home of his own. It does away with paying rent and gives the farmer of limited means a spirit of independence and reward for his efforts to make money. The only agricultural credit system employed in the United States at the present time is the mortgage system. Low rates of interest and division of large farms into smaller tracts of land, which encourages in- tensive farming, are the two principal aids to assist tenants to become owners through the mortgage system, the carrying out of which would bring a desirable result both from the standpoint of the kinds of farming engaged in and of the class of farmers forming the rural population. National banks can not loan money directly on farm se- curity, but nearly all other banks do loan up to one-half of the value of the land at eight per cent interest. State school money is loaned on one-third of the value of the land at six per cent interest. Private money lenders and loan associa-

tions will generally advance money to one-half the value of----