We often joke at the closing table that a borrower is about to sign their life away. Maybe it is not that serious, but signing the promissory note and deed of trust at closing is a life changing event. The promissory note is the promise to repay the loan funds to the lender. The deed of trust secures the house and land to the note and allows a lender to foreclose on a property if there is default. The most common default is failure to make the payments under the promissory note.