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in civil law, a means of securing the performance of obligations, whereby property of a certain value is transferred to a creditor. In the event that the debtor does not fulfill the obligation secured by the pledge, the creditor has the right to satisfy his claim from the value of the property pledged in preference to other creditors. In the USSR, obligations of both citizens and socialist organizations may be secured by pledges. A pledge may be provided for by law or by contract (a pledge contract must be concluded in writing). The object of a pledge may be any property subject to execution by law. Therefore, the fixed capital of state organizations, the seed and fodder of collective farms, of other cooperative organizations, and of associations of cooperative organizations, and the fixed assets and cultural and educational resources of trade unions and other public organizations may not be objects of a pledge.
In practice three types of pledges are used. In the so-called normal conventional pledge the pledger transfers the object of the pledge to the pledgee, for example, when a loan is made by a pawnshop. In a pledge of goods in circulation, by virtue of which the pledged property remains in the possession of the pledger, he has the right to realize this property on condition of simultaneously repaying the debt that was secured by the pledge or on condition of replacing the property with another of the same or greater value. In pledges on goods that are in the process of being manufactured, by virtue of which the pledged property remains in the possession of the pledger, the pledged property may be processed in the pledger’s enterprise. In this case, the statutory pledge extends to the products (semifinished goods, finished articles) that result from this processing. A pledge of goods in circulation and of goods that are in the process of being manufactured is used in securing the credit obligations of socialist organizations in connection with bank loans. The pledger is under obligation to ensure the safety of the pledge property.
E. G. POLONSKII