Anaconda Clause Law and Legal Definition

Anaconda clause is a provision in a mortgage deed to the effect that the mortgage secures all the debts that the mortgagor may at any time owe to the mortgagee. It is named so because of its propensity to enwrap the unsuspecting debtor in the folds of indebtedness that is embraced and secured in the mortgage which s/he did not contemplate. It is also termed Dragnet clause or Mother Hubbard clause.

The following are examples of caselaw on the clause:

Dragnet or Anaconda clauses are not highly regarded in equity and will be carefully scrutinized and strictly construed.[Malkove v. First Nat'l Bank, 295 Ala. 191 (Ala. 1976)]

Under the rule of strict construction, any ambiguity between a "dragnet" provision and another provision covering the same subject matter must be construed against application of the dragnet clause, absent other evidence of the parties' intentions.[Fischer v. First Internat. Bank, 109 Cal. App. 4th 1433 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2003)]