In the 12th century it attained the rank of an imperial free town, but on being mortgaged in 1290 to Cleves it lost its privileges.
If the owner is a married man his homestead cannot be sold or mortgaged without his wife's consent.
The exemption can be claimed by the husband, wife, or other head of the family, by a written declaration duly acknowledged and recorded in the manner prescribed for conveyances; and the homestead can then be mortgaged or alienated by a husband only with the wife's consent, if the wife is at the time a resident of the state.
In general, the small cotton farmer was at the mercy of the commission merchant, to whom he mortgaged his crops in advance; but this evil has lessened, and in some districts the system of advancing is either nonexistent or very slightly developed.
Emiriye cannot be mortgaged, but can be given as security for debt on condition that it be restored when the debt has been repaid.