Glossary of Mortgage Terms

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7/23 and 5/25 Mortgages
Mortgages with a one time rate adjustment after seven years and five years respectively.
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3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs
Adjustable rate mortgages in which rate is fixed for three year, five year, seven year and 10-year periods, respectively, but may adjust annually after that.
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Acceleration
The right of the mortgagee (lender) to demand the immediate repayment of the mortgage loan balance upon the default of the mortgagor (borrower), or by using the right vested in the Due on Sale Clause.
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Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
A mortgage in which the interest rate is adjusted periodically based on a pre-selected index. Also sometimes known as a renegotiable rate mortgage, variable rate mortgage or Canadian rollover mortgage.
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Adjusted Basis
The cost of a property plus the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property minus any depreciation taken.
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Adjustment Date
The date that the interest rate changes on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
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Adjustment Interval
On an adjustable rate mortgage, the time between changes in the interest rate and/or monthly payment, typically one, three or five years depending on the index.
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Adjustment Period
The period elapsing between adjustment dates for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
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Affordability Analysis
An analysis of a buyer’s ability to afford the purchase of a home. Reviews income, liabilities, and available funds, and considers the type of mortgage you plan to use, the area where you want to purchase a home, and the closing costs that are likely.
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Amortization
Loan payment divided into equal periodic payments calculated to pay off the debt at the end of a fixed period, including accrued interest on the outstanding balance.
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Amortization Term
The length of time required to amortize the mortgage loan expressed as a number of months. For example, 360 months is the amortization term for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
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Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The measurement of the full cost of a loan including interest and loan fees expressed as a yearly percentage rate. Because all lenders apply the same rules in calculating the annual percentage rate, it provides consumers with a good basis for comparing the cost of different loans.
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Appraisal
An estimate of the value of property made by a qualified professional called an "appraiser.”
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Appraised Value
An opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.
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Assessment
A local tax levied against a property for a specific purpose, such as a sewer or street lights.
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Assignment
The transfer of a mortgage from one person to another.
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Assumability
An assumable mortgage can be transferred from the seller to the new buyer. Generally requires a credit review of the new borrower and lenders may charge a fee for the assumption. If a mortgage contains a due on sale clause, it may not be assumed by a new buyer.
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Assumption
The agreement between buyer and seller where the buyer takes over the payments on an existing mortgage from the seller. Assuming a loan can usually save the buyer money since this is an existing mortgage debt, unlike a new mortgage where closing cost and new, probably higher, market rate interest charges will apply.
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Assumption Fee
The fee paid to a lender (usually by the purchaser of real property) when an assumption takes place.
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Balloon Mortgage
A loan which is amortized for a longer period than the term of the loan. Usually this refers to a thirty year amortization and a five or seven year term. At the end of the term of the loan, the remaining outstanding principal on the loan is due. This final payment is known as a balloon payment.
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Balloon Payment
The final lump sum paid at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.
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Biweekly Payment Mortgage
A plan to reduce the debt every two weeks (instead of the standard monthly payment schedule). The 26 (or possibly 27) biweekly payments are each equal to one half of the monthly payment required if the loan were a standard 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The result for the borrower is a substantial savings in interest.
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Blanket Mortgage
A mortgage covering at least two pieces of real estate as security for the same mortgage.
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Borrower (Mortgagor)
One who applies for and receives a loan in the form of a mortgage with the intention of repaying the loan in full.
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Bridge Loan
A second trust that is collateralized by the borrower's present home allowing the proceeds to be used to close on a new house before the present home is sold. Also known as "swing loan."
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Broker
An individual in the business of assisting in arranging funding or negotiating contracts for a client but who does not loan the money himself. Brokers usually charge a fee or receive a commission for their services.
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Buy Down
When the lender and/or the home builder subsidized the mortgage by lowering the interest rate during the first few years of the loan. While the payments are initially low, they will increase when the subsidy expires.
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Cash Flow
The amount of cash derived over a certain period of time from an income producing property. The cash flow should be large enough to pay the expenses of the income producing property (mortgage payment, maintenance, utilities, etc...).
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Caps (interest)
Consumer safeguards which limit the amount of change to the interest rate for an adjustable rate mortgage.
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Caps (payment)
Consumer safeguards which limit the amount of change to the monthly payments for an adjustable rate mortgage.
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Certificate of Eligibility
The document given to qualified veterans which entitles them to VA guaranteed loans for homes, business and mobile homes. Certificates of eligibility may be obtained by sending form DADA (Separation Paper) to the local VA office with VA form 1880 (Request for Certificate of Eligibility).
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Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV)
An appraisal issued by the Veterans Administration showing the property's current market value.
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Certificate of Veteran Status
The document given to veterans or reservists who have served 90 days of continuous active duty (including training time). It may be obtained by sending DD 214 to the local VA office with form 26-8261a (Request for Certificate of Veteran Status). This document enables veterans to obtain lower down payments on certain FHA insured loans.
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Change Frequency
The frequency (in months) of payment and/or interest rate changes in an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
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Closing
The meeting between the buyer, seller and lender or their agents where the property and funds legally change hands, also called settlement. Closing costs usually include an origination fee, discount points, appraisal fee, title search and insurance, survey, taxes, deed recording fee, credit report charge and other costs assessed at settlement. The cost of closing usually are about 3 percent to 6 percent of the mortgage amount.
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Closing Costs
Expenses over and above the price of the property that are incurred by buyers and sellers when transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, property taxes, charges for title insurance and escrow costs, appraisal fees, etc. Closing costs will vary according to the area country and the lenders used.
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COFI
An adjustable-rate mortgage with a rate that adjusts based on a cost-of-funds index, often the 11th District Cost of Funds.
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Construction Loan
A short term interim loan to pay for the construction of buildings or homes. These are usually designed to provide periodic disbursements to the builder as he or she progresses.
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Consumer Reporting Agency (or Bureau)
An organization that handles the preparation of reports used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The agency gets data for these reports from a credit repository and other sources.
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Contract Sale or Deed:
A contract between purchaser and a seller of real estate to convey title after certain conditions have been met. It is a form of installment sale.
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Conventional Loan
A mortgage not insured by FHA or guaranteed by VA.
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Conversion Clause
A provision in an ARM allowing the loan to be converted to a fixed-rate at some point during the term. Usually conversion is allowed at the end of the first adjustment period. The conversion feature may cost extra.
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Credit Report
A report documenting the credit history and current status of a borrower's credit standing.
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Credit Risk Score
A credit risk score is a statistical summary of the information contained in a consumer's credit report. The most well known type of credit risk score is the Fair Isaac or FICO score. This form of credit scoring is a mathematical summary calculation that assigns numerical values to various pieces of information in the credit report. The overall credit risk score is highly relative in the credit underwriting process for a mortgage loan.
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Debt-to-Income Ratio
The ratio, expressed as a percentage, which results when a borrower's monthly payment obligation on long term debts is divided by his or her gross monthly income. See housing expenses-to-income ratio.
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Deed of Trust
In many states, this document is used in place of a mortgage to secure the payment of a note.
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Default
Failure to meet legal obligations in a contract, specifically, failure to make the monthly payments on a mortgage.
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Deferred Interest
When a mortgage is written with a monthly payment that is less than required to satisfy the note rate, the unpaid interest is deferred by adding it to the loan balance. See negative amortization.
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Delinquency
Failure to make payments on time. This can lead to foreclosure.
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Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
An independent agency of the federal government which guarantees long term, low-or-no-down payment mortgages to eligible veterans.
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Discount Point
See point
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Down Payment
Money paid to make up the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage amount.
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Due-on-Sale-Clause
A provision in a mortgage or deed of trust that allows the lender to demand immediate payment of the balance of the mortgage if the mortgage holder sells the home.
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Earnest Money
Money given by a buyer to a seller as part of the purchase price to bind a transaction or assure payment.
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Entitlement
The VA home loan benefit is called an entitlement (i.e. entitlement for a VA guaranteed home loan). This is also known as eligibility.
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Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
A federal law that requires lenders and other creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status or receipt of income from public assistance programs.
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Equity
The difference between the fair market value and current indebtedness, also referred to as the owner's interest. The value an owner has in real estate over and above the obligation against the property.
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Escrow
An account held by the lender into which the home buyer pays money for tax or insurance payments. Also earnest deposits held pending loan closing.
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Escrow Disbursements
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.
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Escrow Payment
The part of a mortgagor’s monthly payment that is held by the servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due.

Fannie Mae
See Federal National Mortgage Association.
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Farmers Home Administration (FmHA)
Provides financing to farmers and other qualified borrowers who are unable to obtain loans elsewhere.
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Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB)
The former name for the regulatory and supervisory agency for federally chartered savings institutions. The agency is now called the Office of Thrift Supervision
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Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation(FHLMC) also called "Freddie Mac"
A government sponsored entity that purchases conventional mortgage from insured depository institutions and HUD-approved mortgage bankers.
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Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
A division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. FHA also sets standards for underwriting mortgages.
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Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) also know as "Fannie Mae"
A government sponsored entity that purchases and sells conventional residential mortgages as well as those insured by FHA or guaranteed by VA.
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FHA Loan
A loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration open to all qualified home purchasers. While there are limits to the size of FHA loans, they are generous enough to handle moderately priced homes almost anywhere in the country.
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FHA Mortgage Insurance
Requires a fee (up to 2.25 percent of the loan amount) paid at closing to insure the loan with FHA. In addition, FHA mortgage insurance requires an annual fee of up to 0.5 percent of the current loan amount, paid in monthly installments. The lower the down payment, the more years the fee must be paid.
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FHLMC
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation provides a secondary market for savings and loans by purchasing their conventional loans. Also known as "Freddie Mac."
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Firm Commitment
A promise by FHA to insure a mortgage loan for a specified property and borrower. A promise from a lender to make a mortgage loan.
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First Mortgage
The primary lien against a property.">
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Fixed Installment
The monthly payment due on a mortgage loan including payment of both principal and interest.
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Fixed Rate Mortgage
The mortgage interest rate will remain the same on these mortgages throughout the term of the mortgage for the original borrower.
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Fully Amortized ARM
An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) with a monthly payment that is sufficient to amortize the remaining balance, at the interest accrual rate, over the amortization term.
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FNMA
The Federal National Mortgage Association is a secondary mortgage institution. FNMA buys VA, FHA, and conventional mortgages from primary lenders. Also known as "Fannie Mae."
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Foreclosure
A legal process by which the lender or the seller forces a sale of a mortgaged property because the borrower has not met the terms of the mortgage. Also known as a repossession of property.
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Freddie Mac
See Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
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Ginnie Mae
See Government National Mortgage Association.
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Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA)
Also known as "Ginnie Mae." Provides sources of funds for residential mortgages, insured or guaranteed by FHA or VA.
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Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM)
A type of flexible payment mortgage where the payments increase for a specified period of time and then level off. This type of mortgage has negative amortization built into it.
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Growing Equity Mortgage (GEM)
A fixed rate mortgage that provides scheduled payment increases over an established period of time. The increased amount of the monthly payment is applied directly toward reducing the remaining balance of the mortgage.
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Guaranty
A promise by one party to pay a debt or perform an obligation contracted by another if the original party fails to pay or perform according to a contract.
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Guarantee Mortgage
A mortgage that is guaranteed by a third party.
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Hazard Insurance
A form of insurance in which the insurance company protects the insured from specified losses, such as fire, windstorm and the like.
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Housing Expenses-to-Income Ratio
The ratio, expressed as a percentage, which results when a borrower's housing expenses are divided by his/her gross monthly income. See debt-to-income ratio.
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HUD-1 Statement
A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points and initial escrow amounts. Each item on the statement is represented by a separate number within a standardized numbering system. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller's net proceeds and the buyer's net payment at closing.
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Impound
The portion of a borrower's monthly payments held by the lender or servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due. Also known as reserves.
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Index
A published interest rate against which lenders measure the difference between the current interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage and that earned by other investments (such as one, three, and five year U.S. Treasury security yields, the monthly average interest rate on loans closed by savings and loan institutions, and the monthly average costs-of-funds incurred by savings and loans), which is then used to adjust the interest rate on an adjustable mortgage up or down.
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Indexed Rate
The sum of the published index plus the margin. For example if the index is 4% and the margin is 2.75%, the indexed rate would be 6.75%. Often, lenders charge less than the indexed rate the first year of an adjustable rate mortgage.
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Initial Interest Rate
This refers to the original interest rate of the mortgage at the time of closing. This rate changes for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). It's also known as "start rate" or "teaser."
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Installment
The regular periodic payment that a borrower agrees to make to a lender.
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Insured Mortgage
A mortgage that is protected by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or by private mortgage insurance (MI).
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Interest
The fee charged for borrowing money.
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Interest Accrual Rate
The percentage rate at which interest accrues on the mortgage. In most cases, it is also the rate used to calculate the monthly payments.
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Interest Rate Buydown Plan
An arrangement that allows the property seller to deposit money to an account. That money is then released each month to reduce the mortgagor's monthly payments during the early years of a mortgage.
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Interest Rate Ceiling
For an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), the maximum interest rate, as specified in the mortgage note.
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Interest Rate Floor
For an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), the minimum interest rate, as specified in the mortgage note.
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Interim Financing
A construction loan made during completion of a building or a project. A permanent loan usually replaces this loan after completion.
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Investor
A money source for a lender.
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Jumbo Loan
A loan which is larger than the limits set by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Because jumbo loans cannot be funded by these two agencies, they usually carry a higher interest rate.
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Late Charge
The penalty a borrower must pay when a payment is made a stated number of days after the due date.
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Lease-Purchase Mortgage Loan
An alternative financing option that allows low and moderate income home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month's rent payment consists of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) payments on the first mortgage plus an extra amount that accumulates in a savings account for a down payment.
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Liabilities
A person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long term and short term debt.
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Lien
A claim upon a piece of property for the payment or satisfaction of a debt or obligation.
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Lifetime Payment Cap
For an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount that payments can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.
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Lifetime Rate Cap
For an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount that the interest rate can increase or decrease over the life of the loan. See cap.
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Loan
A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.
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Loan to Value Ratio
The relationship between the amount of the mortgage loan and the appraised value of the property expressed as a percentage.
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Lock
A lender's guarantee that the mortgage rate quoted will be good for a specific number of days from the day of application.
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Margin
The amount a lender adds to the index on an adjustable rate mortgage to establish the adjusted interest rate.
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Market Value
The highest price that a buyer would pay and the lowest price a seller would accept on a property. Market value may be different from the price a property could actually be sold for at a given time.
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Maturity
The date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.
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MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium)
Insurance from FHA to the lender against incurring a loss on account of the borrower's default.
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Monthly Fixed Installment
The portion of the total monthly payment that is applied toward principal and interest. When a mortgage negatively amortizes, the monthly fixed installment does not include any amount for principal reduction and doesn't cover all of the interest. The loan balance therefore increases instead of decreasing.
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Mortgage
A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.
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Mortgage Banker
A company that originates mortgages for resale in the secondary mortgage market.
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Mortgage Broker
An individual or company that charges a service fee to bring borrowers and lenders together for the purpose of loan origination.
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Mortgagee
The lender.
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Mortgage Insurance
Money paid to insure the mortgage when the down payment is less than 20 percent. See private mortgage insurance, FHA mortgage insurance.
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Mortgage Life Insurance
A type of term life insurance. In the event that the borrower dies while the policy is in force, the mortgage debt is automatically paid by insurance proceeds.
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Mortgagor
The borrower or homeowner.
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Mortgage Glossary Continued

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