A clause in your mortgage which allows the lender to demand payment of the outstanding loan balance for various reasons. The most common reasons for accelerating a loan are if the borrower defaults on the loan or transfers title to another individual without informing the lender.
A mortgage in which the interest changes periodically, according to corresponding fluctuations in an index. All ARMs are tied to indexes.
The date the interest rate changes on an adjustable-rate mortgage.
The loan payment consists of a portion which will be applied to pay the accruing interest on a loan, with the remainder being applied to the principal. Over time, the interest portion decreases as the loan balance decreases, and the amount applied to principal increases so that the loan is paid off (amortized) in the specified time.
A table which shows how much of each payment will be applied toward principal and how much toward interest over the life of the loan. It also shows the gradual decrease of the loan balance until it reaches zero.
This is not the note rate on your loan. It is a value created according to a government formula intended to reflect the true annual cost of borrowing, expressed as a percentage. It works sort of like this, but not exactly, so only use this as a guideline: deduct the closing costs from your loan amount, then using your actual loan payment, calculate what the interest rate would be on this amount instead of your actual loan amount. You will come up with a number close to the APR. Because you are using the same payment on a smaller amount, the APR is always higher than the actual note rate on your loan.
The form used to apply for a mortgage loan, containing information about a borrower’s income, savings, assets, debts, and more.
A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby.
An opinion of a property’s fair market value, based on an appraiser’s knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property. Since an appraisal is based primarily on comparable sales, and the most recent sale is the one on the property in question, the appraisal usually comes out at the purchase price.
An individual qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property. Although some appraisers work directly for mortgage lenders, most are independent.
The increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions, inflation, or other causes.
The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.
A public official who establishes the value of a property for taxation purposes.
Items of value owned by an individual. Assets that can be quickly converted into cash are considered “liquid assets.” These include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and so on. Other assets include real estate, personal property, and debts owed to an individual by others.
When ownership of your mortgage is transferred from one company or individual to another, it is called an assignment.
A mortgage that can be assumed by the buyer when a home is sold. Usually, the borrower must “qualify” in order to assume the loan.
A mortgage loan that requires the remaining principal balance be paid at a specific point in time. For example, a loan may be amortized as if it would be paid over a thirty year period, but requires that at the end of the tenth year the entire remaining balance must be paid.
The final lump sum payment that is due at the termination of a balloon mortgage.
By filing in federal bankruptcy court, an individual or individuals can restructure or relieve themselves of debts and liabilities. Bankruptcies are of various types, but the most common for an individual seem to be a “Chapter 7 No Asset” bankruptcy which relieves the borrower of most types of unsecured debts. A borrower cannot usually qualify for an “A” paper loan for a period of two years after the bankruptcy has been discharged and requires the re-establishment of an ability to repay debt.
Short term loan, used to bridge the gap. For example a loan used to buy a property until a permanent loan can be secured.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages have fluctuating interest rates, but those fluctuations are usually limited to a certain amount. Those limitations may apply to how much the loan may adjust over a six month period, an annual period, and over the life of the loan, and are referred to as “caps.” Some ARMs, although they may have a life cap, allow the interest rate to fluctuate freely, but require a certain minimum payment which can change once a year. There is a limit on how much that payment can change each year, and that limit is also referred to as a cap.
When a borrower refinances his mortgage at a higher amount than the current loan balance with the intention of pulling out money for personal use, it is referred to as a “cash out refinance.”
An analysis of the transfers of title to a piece of property over the years.
A title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property.
This has different meanings in different states. In some states a real estate transaction is not consider “closed” until the documents record at the local recorders office. In others, the “closing” is a meeting where all of the documents are signed and money changes hands.
Any conditions revealed by a title search that adversely affect the title to real estate. Usually clouds on title cannot be removed except by deed, release, or court action.
An additional individual who is both obligated on the loan and is on title to the property.
In a home loan, the property is the collateral. The borrower risks losing the property if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the mortgage or deed of trust.
In some states, especially the southwest, property acquired by a married couple during their marriage is considered to be owned jointly, except under special circumstances. This is an outgrowth of the Spanish and Mexican heritage of the area.
Recent sales of similar properties in nearby areas and used to help determine the market value of a property. Also referred to as “comps.”
A type of ownership in real property where all of the owners own the property, common areas and buildings together, with the exception of the interior of the unit to which they have title. Often mistakenly referred to as a type of construction or development, it actually refers to the type of ownership.
A short-term, interim loan for financing the cost of construction. The lender makes payments to the builder at periodic intervals as the work progresses.
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.
Refers to home loans other than government loans (VA and FHA).
An adjustable-rate mortgage that allows the borrower to change the ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage within a specific time.
A type of multiple ownership in which the residents of a multiunit housing complex own shares in the cooperative corporation that owns the property, giving each resident the right to occupy a specific apartment or unit.
A record of an individual’s repayment of debt. Credit histories are reviewed my mortgage lenders as one of the underwriting criteria in determining credit risk.
A person to whom money is owed.
A report of an individual’s credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant’s creditworthiness.
The legal document conveying title to a property. Example: Grant Deed, Warranty Deed, Quitclaim Deed.
Short for “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” this conveys title to the lender when the borrower is in default and wants to avoid foreclosure. The lender may or may not cease foreclosure activities if a borrower asks to provide a deed-in-lieu. Regardless of whether the lender accepts the deed-in-lieu, the avoidance and non-repayment of debt will most likely show on a credit history. What a deed-in-lieu may prevent is having the documents preparatory to a foreclosure being recorded and become a matter of public record.
Some states, like California, do not record mortgages. Instead, they record a deed of trust which is essentially the same thing.
Failure to make the mortgage payment within a specified period of time. For first mortgages or first trust deeds, if a payment has still not been made within 30 days of the due date, the loan is considered to be in default.
A decline in the value of property; the opposite of appreciation. Depreciation is also an accounting term which shows the declining monetary value of an asset and is used as an expense to reduce taxable income. Since this is not a true expense where money is actually paid, lenders will add back depreciation expense for self-employed borrowers and count it as income.
The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.
A provision in a mortgage that allows the lender to demand repayment in full if the borrower sells the property that serves as security for the mortgage.
A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.
The right of a government to take private property for public use upon payment of its fair market value. Eminent domain is the basis for condemnation proceedings.
An improvement that intrudes illegally on another’s property.
Anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property, such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions.
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.
A homeowner’s financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage and other liens.
An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the earnest money deposit is put into escrow until delivered to the seller when the transaction is closed.
Once you close your purchase transaction, you may have an escrow account or impound account with your lender. This means the amount you pay each month includes an amount above what would be required if you were only paying your principal and interest. The extra money is held in your impound account (escrow account) for the payment of items like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when they come due. The lender pays them with your money instead of you paying them yourself.
The lawful expulsion of an occupant from real property.
A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time.
A person named in a will to administer an estate. The court will appoint an administrator if no executor is named. “Executrix” is the feminine form.
A consumer protection law that regulates the disclosure of consumer credit reports by consumer/credit reporting agencies and establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on one’s credit record.
The highest price that a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.
The Federal National Mortgage Association, which is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company that is the nation’s largest supplier of home mortgage funds. For a discussion of the roles of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (FHLMC), and Ginnie Mae (GNMA), see the Library.
An agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. The FHA sets standards for construction and underwriting but does not lend money or plan or construct housing.
The greatest possible interest a person can have in real estate.
An unconditional, unlimited estate of inheritance that represents the greatest estate and most extensive interest in land that can be enjoyed. It is of perpetual duration. When the real estate is in a condominium project, the unit owner is the exclusive owner only of the air space within his or her portion of the building (the unit) and is an owner in common with respect to the land and other common portions of the property.
A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Along with VA loans, an FHA loan will often be referred to as a government loan.
A lender’s agreement to make a loan to a specific borrower on a specific property.
The mortgage that is in first place among any loans recorded against a property. Usually refers to the date in which loans are recorded, but there are exceptions.
A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.
Personal property that becomes real property when attached in a permanent manner to real estate.
Insurance that compensates for physical property damage resulting from flooding. It is required for properties located in federally designated flood areas.
The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.
A government-owned corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Created by Congress on September 1, 1968, GNMA performs the same role as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in providing funds to lenders for making home loans. The difference is that Ginnie Mae provides funds for government loans (FHA and VA)
The person to whom an interest in real property is conveyed.
The person conveying an interest in real property.
Insurance coverage that in the event of physical damage to a property from fire, wind, vandalism, or other hazards.
A mortgage loan, usually in second position, that allows the borrower to obtain cash drawn against the equity of his home, up to a predetermined amount.
A thorough inspection by a professional that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.
A nonprofit association that manages the common areas of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common elements. In a PUD project, it holds title to the common elements.
An insurance policy that combines personal liability insurance and hazard insurance coverage for a dwelling and its contents.
A type of insurance often purchased by homebuyers that will cover repairs to certain items, such as heating or air conditioning, should they break down within the coverage period. The buyer often requests the seller to pay for this coverage as a condition of the sale, but either party can pay.
A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that were paid at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow (impound) amounts. Each type of expense goes on a specific numbered line on the sheet. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller’s net proceeds and the buyer’s net payment at closing. It is called a HUD1 because the form is printed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD1 statement is also known as the “closing statement” or “settlement sheet.”
A form of ownership or taking title to property which means each party owns the whole property and that ownership is not separate. In the event of the death of one party, the survivor owns the property in its entirety.
A decision made by a court of law. In judgments that require the repayment of a debt, the court may place a lien against the debtor’s real property as collateral for the judgment’s creditor.
A type of foreclosure proceeding used in some states that is handled as a civil lawsuit and conducted entirely under the auspices of a court. Other states use non-judicial foreclosure.
A loan that exceeds Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s loan limits, currently at $417,000. Also called a nonconforming loan. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans are referred to as conforming loans.
The penalty a borrower must pay when a payment is made a stated number of days. On a first trust deed or mortgage, this is usually fifteen days.
A written agreement between the property owner and a tenant that stipulates the payment and conditions under which the tenant may possess the real estate for a specified period of time.
A way of holding title to a property wherein the mortgagor does not actually own the property but rather has a recorded long-term lease on it.
An alternative financing option that allows home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month’s rent payment may consist of not only the rent, but an additional amount which can be applied toward the down payment on an already specified price.
A property description, recognized by law, that is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.
A term which can refer to the institution making the loan or to the individual representing the firm. For example, loan officers are often referred to as “lenders.”
A person’s financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt, as well as any other amounts that are owed to others.
Insurance coverage that offers protection against claims alleging that a property owner’s negligence or inappropriate action resulted in bodily injury or property damage to another party. It is usually part of a homeowner’s insurance policy.
A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed is considered a lien.
An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time to a specified borrower.
A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.
A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.
Also referred to by a variety of other terms, such as lender, loan representative, loan “rep,” account executive, and others. The loan officer serves several functions and has various responsibilities: they solicit loans, they are the representative of the lending institution, and they represent the borrower to the lending institution.
How a lender refers to the process of obtaining new loans.
After you obtain a loan, the company you make the payments to is “servicing” your loan. They process payments, send statements, manage the escrow/impound account, provide collection efforts on delinquent loans, ensure that insurance and property taxes are made on the property, handle pay-offs and assumptions, and provide a variety of other services.
The percentage relationship between the amount of the loan and the appraised value or sales price (whichever is lower).
The date on which the principal balance of a loan, bond, or other financial instrument becomes due and payable.
A credit report which reports the raw data pulled from two or more of the major credit repositories. Contrast with a Residential Mortgage Credit Report (RMCR) or a standard factual credit report.
Occasionally, a lender will agree to modify the terms of your mortgage without requiring you to refinance. If any changes are made, it is called a modification.
A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt. Instead of mortgages, some states use Trust Deeds.
A mortgage company that originates loans, then places those loans with a variety of other lending institutions with whom they usually have pre-established relationships.
The lender in a mortgage agreement.
Insurance that covers the lender against some of the losses incurred as a result of a default on a home loan. Often mistakenly referred to as PMI, which is actually the name of one of the larger mortgage insurers. Mortgage insurance is usually required in one form or another on all loans that have a loan-to-value higher than eighty percent. Mortgages above 80% LTV that call themselves “No MI” are usually a made at a higher interest rate. Instead of the borrower paying the mortgage insurance premiums directly, they pay a higher interest rate to the lender, which then pays the mortgage insurance themselves. Also, FHA loans and certain first-time homebuyer programs require mortgage insurance regardless of the loan-to-value.
The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance, either to a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or to a private mortgage insurance (MI) company.
The borrower in a mortgage agreement.
Properties that provide separate housing units for more than one family, although they secure only a single mortgage.
Some adjustable rate mortgages allow the interest rate to fluctuate independently of a required minimum payment. If a borrower makes the minimum payment it may not cover all of the interest that would normally be due at the current interest rate. In essence, the borrower is deferring the interest payment, which is why this is called “deferred interest.” The deferred interest is added to the balance of the loan and the loan balance grows larger instead of smaller, which is called negative amortization.
A refinance transaction which is not intended to put cash in the hand of the borrower. Instead, the new balance is calculated to cover the balance due on the current loan and any costs associated with obtaining the new mortgage. Often referred to as a “rate and term refinance.”
Many lenders offer loans that you can obtain at “no cost.” You should inquire whether this means there are no “lender” costs associated with the loan, or if it also covers the other costs you would normally have in a purchase or refinance transactions, such as title insurance, escrow fees, settlement fees, appraisal, recording fees, notary fees, and others. These are fees and costs which may be associated with buying a home or obtaining a loan, but not charged directly by the lender. Keep in mind that, like a “no-point” loan, the interest rate will be higher than if you obtain a loan that has costs associated with it.
A legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a mortgage loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time.
The interest rate stated on a mortgage note.
A formal written notice to a borrower that a default has occurred and that legal action may be taken.
The total amount of principal owed on a mortgage before any payments are made.
On a government loan the loan origination fee is one percent of the loan amount, but additional points may be charged which are called “discount points.” One point equals one percent of the loan amount. On a conventional loan, the loan origination fee refers to the total number of points a borrower pays.
A property purchase transaction in which the property seller provides all or part of the financing.
A payment that is not sufficient to cover the scheduled monthly payment on a mortgage loan. Normally, a lender will not accept a partial payment, but in times of hardship you can make this request of the loan servicing collection department.
The date when a new monthly payment amount takes effect on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a graduated-payment mortgage (GPM). Generally, the payment change date occurs in the month immediately after the interest rate adjustment date.
Any property that is not real property.
This stands for principal, interest, taxes and insurance. If you have an “impounded” loan, then your monthly payment to the lender includes all of these and probably includes mortgage insurance as well. If you do not have an impounded account, then the lender still calculates this amount and uses it as part of determining your debt-to-income ratio.
A type of ownership where individuals actually own the building or unit they live in, but common areas are owned jointly with the other members of the development or association. Contrast with condominium, where an individual actually owns the airspace of his unit, but the buildings and common areas are owned jointly with the others in the development or association.
A point is 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage.
A legal document that authorizes another person to act on one’s behalf. A power of attorney can grant complete authority or can be limited to certain acts and/or certain periods of time.
A loosely used term which is generally taken to mean that a borrower has completed a loan application and provided debt, income, and savings documentation which an underwriter has reviewed and approved. A pre-approval is usually done at a certain loan amount and making assumptions about what the interest rate will actually be at the time the loan is actually made, as well as estimates for the amount that will be paid for property taxes, insurance and others. A pre-approval applies only to the borrower. Once a property is chosen, it must also meet the underwriting guidelines of the lender. Contrast with pre-qualification
Any amount paid to reduce the principal balance of a loan before the due date. Payment in full on a mortgage that may result from a sale of the property, the owner’s decision to pay off the loan in full, or a foreclosure. In each case, prepayment means payment occurs before the loan has been fully amortized.
A fee that may be charged to a borrower who pays off a loan before it is due.
This usually refers to the loan officer’s written opinion of the ability of a borrower to qualify for a home loan, after the loan officer has made inquiries about debt, income, and savings. The information provided to the loan officer may have been presented verbally or in the form of documentation, and the loan officer may or may not have reviewed a credit report on the borrower.
The interest rate that banks charge to their preferred customers. Changes in the prime rate are widely publicized in the news media and are used as the indexes in some adjustable rate mortgages, especially home equity lines of credit. Changes in the prime rate do not directly affect other types of mortgages, but the same factors that influence the prime rate also affect the interest rates of mortgage loans.
The amount borrowed or remaining unpaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of a mortgage.
The outstanding balance of principal on a mortgage. The principal balance does not include interest or any other charges. See remaining balance.
The four components of a monthly mortgage payment on impounded loans. Principal refers to the part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of the mortgage. Interest is the fee charged for borrowing money. Taxes and insurance refer to the amounts that are paid into an escrow account each month for property taxes and mortgage and hazard insurance.
A written promise to repay a specified amount over a specified period of time.
A project or subdivision that includes common property that is owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association for the benefit and use of the individual PUD unit owners.
A written contract signed by the buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold.
A deed that transfers without warranty whatever interest or title a grantor may have at the time the conveyance is made.
A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate.
A consumer protection law that requires lenders to give borrowers disclosures and notices of closing costs.
Land and appurtenances, including anything of a permanent nature such as structures, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof.
A real estate agent, broker or an associate who holds active membership in a local real estate board that is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.
The public official who keeps records of transactions that affect real property in the area. Sometimes known as a “Registrar of Deeds” or “County Clerk.”
The noting in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage note, a satisfaction of mortgage, or an extension of mortgage, thereby making it a part of the public record.
The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.
The amount of principal that has not yet been repaid. See principal balance.
A provision in an agreement that requires the owner of a property to give another party the first opportunity to purchase or lease the property before he or she offers it for sale or lease to others.
The right to enter or leave designated premises.
right of survivorship
In joint tenancy, the right of survivors to acquire the interest of a deceased joint tenant.
A technique in which a seller deeds property to a buyer for a consideration, and the buyer simultaneously leases the property back to the seller.
A mortgage that has a lien position subordinate to the first mortgage.
A loan that is backed by collateral.
The property that will be pledged as collateral for a loan.
An agreement in which the owner of a property provides financing, often in combination with an assumable mortgage.
An organization that collects principal and interest payments from borrowers and manages borrowers’ escrow accounts. The servicer often services mortgages that have been purchased by an investor in the secondary mortgage market.
The collection of mortgage payments from borrowers and related responsibilities of a loan servicer.
See HUD1 Settlement Statement
A housing development that is created by dividing a tract of land into individual lots for sale or lease.
Any mortgage or other lien that has a priority that is lower than that of the first mortgage.
A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.
Contribution to the construction or rehabilitation of a property in the form of labor or services rather than cash.
As opposed to joint tenancy, when there are two or more individuals on title to a piece of property, this type of ownership does not pass ownership to the others in the event of death.
A company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate.
Insurance that protects the lender (lender’s policy) or the buyer (owner’s policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.
A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.
Any means by which the ownership of a property changes hands. Lenders consider all of the following situations to be a transfer of ownership: the purchase of a property “subject to” the mortgage, the assumption of the mortgage debt by the property purchaser, and any exchange of possession of the property under a land sales contract or any other land trust device.
State or local tax payable when title passes from one owner to another.
A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a mortgage, including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges.
A fiduciary who holds or controls property for the benefit of another.
A mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
An agency of the federal government that guarantees residential mortgages made to eligible veterans of the military services. The guarantee protects the lender against loss and thus encourages lenders to make mortgages to veterans.