by James Robert Deal
Commercial Mortgage Broker & Real Estate Attorney


A *

ACCELERATION - The right of the mortgagee (lender) to call the loan due, that is, demand immediate repayment of the mortgage loan balance. The lender can do this if the borrower goes into default in payments or other obligations such as failing to insure the property, pay taxes, or keep the property in good condition, or iif the borrower sells the property in violation of the terms of a due-on-sale cause (typically paragraph 17 of the FNMA-FHLMC form.) If the borrower cures the default before a certain deadline, the acceleration will, under the terms of most mortgages, be rolled back.

ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE (ARM) - A mortgage with an interest rate that increases OR decreases periodically in relation to a specified financial index. The initial interest rate is generally lower than many fixed-rate mortgages, and monthly payments can rise or fall when the rate is adjusted. The most common "indexes" are the MTA, LIBOR and the 11th District COFI.

ADJUSTED BASIS - The cost of a property plus the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property minus any depreciation taken.

ADJUSTMENT DATE - The date that the interest rate changes on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

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.

ADJUSTMENT PERIOD - the period of time that the interest rate for an ARM remains fixed between adjustments. Initial fixed periods are most often one year, three, five, seven, and ten years, with adjustment periods commonly being annually, bi-annually, or monthly thereafter. Some ARM loans have monthly payments which may not always adjust when the interest rate does, for example, the Option ARM.

AFFORDABILITY ANALYSIS - An analysis of a buyers 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.

AMORTIZATION - Literally; "The death of the loan" (in Latin,) amortization is the gradual repayment of borrowed principal over the life of the loan.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) - From the 1965 Consumer Credit Protection Act, the APR calculation was originally established in the attempt to simplify consumer lending. APR was created to provide a benchmark for comparing different types of costs, fees, charges, interest etc. as they get blended together by one consumer lender or another as a stated rate that reflects all the financing costs of a transaction. A lender is not required to disclose the APR for a commercial transaction.

APPRAISAL - a report by a licensed & insured appraiser which analyzes and gives confirmation of estimated market value of the proposed collateral. A lender or a commercial landlord will want to receive an appraisal. .

APPRAISED VALUE - the determination of fair market value for the current time period considering many related factors such as prices of similar recent properties that have sold (not prices of those that may be for sale) and other factors.

APPRAISER - a trained, licensed, and insured professional passing the licensing examinations, and periodic testing and continuing education standards of the regional appraiser's licensing board or association. Appraisals are ONLY accepted from qualified professionals who have no other relation or participation in a mortgage transaction. Realtors and relatives of borrowers are not acceptable appraisal providers.

APPRECIATION - the increase in property value due to either property improvements, or local economic growth. The opposite of depreciation.

ASSESSMENT - A local tax levied against a property for a specific purpose, such as a sewer or street lights.

ASSIGNMENT - The transfer of a mortgage or other contract by one person to another.

ASSUMABILITY - An assumable mortgage is one that a buyer can assume instead of getting a new mortgage to pay off he old one. Generally a lender will require a buyer to prove his credit worthiness before consenting to assumption. ARM loans usually allow a buyer to assume the seller's mortgage if the buyer proves credit worthy. Generally fixed-rate mortgages contain a due-on-sale clause and can only be assumed in the rare case where the lender consents. Some sellers and buyers defy due-on-sale clauses and enter into a wrap-around transaction where the buyer pays the seller and the seller pays the lender. If the lender learns of such a sale, the lender can accelerate the loan, and the seller or buyer would have six months to refinance or sell the property to pay off the lender.

ASSUMABLE MORTGAGE - a mortgage that can be assumed (transferred to a different borrower) when the home is sold.

ASSUMPTION - when a new borrower becomes the person responsible for an existing mortgage.

ASSUMPTION FEE - a fee paid to a lender, if required, for the paperwork and processing of an assumable mortgage upon transfer. Some loans are not assumable, it's good to be sure and check first!

ATTORNEY-IN-FACT - a person given power of attorney to execute agreements by a principal. The attorney-in-fact may then sign documents and otherwise speak for, represent, and obligate the principal. See Power of Attorney below.

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B *

BALLOON MORTGAGE - usually a loan with payments calculated as though spread out over a long period (like 20 or 30 years,) and a shorter payoff period when the loan balance is actually due, either by a loan refinance or property sale.

BALLOON PAYMENT - The final lump sum paid at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.

BANKRUPTCY - An individual or corporation may file a suit in the federal courts to restrain creditors from executing on their assets. A plan is approved by the Bankruptcy Court discharging some or all debts and shielding certain assets, such as a persons' tools, vehicles, clothing, furniture, and a certain level of equity in one personal residence, referred to as its homestead value, which value is set by each state. The point is to prevent the individual from being unable to restart his life. In a Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy, the borrower receives a quick discharge of all debts. If the debtor has relatively high income and more than basic assets, the court might require him to file a Chapter 13 reorganization, in which he pays a certain percentage of his debts. A corporation would do the same by filing a Chapter 11 reorganization, in which it would shed inconvenient contracts such as wage and pension agreements. Laws were toughened in 2005 to require more individuals to file Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7. A great percentage of personal bankruptcies are filed because individuals lack insurance to cover medical bills. One would think that creditors who go unpaid when individuals file bankruptcy would join together and demand that some kind of comprehensive medical coverage be established. It would be to their financial benefit.

BASIS POINT - one one-hundredth of one percent. Often used in describing changes in debt instruments, such as mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.

BENEFICIARY - a person who benefits from a life insurance policy, will, contract or deed of trust. In the latter case, the lender is the beneficiary.

BENEFICIARY STATEMENT - the lender's statement within a deed of trust detailing the remaining principal balance, monthly payment, and interest rate on the loan.

BILL OF SALE - a written document signed by a seller that transfers title of personal property.

BI-WEEKLY MORTGAGE - a mortgage where instead of paying 12 monthly payments in a year, a borrower pays 26 bi-weekly or fortnightly (every 14 days) payments per year. Because the biweekly payments equal half of a normal monthly payment, the buyer pays 26/24 more payments in a year's time. This amortizes the loan much faster and reduces interest cost. A bi-weekly mortgage is generally only appropriate for a buyer who is paid bi-weekly, because there are two months each year where there are three payments.

BLANKET MORTGAGE - A mortgage covering at least two pieces of real estate as security for the same mortgage.

BORROWER (MORTGAGOR) - one who receives funds in the form of a loan with the obligation of repaying the loan in full with interest.

BREACH - failure to perform under a contract or the violation of a legal obligation.

BRIDGE LOAN - a short term equity loan taken against a borrower's home, which may be currently for sale, in order to have sufficient cash to close on the borrower's new home.

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.

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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C *

CAPITALIZATION RATE (CAP RATE): The cap rate is the ratio between the first year Net Operating Income (NOI) and the purchase price of the property. The cap rate formula below can be used to arrive at the value of an investment property, when the cap rate and the net operating income are known. Another variation of the cap rate formula is to determine the cap rate of an investment property when the NOI is known and the price is fixed.

Cap Rate

= Investment Value

Purchase Price

= Cap Rate

Once the NOI for an investment property has been determined, the following assumptions can be made: the lower the cap rate, the higher the sales price; the higher the cap rate, the lower the sales price; sellers want buyers to accept the lowest possible cap rate; from the buyer’s point of view, the higher the cap rate, the more advantageous the purchase. Pros: The main advantage of using a cap rate is its simplicity. It also accounts for vacancy and operating expenses. Cons: The reliability of using a cap rate is limited because it only looks at a one year forecast and does not take into consideration any financing or tax implications. 

GROSS RENT MULTIPLIER (GRM): The value of an investment property is calculated using the Gross Scheduled Income (GSI = the maximum amount of annual rent received if the property was 100% occupied) for year one, multiplied by the GRM.

First Year GSI x GRM   =   Investment Value

If an investor wants to calculate the GRM for a potential investment, divide the asking price by the first year GSI. The higher the asking price, the higher the GRM. Sellers generally try to sell their properties at the highest possible GRM. Buyers typically try to purchase investment properties at the lowest possible GRM. The lower the GRM, the more attractive the investment becomes to the buyer. Pros: The GRM is a convenient tool because of its simplicity. Cons: The usefulness of the GRM is limited by the fact that it does not take into account vacancy and uncollected rent, operating expenses, debt service, tax impact or income past the first year.

CAPS (INTEREST) - Consumer safeguards which limit the amount the interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage which may change per year and/or the life of the loan.

CAPS (PAYMENT) - Consumer safeguards which limit the amount monthly payments on an adjustable rate mortgage may change.

CASH FLOW - the amount of money you have available after monthly debt-servicing.

CASH-ON-CASH: Cash-on-cash rate of return is a measurement of investment performance. This involves comparing an investor’s initial investment to the potential before-tax cash flow that the investment property is likely to produce.

CASH OUT (SECOND MORTGAGE) - to retrieve some of the value of your home in cash through a home equity loan; this uses your home as an investment vehicle in addition to a "living home" for you and your family.

CASH OUT (REFINANCE) - a mortgage refinance where the total money received from the new loan is more than the total required to repay the existing mortgage(s) plus the closing costs of the new loan(s). In other words, a refinance transaction in which the borrowers receive additional cash, which is used for any lawful purpose.

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 DD-214 (Separation Paper) to the local VA office with VA form 1880 (request for Certificate of Eligibility).

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).

CHANGE FREQUENCY - The frequency (in months) of payment and/or interest rate changes in an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

CHAIN OF TITLE - a history of the status of Property Title over a period of time.

CLOSING - an event completing and recording the paperwork required at the official County Recorders office, for the County in which the real property is located. In a Purchase transaction, "closing" may be the meeting between the buyer, seller and lender (or their agents) where the property and funds legally change hands. Also called settlement.

CLOSING COSTS - the fees and expenses charged by the parties involved in the completion and closing of a mortgage loan. Except for the origination and/or discount POINTS, "Closing Costs" are usually charged per individually. They are usually billed by outside non-affiliated vendor/suppliers to the transaction. They often can include charges and fees for escrow, legal & title insurance, notary, tax service and flood certification fees, underwriting, credit report, processing, document preparation, photo inspection, real estate appraisal, appraisal review, administration fees, courier, wire transfer fees, recording fees, warehouse fee, insurance, admin fees, taxes and other fees. These can easily run from $1,200 to $1,500 or more per transaction, depending on the type and size of your loan. All involved parties expect to be paid their fair payments, just as anyone else who does a job. There's No Free Lunch. ** Also read about POINTS and GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE below **

CLOUD ON TITLE - any condition revealed in a title search that may adversely affect the title to the real property. Usually a 'cloud on title' will require some legal action to clear up the problem, i.e.: a deed, release or other recorded document.

COFI - Adjustable-rate mortgage with rate that adjusts based on a cost-of-funds index, often the 11th District Cost of Funds.

COLLATERAL - the real property offered as security for a loan.

COMBINED LTV (CLTV) - a percentage figure found from the combined amount of both mortgage loans divided by the appraised value of the collateral property. Up to 80% CLTV is common, above that percentage costs and fees paid tend to be higher.

COMMON AREA - an area owned by the owners or tenants of a condominium complex, or subdivision for the common use of residents; i.e.: clubhouse, pool, green belt areas.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY - in some States, a form of ownership under which property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be owned jointly, unless acquired as separate property of either spouse's credit history, income, assets, and debts are combined with the mortgagor's for underwriting and ratio analysis purposes. The co-mortgagor must also hold title to the property.

COMPARABLES - properties used for comparative purposes in the appraisal process that have similar characteristics to the subject property, (also referred to as "comps.")

CONDITIONS, COVENANTS AND RESTRICTIONS (CC&Rs) - a recorded document (most common in condominium and town home complexes) stating the specific conditions that run concurrently with the land.

CONDOMINIUM - a form of real property ownership whereby the purchaser receives title to the interior space of a unit, in a multi-unit structure and a proportional interest in common areas. The size of each unit is measured from the interior surfaces (exclusive of paint and other finishes of the exterior walls, floors and ceiling (air space).

CONFORMING AND NON-CONFORMING LOANS - different categories of loans available to different categories of borrowers. Since Conforming loans follow the strictest guidelines for eligibility regarding loan sizes, credit scores, rates, income and residence stability, savings and reserves habits etc., Conforming loans are for that limited group of customers who meet relatively high standards. The maximum loan amount for a single-family home is $369,650 and can be expected to rise soon to $400,000 as prices rise.

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.

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 from other sources.

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.

CONVENTIONAL LOAN - A mortgage not insured by FHA or guaranteed by the VA.

COVENANT - a legally enforceable promise or restriction in a mortgage. For example, the borrower may covenant to keep the property in good repair, and adequately insured against fire and other casualties. A breach of a covenant in a mortgage usually creates a default as defined by the mortgage and can be the basis for foreclosure.

CONVEY - the act of transferring title to real property from one party to another.

COOPERATIVE (CO-OP) - in real estate, a form of multiple ownership in which a corporation or business trust entity holds title to a property (usually an apartment complex), and grants occupancy rights to shareholder tenants through proprietary leases. Also called co-ops in many areas.

CREDIT RATING - an assessment determining your eligibility for loans based on your record of payment on financial obligations, your income level, and the amount of available collateral. Order yours Now!

CREDIT REPORT - a national credit bureau-provided report that documents a borrower's credit history and current status. Pursuant to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting act (formerly Title VI CCCP) borrowers can obtain a copy of their credit report directly from the credit repository facility (NOT from a lender or loan agent/ broker) and examine their own credit report. Borrower rights to view their own individual and personal report run only to the credit repositories, not to a potential credit grantor. No one in the lending/ leasing cycle is lawfully allowed to give you a copy of it or let you view it. Contact the "bureaus" (800/685-1111, 800/682-7654, 800/888-4213), they have toll-free telephone numbers, websites, and they're responsive. If there are errors in your reports, ONLY the bureaus can fix them - and by law they MUST.

CREDIT SCORES - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax (the three major credit repositories) each assign a score to each customer in their credit files. This "score" is their method of measuring who's riskier and who's less risky as a borrower. All three scores are different, measure different amounts, analyze different numbers, and they are compiled from different ingredients. These scores change in significant amount DAILY, as well as monthly. Since your scores change often, whatever you may have heard of one of your three scores last week actually means nothing today to a new lender! The middle value of the primary earner's three scores is the score most often used (but many of the newer funding programs use the "primary repository" instead). From more than 30 years of analysis (visit the inventor of FICO "scores") and millions of borrowers tested and tracked, it has been scientifically shown that a medium score at 600, means the lender will lose money on one out of every eight loans it makes. A score of 700 for example, means the lender will lose money on one out of every 1,293 loans it makes! If YOU were a lender and had the opportunity to make all that "interest" (or not), what score would you want from customers that YOU made loans to with your own money?? And, if you like we've got even lots more info on our more on scores page.

CREDITWORTHINESS - your credit history, which contains information about your borrowing habits and money-management skills, and which determines a lender's decision about what level "risk," or credit grade, to assign you - or even whether the loan should be made.

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D *

DEBT CONSOLIDATION - using a home equity loan or refinance to pay off all or most of your higher-interest debts, such as credit card balances. Clearly the most popular type of homeowner type loan in decades - - saves hundreds of dollar monthly and is generally completely tax deductible. Today these loans are ranging typically in the $30,000 to $50,000 size. Monthly family savings in the $400 to $800 range or more are typical.

DEBT SERVICE - the combined principal and interest you pay on loans each month.

DEBT-REDUCTION PLAN - a strategy recommended for those borrowers wishing to wisely use a home equity loan for debt consolidation. Once reduced, it is imperative the borrowers stay current and keep their credit card balances low and manageable.

DEBT-TO-INCOME RATIO - a figure calculated by adding up ALL monthly debt servicing payments and dividing it by the total GROSS income. If 35% or more of your gross monthly income is going out in bill paying, debt consolidation may be an excellent decision.

DEED OF TRUST - a three-party mortgage.  I call it a "deed of trust mortgage." Technical title is held by a trustee, who will conduct a foreclosure if the borrower defaults. Deed of trust foreclosures are handled non-judicially, without going to court, and can be completed in around six months from the date of first default. If the borrower cures the default by a deadline around 13 days before the foreclosure date and pays the foreclosure costs, then the foreclosure will be cancelled and the loan reinstated. If foreclosure is completed, any deficiency owing is generally forgiven. The old mortgage format is rarely used now. To foreclose a mortgage, the lender must file a lawsuit, and the process can take 18 months. If the property sells for less than the balance owing, the lender gets a deficiency judgment and can then execute on other real and personal property the borrower owns.

DEED OF TRUST NOTE - the promissory note that is used with a Deed of Trust on a mortgage loan transaction.

DEFAULT - failure to make payments as agreed to.

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.

DELINQUENCY - failure of a borrower to make timely payments under a loan agreement.

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.

DEPOSIT/EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT - a sum of money given to bind a sale. Mutual promises to complete the transaction are also sufficient in lieu of cash. .

DEPRECIATION - the reduced value of a building or other real property improvement, resulting from age, physical wear, and economic or functional obsolescence. This figure is deducted annually from net income on your tax returns. At the time of sale it may be required to be "recaptured" and considered ordinary income.

DISCLOSURE - information relevant to specific transactions that is required by law.


DOCUMENTARY STAMP - a mark stamped onto a deed certifying the amount of transfer tax paid. Referred to as tax stamps in certain areas.

DOWN PAYMENT - an amount paid in cash to the seller when a home is purchased. The down payment is the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage amount, and is traditionally 10 to 20 percent of the purchase price. Many loans are now available with smaller down payments, and in some cases--if the borrower has a certain income level and credit score, no down payment at all. Typically, a lower credit score background means that a higher down payment will be required.

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 property. However, one may sell or gift his one to four unit building to his child or spouse without triggering the due-on-sale clause. Also referred to as FNMA-FHLMC paragraph 17.

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E *

EARNED AND UNEARNED INCOME - a distinction between two different sources of income. Earned income comes from wages, salary or business profits, unearned income refers to interest, dividends, rental income, pension benefits, and the like.

EARNEST MONEY - a deposit made to bind the conditions of s sale of real property.

EASEMENT - a right to the limited use or enjoyment of land held by another. Also, an interest in land to enable sewer or other utility lines to be laid or to allow access to a property.

ECONOMIC LIFE - the estimated period of time during which a property can be used by its owners to produce income.

ECONOMIC VALUE - the value of a property based on its earning potential.

EFFECTIVE AGE - for purposes of appraisal, the physical age given to a building based on its present condition, which may differ from its actual age.

EFFECTIVE GROSS INCOME (PERSONAL) - normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. This income may be from more than one source. Salary is normally the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable, and is expected to continue over a minimum two year period.

EMINENT DOMAIN - the right of governmental bodies to take private property for public use (e.g., schools and roads), upon payment of its fair market value.

ENCROACHMENT - an improvement that illegally intrudes onto the property of another or against the rights of another to make use that property.

ENCUMBRANCE - anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to real property such as mortgages, judgments, liens, leases, easements, or restrictions.

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.

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, sexual preference, marital status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs -- it's also called Regulation B.

EQUITY - the difference between the fair market value and current indebtedness, also referred to as the owner's interest.

ESCAPE CLAUSE - a contractual clause allowing one applicant to cancel in situations that would not necessarily justify cancellation.

ESCROW ACCOUNT, RESERVE ACCOUNT, IMPOUND ACCOUNT - a protected depository account set up by the lender in which money is held to pay taxes and insurance when they come due.

ESCROW AGENT - the person or company, having a fiduciary responsibility to both the buyer, seller, lender, and borrower to see that the terms of a purchase and sale agreement or loan agreement are carried out as agreed. Also called closing agent, escrow company or escrow depository.

ESCROW ANALYSIS - the periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current monthly deposits will provide sufficient funds to pay taxes, insurance and other bills when due.

ESCROW COMPANY - an organization established to act as an escrow agent.

ESCROW CONTRACT - a three-party agreement, between the buyer, seller and escrow agent, specifying the rights and duties of each in the real property transfer transaction.

ESCROW OVERAGE OR SHORTAGE - the difference, determined by escrow analysis, between escrow funds on deposit, and escrow funds required to make an "escrow payment" when it becomes due.

ESCROW PAYMENT - that portion of a mortgagor's monthly payments held by a lender or servicer, to pay taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, or other items as they become due. These are also called impounds or reserves in some States.

ESTATE - the ownership interest an individual has in real property. The sum total of all the real and personal property owned by an individual at the time of death.

EVICTION - the lawful expulsion of an occupant from real property.

EVIDENCE OF TITLE - proof of ownership of real property.

EXAMINATION OF TITLE - the review process of the chain of title, as revealed by an abstract of title or public record.

EXCLUSIVE LISTING - a written contract giving one licensed real estate agent, the exclusive right to sell a parcel of real property for a specific period of time.

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F *

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (FCRA) - a Federal law, in part, giving one the right to see his or her credit report so that errors may be corrected. A lender loan broker/agent (credit grantor) refusing to advance credit based upon a credit report it receives from a credit repository, is compelled by law to reveal to the potential borrower, the name of the credit repository which issued the credit report.

FAIR MARKET VALUE - the price where a willing buyer and a willing seller would normally agree to trade, each of whom has a reasonable knowledge of all pertinent facts, and neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell. Appraisals are designed to consider the pertinent facts to determine the likely fair market value.

FANNIE MAE (FNMA) - The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), the nation's largest mortgage investor. Created in 1968 by an amendment to Title III of the National Housing Act (12 USA 1716 et seq.), this stockholder-owner corporation, a portion of whose Board of Directors is appointed by the President of the United States, supports the secondary market in mortgages on residential property with mortgage purchase money and securitization programs for "conforming" residential real property loans.

FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION (FmHA) - Provides financing to farmers and other qualified borrowers who are unable to obtain loans elsewhere.

FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA) - Federal agency, which, among other things, directs the activities of the Federal Insurance Administration, and established flood insurance rates and terms of coverage, issues policies, processes claims, and identifies and maps flood-prone areas nationwide.

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC) - a Great Depression agency originally established by the Federal Banking Act of 1933, to protect depositors from loss.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK BOARD - The former name for the regulatory and supervisory agency for federally chartered savings institutions. Agency is now called the Office of Thrift Supervision.


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.


FF&E- "Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment", a phrase often used in commercial equipment leasing. A combination of items like "furniture" (in lobby of dentist, lawyer), "fixtures" (liquor store room mounted central air conditioner, security system, shelving for book store) & "equipment" (bakery baking equipment, restaurant walk-in refrigerator/freezer) commonly utilize commercial small business equipment finance-lease structures.

FHA (FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION) MORTGAGE - a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA mortgages require lower down payments than conventional mortgages, and also feature less stringent income and financial requirements.

FHA (FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION) 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.

FIRST LIEN - a priority position of right by a lender or holder of some other obligation to take ownership of a property for satisfaction of an outstanding debt. It allows the lender or holder of some other obligation to recover this money by foreclosing property if the borrower or obligor fail to make payments or do certain things agreed to.

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.

FIXED AND ADJUSTABLE RATES - the way the interest on your loan is determined. A fixed rate of interest stays the same over the life of the loan; an adjustable (or "variable") rate changes, increasing or decreasing periodically according to an index which reflects general trends.

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE - a mortgage with an interest rate that remains constant for the life of the loan. The most common fixed-rate mortgage is repaid over a period of 30 years; 15 year fixed-rate mortgages are also available.

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.

FORBEARANCE - the act of refraining from taking legal action despite the fact that the mortgage is in arrears. It is usually granted only when a mortgagor makes satisfactory arrangements to pay the delinquent amount owed at a future date.

FREDDIE MAC (FHLMC) - The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), the second largest investor of residential real estate mortgage loans, created by Congress in Title III of the Emergency Home Finance Act of 1970 (12 USC 1451 et seq.), to provide an alternative source to FannieMae, for "conforming" residential real estate mortgage loans. This stockholder-owned corporation, a portion of whose Board of Directors is appointed by the President of the United States, supports the secondary market in mortgages on residential property with mortgage purchase money and securitization programs for "conforming" residential real property loans

FRONTAGE - the property line abutting the most important adjacent property, usually a street, lake, river or ocean…

FULL INCOME VERIFICATION - a requirement for fully documented proof of income; loans that contain this requirement can usually offer lower interest rates than formal no-income verification programs.

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.

FUNCTIONAL DEPRECIATION - in real estate, a loss of value due to advancements in technology or design that makes the features of the current facility obsolete. Also called functional obsolescence.

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G *

GINNI MAE - see Government National Mortgage Association.

GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE (GFE) - a written estimate which you sign, that the lender/loan agent must present to you within 3 days of when they receive your consumer residential real property loan application credit package. It is a government required document and must contain a detailed itemization of what the lender/loan agent proposes to charge you. Although it is not the "final word", it must be the lender/loan agent's "best estimate" of the proposed transaction they think you'll qualify for, at this early stage in the process. You'll discover that a great deal of the "costs" are paid out to various non-affiliated outside vendors and suppliers to the transaction. This document, the GFE, is where they're detailed for you, early enough in the process for you to understand, compare and comment on.

GOVERNMENT NAITIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION (GNMA) - Also known as "Ginnie Mae," provides sources of funds for residential mortgages, insured or guaranteed by FHA or VA.

GRACE PERIOD - a period of time (usually measured in days) after an obligation is due during which a borrower can perform without incurring a penalty and without being considered in default.

GRADUATED PAYMENT MORTGAGE (GPM) - a type of flexible payment mortgage where the payments increase for a specific period of time, and then level off, typically resulting in a negative amortization.

GRANTEE - the person to whom an interest in real property is conveyed, such as the buyer or gift recipient (donee) of property, or the recipient of a security interest in property by way of a deed of trust.

GRANTOR - the person conveying an interest in real property is conveyed, such as the seller or gift giver (donor) of property, or the giver of a security interest in property by way of a deed of trust.

GROSS LIVING AREA - the total floor area of a building measured from the outside of the exterior wall..

GROSS INCOME - total income produced by a rental type piece of real property, before expenses are deducted.

GROSS RENT MULTIPLIER - a figure used to compare rental properties. It is derived from the relationship between gross rental income and sales price.

GROWING EQUITY MORTGAGE (GEM) - a graduated payment mortgage in which increases in a borrower's mortgage payments are used to accelerate reduction of principal on the mortgage. Due to increased payments, the borrower acquires equity more rapidly and retires the debt earlier.

GUARANTY - a promise by one party to pay a debt or perform an obligation contracted by another or by another person or legal entity if the other person or entity fails to pay or perform according to the terms of the contract in question.

GUARANTOR- one who gives his personal guaranty that a mortgage or other obligation of another person or legal entity will be paid.

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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.

HOME EQUITY - the difference between the Fair Market Value (appraisal) of your home today, minus the mortgage debt remaining on the home. Using that "equity" for a loan has been commonly called a "second mortgage" for years; today's term more accurately - a home equity loan.<

HOME IMPROVEMENT LOAN - a mortgage to finance an addition to or rehabilitation of a residence.

HOME MORTGAGE DISCLOSURE ACT (HMDA) - Federal legislation which requires certain types of lenders to compile and disclose data on where their mortgage and home improvement loans are being made.

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION (HOA) - a nonprofit organization that manages the common areas and services of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common areas; in a planned unit development it holds title to common areas.

HOMEOWNER'S POLICY - an insurance policy available to owners of private dwellings which covers the dwelling and its contents as well as personal liability.

HOMEOWNERS WARRANTY PROGRAM (HOW) - an insurance program through which participating builders provide home buyers with a warranty on the workmanship and materials of a home and warrant against major structural defects.

HOMESTEAD ESTATE - in some states, a statutory exemption which prohibits the attachment or sale of owner-occupied properties, to pay the claims of creditors.

HOUSING EXPENSE RATIO - the relationship of a borrower's monthly payment obligation on housing (principal, interest, taxes, insurance and other applicable housing expenses) divided by gross monthly income, expressed as a percentage - also called the top ratio.

HUD-1 UNIFORM SETTLEMENT STATEMENT - the standard form used to disclose costs of closing. All charges imposed in the transaction must be disclosed separately, and in detail.

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IMPOUND - That 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.

INDEX - an economic indicator, usually a published interest rate, that determines changes in the interest rate of an ARM. ARM rates are adjusted to reflect changes in the index. The margin is the amount a lender adds to the index to establish the actual interest rate on an ARM.

INDEXED RATE - The sum of the published index plus the margin. For example if the index were 9% and the margin 2.75%, the indexed rate would be 11.75%. Often, lenders charge less than the indexed rate the first year of an adjustable-rate mortgage.

IN FILE CREDIT REPORT - a computer generated credit report of credit and legal information obtained from a credit repository. Some in file credit reports may be tri-merge of three credit reporting agencies.

INFLATION - an increase in he amount of money or credit available in relation to the amount of goods or services that are available. This causes an increase in the general price level of services and goods. In time, inflation reduces the purchasing power of the dollar, thus making it worth less money.

INITIAL INTEREST RATE - the original interest rate on a mortgage at the time of closing the loan. This rate changes on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). The initial interest rate is also known as a start rate or teaser rate.

INGRESS AND EGRESS - the right to enter and exit land.

INSOLVENCY - a condition in which a debtor is unable to pay his or her creditors.

INSTALLMENT - the periodic payment that a borrower agrees to pay a lender.

INSTALLMENT LOAN - borrower money that is repaid in payments, known as installments.

INSTITUTIONAL LENDER - a financial institution that lends to the general public. Some examples are mutual savings banks, commercial banks, federal savings banks (formerly called savings and loans), pension and trust funds, life insurance companies.

INSURABLE INTEREST - the interest of an owner, lessee, mortgagee or trustee which is insured against financial loss in the case of specified events.

INSURABLE TITLE - a real property title that a title insurance company agrees to insure against defects.

INSURANCE - a contract that provides compensation for specific losses in exchange for a periodic payment.

INSURED LOAN - generally speaking, a mortgage loan insured by FHA or a private mortgage insurance company.

INTEREST (LOANS) - the sum paid for borrowing money, which pays the lender's costs of doing business along with repaying the lenders source of money as well. "Interest Rates" are typically a function of market conditions, expenses, and borrower risk of loss probability. For example, all things being equal, if you compared same exact loan - lender to lender to lender, they'll normally cost almost the same.

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.

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.

INTEREST RATE CEILING - for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loan, it's the maximum interest rate, as specified in the mortgage note or deed of trust's note.

INTEREST RATE FLOOR - again, for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loan, it's the lowest rate, as specified in the mortgage note or deed of trust's note.

INTERIM FINANCING - A construction loan made during completion of a building or a project. A permanent loan usually replaces this loan after completion.

INVESTMENT PROPERTY - a real property that is not occupied by the owner.

INVESTOR - any person or institution that invests in mortgage instruments or other items of value.

INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT (IRA) - a retirement account that allows individuals to make tax deferred contributions to a personal retirement fund. Individuals can place IRA funds in bank accounts, or other forms of approved investments accounts - such as stock, bonds, or mutual funds.

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JUMBO LOAN - a loan which is larger than than the limits set by the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation for conforming loans. The present maximum conforming loan amount is $369,650, and can be expected to rise soon to $400,000. 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 (usually 15) after the due date.

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.

LENDER BUY-DOWN MORTGAGE - a convertible mortgage offering a discounted interest rate at the beginning of the loan that gradually increases to an agreed-upon fixed-rate over the first few years of the loan. It provides lower initial payments and a stable final monthly rate, but the final rate may be somewhat higher than on a standard fixed-rate mortgage.

LIABILITIES - a person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt.

LIABILITY INSURANCE - insurance covering the risks related to the property, and personal liability claims of other parties against the insured party.

LIBOR - see London InterBank Offered Rate below.

LIEN - a claim upon a piece of property for the payment or satisfaction of a debt or obligation. Liens can be consensual as in the case of a mortgage, or non-consensual as in the case of a judgment or tax lien.

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.

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.

LOAN - A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.

LOAN APPLICATION - typically a combination of standardized government forms and forms provided by the lender - 1003 the most popular one, you've seen many times.

LOAN ORIGINATION FEE - the fee charged by a lender/loan agent (sometimes called "points") to make the funds available to you, an off-set of its marketing and overhead expenses.

LOAN PROCEEDS - part of the money you borrow.

LOAN-TO-VALUE RATIO - the relationship between the amount of the consumer residential real estate mortgage loan and the appraised value of the property expressed as a percentage. In some cases, we fund loans at LTV's in excess of 100%, called 125'ers, no equity, or partially secured lending. 125% loans however, require a strong credit score (national average score is 689 for 125'ers customers), with very few (if any) modest negative credit items in your credit report file.


Conforming - Conforming loans refer to a residential real estate loan in amounts that conform to FNMA and FHLMC guidelines, at present no greater than $369,650, but expected to increase soon.

Jumbo - Jumbo loans refer to those loan amounts outside of the "conforming" range or, above $369,650.

Investment Properties (Non-Owner Occupied) - These types of homes are normally acquired specifically for investment purposes or are owned as a result of moving to a new house without selling or being able to sell the old house. Financing for investment properties can be achieved using any of the above described programs. Typically, the rates are a bit higher and the LTV's can be a bit lower.

Non-Conforming - Can be an applicant with a 'conforming' type high quality credit history, but someone looking for a mortgage loan with more lenient standards, then the conservative 'conforming' guidelines. Also applies to customers with credit scores that are below the 'conforming' range. 'Non-conforming' lenders help over 60% of all loan applicants, however the rates will be higher. Higher is better than being REJECTED.

Stated-Income or Low-Document Loans - In certain situations it is either difficult or impossible for potential borrowers to show a lender their "taxable" income on paper. In these instances any of the above described programs can be used, but under circumstances called NIV or No Income Verification. All of the other program parameters must be met, however, in the case of income, a borrower may only be required to show a operating license or business license and/or limited income information. With this type of financing, rates and fees offered tend to be slightly higher. This type of financing is recommended for self-employed borrowers or borrowers who have difficulty showing their income on paper, for one reason or another.

No-Ratio Loan - In this case the borrower's debt-to-income ratio would be higher than the lender's guidelines--usually 45% to 55%, and so the borrower, who must have a strong credit score and be employed, pays points to the lender for the privilege of exceeding the DTI limits.

No-Doc Loan - In this case the borrower, who must have a strong credit score, is not even required to prove he is employed. This loan works for a person who is moving to a new area and has not secured a job yet.

LOCK - a lender's guarantee that the mortgage rate quoted will be good for a specific number of days from day of application.

LONDON INTERBANK OFFERED RATE (LIBOR) - the rate at which banks in the foreign market lender dollars to one another. LIBOR varies by deposit maturity. This moving standard, is a common interest rate index, it's one of the most valid barometers of the international cost of money. A guide used by many lender funding sources for ARM loans.

LOSS PAYABLE CLAUSE - an insurance policy provision for payment of a claim to someone, other than the insured, who holds an insurable interest in the insured property.

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MANUFACTURED HOME - factory built or pre-fabricated housing including mobile homes. Generally they must be a 'double-wide,' on a permanent foundation, and built after 1976 for any mortgage company to consider financing them. You must already own or be buying the land on which the manufactured home sits.

MARKET VALUE - the highest price that a buyer and the lowest price that a seller would accept, neither one being compelled to buy or sell; also called Fair Market Value.

MATURITY - the date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.

MECHANIC'S LIEN - a claim created by law to secure priority of payment for work performed and materials provided by a contractor, also referred to as a workman's lien. To file such a lien, the claimant must be licensed.

METES AND BOUNDS - a description of a parcel of land in a deed in which the boundaries are defined by directions and distances.

MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS - regulations and guidelines used as underwriting criteria that set forth acceptable property standards and specifications.

MOBILE HOME - a factory-assembled residence consisting of one or more modules in which a chassis and wheels are an integral of the structure, and can be readied for occupancy without removing the chassis and/or wheels, also referred to as a manufactured home.

MODULAR HOME - a factory-assembled residence built in units or sections, transported to a permanent site and erected on a foundation. Whereas mobile homes are built with wheels, modular homes are not.

MONTHLY FIXED INSTALLMENT - that 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.

MORTGAGE - a pledge of property, especially real property, as security for a debt. In most states the document used is a deed of trust mortgage. .

MORTGAGE BANKER - an individual, firm or organization that originates, sells and/or services loans secured by mortgages on real property, and makes loans in his own name.

MORTGAGE BROKER - a firm or individual who, for a commission, matches borrowers and lenders and who makes loans in the name of lenders.

MORTGAGE COMMITMENT - an agreement between lender and borrower detailing the terms of a mortgage loan, such as interest rate, loan type, term and amount.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE (MI) - insurance which protects mortgage lenders against loss in the event of default by the borrower. This allows lenders to make conventional refinance loans at higher loan-to-value rations, and purchase money loans with lower down payments. The Federal government offers MI through HUD/FHA; private entities offer MI for conventional loans.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE CERTIFICATION - certificate issued by HUD/FHA as evidence that a mortgage has been insured and that a contract of mortgage insurance exists between HUD/FHA and the lender incorporating HUD/FHA regulations identified in the certificate. There is a premium payment, paid by the borrower for this.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUM (MIP) - the amount paid by a mortgagor (borrower) for mortgage insurance either to FHA or a private mortgage insurance company.

MORTGAGE NOTE - a written promise to pay a sum of money at a stated interest rate, during a specific term. A mortgage note is secured by a mortgage.

MORTGAGEE - the lender in a mortgage transaction.

MORTGAGEE CLAUSE - a clause that may be attached to an insurance policy stipulating that the lender will receive a portion of insurance proceeds sufficient to satisfy the unpaid amount of a loan in the event of loss.

MORTGAGOR - the borrower in a mortgage transaction who pledges real property as a security for a debt.

MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS) - a service provided by the Board of Realtors which enders access to real estate listings of properties for sale or lease.

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NEGATIVE AMORTIZED (NEG/AM) - the unpaid interest which is added to the mortgage principal in a loan where the principal balance increases rather than decreases, because the monthly mortgage payments do not cover the full amount of the interest that's due.

NEGATIVE AMORTIZATION LOANS - a popular type of Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loan, where the initial interest rate (start-rate) is very low, therefore monthly payments are smaller than other type loans. These type loans have interest rates which adjust periodically, and monthly payments which also change. There normally is a CAP, or ceiling, which limits the amount the interest rate can go up (fully indexed), AND also a separate limit on the size the monthly payments can increase as well (usually limited to a 7.5% annual payment size increase). Perfect for people with strong income 'potential', bigger home now for less money monthly. Also called Option ARM, Pick-A-Payment, and Cash Flow loans.

NEGATIVE CASH FLOW - the deficit that is created when expenditures required to maintain an investment exceed income received on the property.

NET EFFECTIVE INCOME - the borrower's gross income minus federal income tax.

NET WORTH - the value of all assets including cash less total liabilities. Often used as an underwriting guideline to indicate creditworthiness and financial strength.

NO CASH-OUT REFINANCE (RATE & TERM RE-FI) - transaction in which the mortgage amount is limited to the sum of the unpaid principal balance pf any existing mortgages plus closing costs.

NON-ASSUMPTION CLAUSE - A statement in a mortgage contract forbidding the assumption of the mortgage without the prior approval of the lender. .

NON-CONFORMING MORTGAGE LOAN - a residential mortgage loan in which the loan amount, the loan-to-value ratio, the term, the credit score, or some other aspect (or combination of characteristics) of the loan exceeds permissible limits as specified by FNMA or FHLMC regulations. Rates & fees are always higher than 'conforming' rates.

NOTE - a general term for any kind of paper or document signed by a borrower that is an acknowledgment of a debt and is a promise to pay. When a note is secured by a mortgage, it is called a mortgage note, and the mortgagee is the payee.

NOTICE OF COMPLETION - notice recorded after completion of construction. Mechanic's liens must be filed within a specific period of time thereafter.

NOTICE OF DEFAULT - notice recorded after a default under a deed of trust or mortgage has occurred. Also, the notification sent to defaulting borrowers required by insurers or guarantors - such as FHA, VA, or certain mortgage insurance companies.

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OBSOLESCENCE - loss of value resulting from outmoded physical features, technical advances or economic influences.

OFFICE OF THRIFT SUPERVISION (OTS) - The regulatory and supervisory agency for federally chartered savings institutions. Formally known as Federal Home Loan Bank Board

OFF-SITE IMPROVEMENTS - improvements outside the boundaries of a property that enhance its value such as sidewalks, streets, curbs and gutters.

ONE-YEAR ADJUSTABLE - Mortgage whose annual interest and payment levels changes yearly. The rate is usually based on movements of a published index plus a specified margin.

ON-SITE IMPROVEMENTS - any construction of buildings or other improvements within the boundaries of a property that increase its value.

ORDINARY INCOME - income subject to tax at full or ordinary rates, rather than a capital gains rate.

ORIGINATION - marketing and attracting, then securing a completed mortgage loan application from a commercial or residential borrower.

ORIGINATION FEES - the fee charged by a broker/lender (sometimes called "points") to make the funds available to you, an off-set of its marketing and overhead expenses.

ORIGINATOR - a person who assists a borrower with the application for a mortgage loan.

OWNER FINANCING - A property purchase transaction in which the party selling the property provides all or part of the financing.

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PAR - a price of 100 percent of face value.

PARTIAL PAYMENT - in loan collection, receipt of less than the full payment due.

PARTNERSHIP - a business association of two or more owners who share in the profits and losses of he business. Partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts of the business enterprise.

PARTY WALL - a wall built on a line between two adjoining properties and common to both owners

PAYMENT CHANGE DATE - 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 adjustment date.

PAYMENT SHOCK - a scenario in which monthly mortgage payments on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rise so high that the borrower may not be able to afford the payments. Many consumer protection guidelines regarding extremely low initial "teaser" rates, lifetime ceilings, and annual caps are designed to prevent payment shock.

PAYOFF FIGURES - the unpaid principal balance, plus any negative escrow amounts, plus accrued and unpaid interest, late charges, prepayment penalties, and other possible fees, to be used for payment in full of a mortgage or other lien.

PERIODIC PAYMENT CAP - A limit on the amount that payments can increase or decrease during any one adjustment period.

PERIODIC RATE CAP - A limit on the amount that the interest rate can increase or decrease during any one adjustment period, regardless of how high or low the index might be.

PERMANENT FINANCING - a mortgage loan usually covering development costs, interim loans, construction loans, financing expenses, that is put in place when the property is completed.

PERSONAL PROPERTY - any property that is not real property (dirt).

PHYSICAL DEPRECIATION - decline in the value of a physical asset or real property, resulting from normal usage, age, wear and tear, disintegration or action of the elements. Depreciation can be curable or incurable sometimes.

PIGGY-BACK LOAN - the combination of both a first and second mortgage being recorded concurrently on a single piece of property. A single mortgage lender may originate both loans, or the loans may be originated by two different lenders.. In either event, the two loans are recorded by priority.

PITI (PRINCIPAL, INTEREST, TAXES AND INSURANCE) - the four components that (for most homeowners) are included in the monthly mortgage payment. Principal and interest are the portions of the payment assigned to repay the mortgage itself; taxes and insurance are paid by your lender into a special escrow account to pay for homeowners insurance and property taxes.

PLEDGED ACCOUNT MORTGAGE (PAM) - Money is placed in a pledged savings account and this fund plus earned interest is gradually used to reduce mortgage payments.

POINTS (LOAN DISCOUNT POINTS) - prepaid interest on a mortgage that is usually paid at the time of closing. Each "point" is equal to one percent of the total amount of a mortgage (one point on an $80,000 mortgage is $800, or 1 percent of 80,000). Most lenders offer mortgages with several combinations of points and interest rates; generally, the lower the interest rate, the more points you will pay at settlement, and the shorter the loans term will be. Don't mix-up "points" and "closing costs" in your mind (SEE GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE).

POINTS (typically charged) - the residential FIRST MORTGAGE market today for 'conforming' applicants is in the zero to two, two and a half point range. 'Non-conforming' customers (about 60% of everybody else) are charged generally one to three points, while SECOND MORTGAGES are often in the 2 to 5 point range at most home equity specialty companies, especially when the typical customer today is looking for higher Combined LTV's (CLTV). These are pretty much industry averages lately, and they represent what we normally charge here at Americas Money Center.

PORTFOLIO LENDER - a funding source who holds loans in their own portfolio and does not sell them to investors in the secondary market. These lender/funding sources usually hold the loans until their maturity, or until the loan is paid off.

POWER OF ATTORNEY - a legal document authorizing one person to sign documents for, obligate, and represent another. An ordinary power of attorney ceases to be effective if the principal becomes incompetent or unconscious. A durable power of attorney continues to be effective despite incompetence or unconsciousness, provided there has been no news received of the principal's death. There are also medical powers of attorney, which authorize the attorney-in-fact to represent the principal in medical matters.

PRE-APPROVAL OR PRE-QUALIFICATION (prequal) - an early assurance by a lender/loan broker that you appear to meet the requirements for a specific type of loan. Unless subsequent supporting documentation doesn't adequately confirm the initial supplied information, "prequals" rarely change.

PRELIMINARY TITLE SEARCH - a real property title search a title insurance company prior to issuance of a title binder or commitment to insure.

PREPAID ITEMS - costs paid at closing for taxes, interest, and insurance. Because prepaid items are recurring costs that do not relate to the acquisition of the real property itself, they cannot be financed.

PREPAID INTEREST - mortgage loan interest that is paid in advance of when it is due to obtain tax advantages, or as required by a lender at closing for the odd days between he loan closing date and 30 days prior to the first scheduled payment due date.

PREPAYMENT - the payment of all or part of a mortgage debt before it is due.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY - a charge the mortgagor pays the mortgagee, for the privilege to prepay the loan. These are quite common in most States, they can be "bought-down" or "bought-out" at origination in many cases.

PRE-QUALIFICATION - evaluation of a potential borrower's financial status, and other characteristics, to determine the size and type of mortgage which is likely available to him or her.

PRIME RATE - the interest rate commercial banks typically charge their most creditworthy commercial customers for short-term loans. "Prime" is a yardstick for trends in interest rates, and it is often a baseline for establishing interest rates on higher-risk loans. Each bank sets its own separate "prime rate." It does NOT directly effect mortgage rates like you think it might!

PRIMARY MORTGAGE MARKET - Lenders, such as savings and loan associations, commercial banks, and mortgage companies, who make mortgage loans directly to borrowers. These lenders sometimes sell their mortgages to the secondary mortgage markets such as to FNMA or GNMA, etc.

PRIMARY RESIDENCE - the residence which the owner physically occupies and uses as his or her home.

PRINCIPAL - the original balance of money lent, excluding interest. Also, the remaining balance of a loan, excluding interest.

PRINCIPAL BALANCE - The amount borrowed or remaining unpaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of a mortgage.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (pmi) - a policy of insurance issued by an insurance company protecting the mortgage lender against financial loss, in the event of a borrower default on a mortgage loan. Borrower pays the premium, the lender is the beneficiary of the insurance policy (it's like the insurance company is the co-signer/guarantor on the loan).

PRO RATE - the allocation of proportionate shares of income, ownership or of an obligation which a buyer and seller share at the time of closing of a purchase transaction.

PROMISSORY NOTE - a written promise to pay a specific amount at s specified time.

PUD (Planned Unit Development) - a comprehensive development plan for a large land area. A PUD usually includes residences, roads, schools, recreational facilities, commercial office and industrial areas. Also, a subdivision having lots of areas owned in common and reserved for the use of some or all of the owners of the separately owned lots.

PURCHASE AGREEMENT - a written agreement/contract as between a buyer and a seller of real property setting froth the price and the other terms of the sale.

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QUALIFYING RATIOS - Calculations used to determine if a borrower can qualify for a mortgage. They consist of two separate calculations: a housing expense as a percent of income ratio and total debt obligations as a percent of income ratio.

QUALITY CONTROL - policies and procedures designed to maintain optimal levels of quality, accuracy and efficiency in the production, selling and servicing of mortgage loans.

QUIT CLAIM DEED - a deed relinquishing all right, title and interest or claim an owner has in a piece of real property. Such a deed implies no warranty.

QUOTE - see rate shopper below. What sales types tell people to "hook them;" often it's not what you end up getting!

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RATE LOCK - A commitment issued by a lender to a borrower or other mortgage originator guaranteeing a specified interest rate and lender costs for a specified period of time.

RATE SHOPPER - someone, like all of us, who wants VALUE of their buck. Unfortunately the "rate" is not the central difference as between any two lenders. They can be different from lender to lender, because of your credit score (which changes daily - see credit score above), the lien position (first or second mortgage,) proposed loan size, dollar amount of real estate appraisal vs. the size of the new proposed loan (Loan-To-Value percentage), property marketability, repair and condition, it's uniqueness to the neighborhood, your income source(s) and their long term stability, your historic income stream, your past and present credit records, it's depth, variety and quality, your capacity to be able to repay the loan according to the terms dictated by the lender, and most importantly the overall common sense of your request and the "reason" for the loan (purchasing, re-finance [no cash-out], equity advance, bill consolidation, home improvement etc ). For any 'rate quote' to even be remotely close to the final number, you need to supply the lender/broker agent with a COMPLETE application and have a three (3) credit bureau merged credit report run on you (and any other applicants) for the lender/broker agent to be able to give you a thorough answer about your eligibility to qualify for a particular rate. It's NOT one rate fits all in residential real estate mortgage lending. You getting a QUICK ANSWER, won't be the REAL ANSWER. QUICK IS GREAT FOR HAMBURGERS, BUT NOT FOR CREDIT DECISIONS.

REAL ESTATE AGENT - A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate on behalf of the property owner.

REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (RESPA) - a federal statute and regulation promulgated by HUD, governing residential real estate lending practices and disclosures.

REAL PROPERTY - land and objects permanently attached to it, such as buildings and fences. In some States, this term is synonymous with the term "real estate."

REALTOR ® - A real estate broker or an associate holding active membership in a local real estate board affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.

RECONCILIATION - the last step in the appraisal process, in which all data are compared and the approaches to value considered to arrive at a final estimate of value.

RECONVEYANCE - an instrument used to transfer title from a trustee to the equitable owner of real estate; used when the performance of debt is satisfied under the terms of a deed of trust.

RECORDING - the filing of documents or details of a legal document to make them a matter of public record. Usually requires the witnessing and notarizing of the document or instrument to be recorded.

REDORDING FEES - Money paid to the lender for recording a home sale with the local authorities, thereby making it part of the public records.

RED LINING - arbitrary denial of a residential real estate loan application in certain geographical areas, without considering the individual applicants qualifications.

REFINANCING - the repayment of a debt from the proceeds of a new loan, using the same property as security for the new loan.

REGULATION B - Federal Reserve regulation prohibiting discrimination against consumer credit applicants, and establishing guidelines for collecting and evaluating credit information.

REGULATION Z - Regulation written by the Federal Reserve Board to implement the Federal Truth-In-Lending Act, requiring full written disclosures of the credit portion of all consumer loans, including annual percentage rate (APR) etc.

REHABILITATION - restoration of a parcel of real property, or neighborhood to bring it back to its full (highest & best) potential use.

REINSTATEMENT - the curing of all loan defaults by a borrower, to return it to a current status.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY - an agreement by a lender to terminate personal obligation of a mortgagor in connection with payment of a debt.

RELEASE OF LIEN - an instrument discharging secured property from a lien.

RENT CONTROL - legal limitations on rent increases.

REPLACEMENT COST - the money required to replace building structure, with one of equivalent value and function, but not necessarily identical in design or materials.

REPRODUCTION COST - the cost required to reproduce a building using the same or equivalent materials, design and construction methods, less an allowance for depreciation. An element of the cost approach method of appraisal.

RESCISSION - the cancellation of a transaction or contract by law or by mutual consent.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANT - a clause in a deed that denies the buyer full rights to the property in question.

REVERSE ANNUITY MORTGAGE (RAM) - A form of mortgage in which the lender makes periodic payments to the borrower using the borrower's equity in the home as collateral for and repayment of the loan.

REVOLVING LIABILITY - A credit arrangement, such as a credit card, that allows a customer to borrow against a preapproved line of credit when purchasing goods and services.

RIDER - an addendum or amendment to a written contract.

RULE OF 78TH'S - a mathematical method used by a lender, usually on installment loans, for calculating an interest rebate on a loan paid off or refinanced prior to its maturity date, also known as the United States Rule.

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SALES CONTRACT - a written agreement between buyer and seller, stating terms and conditions of a sale or exchange of property.

SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE - the recorded instrument the lender provides, to evidence payment in full of a mortgage debt.

SEASONED MORTGAGE - a mortgage on which payments have been made regularly for a year or longer.

SECOND MORTGAGE (HOME EQUITY LOAN) - a mortgage loan that has rights which are subordinate to a first, or senior lien.

SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET - The place where primary mortgage lenders sell the mortgages they make to obtain more funds to originate more new loans. It provides liquidity for the lenders.

SECURITY - The property that will be pledged as collateral for a loan.

SECURED PARTY - an entity party holding a security interest or lien, also called the mortgagee.

SECURITY INSTRUMENT - mortgage or deed of trust, evidencing the pledge of real estate as collateral for a loan.

SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME - the net earnings from your business or profession, determined by subtracting business expenses from gross tax return reported income. For lending documentation purposes, if you didn't pay taxes on it, you didn't earn it.

SELLER CARRY-BACK - An agreement in which the owner of a property provides financing, often in combination with an assumable mortgage. See owner financing.

SELLER CONTRIBUTIONS - payment by the seller or any other interested party of some or all of the purchaser's usual closing costs. Investors and pmi insurers sometimes limit the amount of seller contribution and require lenders to adjust the property's value if contributions exceed limitations. Undisclosed seller contributions (such as decorating allowances, appliances or payment of moving expenses) are made to borrowers outside of closing, and are also subject to investor/lender and insurer restrictions.

SENIOR MORTGAGE (LIEN) - a first mortgage or deed of trust.

SERVICER - 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.

SERVICING - All the steps and operations a lender performs to keep a loan in good standing, such as collection of payments, payment of taxes, insurance, property inspections and the like.

SETTLEMENT COSTS - money paid by borrower (and seller if a purchase transaction) to effect the closing of a mortgage loan, including payments for title insurance, survey, attorney fees, and such prepaid items as taxes and insurance escrow.

SHARED APPRICIATION MORTGAGE (SAM) - A mortgage in which a borrower receives a below-market interest rate in return for which the lender (or another investor such as a family member or other partner) receives a portion of the future appreciation in the value of the property. May also apply to mortgage where the borrowers shares the monthly principal and interest payments with another party in exchange for part of the appreciation.

SIMPLE INTEREST - Interest which is computed only on the principle balance.

SITE DEVELOPMENT - all improvements made to a site, such as clearing, grading and the installation of public utilities, before the actual construction of a building.

SITE VALUE - the value of land without improvements, as if vacant.

SPECIAL ASSESSMENT DISTRICT - a governmental subdivision with the power to tax and improve property within its jurisdiction. Also called special improvement district.

SPOT LOANS- single family residential real estate mortgage loans solicited on an individual basis, rather than through Realtor referrals, or otherwise.

STANDARD PAYMENT CALCULATION - The method used to determine the monthly payment required to repay the remaining balance of a mortgage in substantially equal installments over the remaining term of the mortgage at the current interest rate.

STATED INCOME - One with a strong credit score assets consistent with a strong income can "go stated," meaning he is not required to document his income. "Going stated" is the converse of "going full-doc." Going "stated" can be useful to people in business for themselves who write off too much of their income through depreciation expense. The same is true of those who own several rental properties; depreciation expense and artificially high vacancy factors used by lenders can make it impossible for them to show enough income to go "full-doc." Going "stated" is useful for the person who has in-house renters, including relatives who contribute to household expenses, but who will not be on the loan and whose income thus cannot be used for "full-doc" qualifications. The same would hold true if a borrower has a spouse who has significant income but who has bad credit and for that reason cannot be one of the borrowers. The family has the income, but for one reason or another it cannot be documented. Lenders have no definition for what income can be included in a stated income loan. However, they typically go to to check as to whether the income stated is reasonable for the borrower's occupation.

STEP-RATE MORTGAGE - A mortgage that allows for the interest rate to increase according to a specified schedule (i.e., seven years), resulting in increased payments as well. At the end of the specified period, the rate and payments will remain constant for the remainder of the loan.

SUBCONTRACTOR - a person or company contracted to perform work for a developer or general contractor

SUBDIVISION - improved or unimproved land divided into a number of parcels for sale, lease, financing or development.

SUBORDINATION - the act of a party acknowledging, by a written record, that a debt is inferior to the interest of another in the same property. Subordination may also apply not only to mortgages but to leases, real estate rights and any other types of debt instruments.

SURETY BOND - written evidence of a third party, called the surety, that will be primarily liable for a debt in the case of default.

SURVEY - a measurement of land, prepared by a registered land surveyor, showing the location of the land with reference to known points, its dimensions and the location and dimensions of any improvements.

SWEAT EQUITY - Equity created by a purchaser performing work on a property being purchased.

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TAX LIEN - a claim against property for unpaid taxes.

TENANCY IN COMMON - a form of undivided ownership interest by two or more persons that provides for no right of survivorship. The interest need not be a equal percentages.

TENANT - one who is not the owner, but occupies real property under consent of the owner, and in subordination to the owner's title. The tenant is entitled to exclusive possession, use and enjoyment of the property, usually for a time ands amount specified in a lease or rental agreement.

TERM - the period of time between the commencement date and termination date of a note, mortgage, deed of trust, legal document or other contract.

THIRD-PARTY ORIGINATION - When a lender uses another party to completely or partially originate, process, underwrite, close, fund, or package the mortgages it plans to deliver to the secondary mortgage market.

TITLE - written evidence of the right to or ownership in real property. Title may be acquired through purchase, inheritance, devise, gift, or through foreclosure of a mortgage.

TITLE INSURANCE - a contract by which the insurer agrees to pay the insured a specific amount for any loss caused by defects of title to real estate, wherein the insured has an interest as purchaser, mortgagee or otherwise.

TITLE SEARCH - an examination of public records, laws and court decisions, to ensure that no one except the current owner has a valid claim to the property, and to disclose past and current facts regarding ownership of the subject property.

TOTAL EXPENSE RATIO - Total obligations as a percentage of gross monthly income including monthly housing expenses plus other monthly debts.

TOWNHOUSE - a row house on a small lot, which has exterior limits common to other similar units. Title to the unit and its lot is vested in the individual owner with a fractional interest in common areas, if any.
TRUSTEE - one who holds legal title to property for the benefit of another, or to secure performance of a specific obligation.

TRUTH-IN-LENDING ACT (TILA) - the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act (PL. 90-321, 15 USC 1601 et seq.) Part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1965, a Federal law that requires lenders to provide full written disclosure of credit terms and conditions, the finance charges, the annual percentage rate (APR), and other fees and charges incurred in a consumer loan agreement.

TWO STEP MORTGAGE - A mortgage in which the borrower receives a below-market interest rate for a specified number of years (most often seven or 10), and then receives a new interest rate adjusted (within certain limits) to market conditions at that time. the lender sometimes has the option to call the loan due with 30 days notice at the end of seven or 10 years. also called "Super Seven" or "Premier" mortgage.

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UNDERWRITING - the process of deciding whether to make a loan based on credit, employment, assets and other factors. CHARACTER - CAPACITY - COLLATERAL - COMMON SENSE.

UNENCUMBERED PROPERTY - a parcel of real property which is free and clear of debt or liens.

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE (UCC) - a comprehensive code of laws regulating important legal aspects of business and financial transactions.

UNIFORM RESIDENTIAL APPRAISAL REPORT (URAR) - The FNMA 1004/FHLMC 65 standard residential form used by real property appraisers to detail facts supporting the value of single-family properties.

UNIMPROVED LAND - raw land, dirt only.

URBAN RENEWAL - the redevelopment or rehabilitation of real property in an urban area.

USURY - the act of charging borrowers a rate of interest greater than that permitted by law.

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VA (DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS) MORTGAGE - government insured loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, requiring very low or no down payments and with generous requirements for qualification. They are available only to veterans of the armed services, those currently on active duty or in the reserves, and their spouses.

VA FUNDING FEE - a fee the VA charges to guarantee a residential real estate mortgage loan

VA LOAN - mortgage loan made by an approved lender and guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are made to eligible veterans and those currently serving in the military and can have a lower down payment than other type loans.

VACANCY RATE - the ratio between the number of vacant units and the total number of units in a multi-tenant building or development.

VALUATION - the estimation of a property's price through appraisal.

VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE (VRM) - see adjustable rate mortgage.

VERIFICATION OF DEPOSIT (VOD) - a form that requests and secures verifications of amount on deposit at financial institutions.

VERIFICATION OF EMPLOYMENT (VOE) - a form that requests and secures documentation of a mortgage applicant's work history and/or occupation, to assist in the lender's credit investigation.

VESTED INTEREST - a legal claim or right to the present or future enjoyment of real property.

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WAREHOUSE FEE - Many mortgage firms must borrow funds on a short term basis in order to originate loans which are to be sold later in the secondary mortgage market (or to investors). When the prime rate of interest is higher on short term loans than on mortgage loans, the mortgage firm has an economic loss which is offset by charging a warehouse fee.

WRAPAROUND MORTGAGE - A seller who owes a first mortgage to a lender might sell his property to a buyer who does not get new financing but instead gives the seller a new second mortgage, which wraps around and includes the first mortgage in favor of the lender. The buyer pays the seller, who then pays the lender. If the first mortgage contains a due-on-sale clause, the lender may call the loan due, in which the seller and buyer will either have to refinance or sell the property to pay off the holder of the first mortgage. Generally the time allotted for this payoff is six months. .


ZERO DOWN FINANCING - A buyer with reasonably good credit and income can borrow the full purchase price. If he gets the seller to pay his closing costs, the buyer might buy "double-zero-down." There is zero-down financing for first time home buyers, for veterans, and for others who meet lenders' qualifications.

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Call me at 425-774-6611 or 888-999-2022 for further information. The fax number is 425-776-8081. Or e-mail me. The fax number is 425-776-8081.  

For details about how to apply go here.


Copyright © 2010 James Robert Deal.