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Mortgage Glossary

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Mortgage Glossary

Abstract of Title:
A historical summary of all the recorded instruments and proceedings that affect the title of a property.

Declaration by a party executing an instrument that it is his act and deed. It is usually made before a Notary Public or Attorney.

Adjustable Rate:
An interest rate, which changes periodically in relation to an index, as opposed to a fixed rate that, does not change. Payments may increase or decrease accordingly. (AKA: Variable Rate)

Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure:
This disclosure is provided to a borrower because they may have inquired about a lender-affiliated mortgage or escrow company. The lender also provides this disclosure to a borrower because they are required to disclose any affiliations they have with other companies. (i.e.: Title Companies, Finance Companies, and Escrow Companies) The lender is stating that any referrals that they may have given were only suggestions and that the borrower was free to choose any company that he / she desired. If the borrower did not choose one way or another, a lender usually chooses for him/her in order to process the loan.

A repayment method in which the amount a borrower borrows is repaid gradually through regular monthly payments of principal and interest. During the first few years, most of each payment is applied toward the interest owed. During the final years of the loan, payment amounts are applied almost exclusively to the remaining principal.

Amount Financed:
The Amount Financed is the loan amount applied for less the prepaid finance charges. Prepaid finance charges can be found on the Good Faith Estimate / Settlement Statement (HUD-I or IA). For example if the borrower's note is for $100,000 and the Prepaid Finance Charges total $5,000, the Amount Financed would be $95,000. The Amount Financed is the figure on which the Annual Percentage Rate is based. The Amount Financed is simply the loan Principal less the total of Prepaid Finance Charges.

Annual Membership:
Amount that may be charged annually for having a line of credit available. Often charged regardless of whether or not you use the line. Often referred to as a "participation fee."

Annual Percentage Rate:
1. The cost of credit on a yearly basis, expressed as a percentage. Required to be disclosed by the lender under the federal Truth In Lending Act, Regulation Z. APR includes up-front costs paid to obtain the loan, and therefore, is usually a higher amount than the interest rate stipulated in the mortgage note. APR does not include title insurance, appraisal, and credit report. 2. It also is not the note rate for which the borrower applied. The APR is the cost of the loan in percentage terms taking into account various loan charges of which interest is only one such charge. Other charges which are used in calculation of the APR are Private Mortgage Insurance or FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (when applicable) and Prepaid Finance Charges (loan discount, origination fees, prepaid interest and other credit costs). The APR is calculated by spreading these charges over the life of the loan that results in a rate higher than the interest rate shown on the Mortgage/Deed of Trust Note. If interest were the only Finance Charge, then the interest rate and the APR would be the same. 3. Interest + Prepaid Finance Charge = Finance Charge. = APR and / or Amount of Loan; Prepaid Finance Charge = Amount Financed = APR. 4. The APR is the relative cost of credit expressed in percentage terms. Remember the monthly payment is NOT bases on the APR. It is based on the interest rate stated on the NOTE and quoted at the time the borrower was contacted with the approval. The APR can be any of the following plus interest rate, amortized over the first year: loan fees, points, title fees, recording fees, signing fees, document fees, and any other fees imposed by the lender and paid by the borrower.

This is an initial statement of personal and financial information, which is required to approve the loan.

Application Fee:
A fee that is paid upon application for loan. An application fee may frequently include charges for property appraisal ($200 - $400) and a credit report ($30 - $100).

A fee charged by an appraiser to render an opinion of marker value as of a specific date. Required by most lenders to obtain a loan.

Assumption of Mortgage:
The agreement of a purchaser to become primarily liable for the payments on a mortgage loan. Unless otherwise specified by the lender, the seller may remain secondarily liable for payments.

Balloon Payment:
A lump sum payment for the unpaid balance of a loan. Usually comes at the end of a loan.

The maximum allowable increase for either payment or interest rate for a specified amount of time on an adjustable rate mortgage.

Cash Out:
Receiving money back when refinancing your present mortgage.

The maximum allowable interest rate over the life of the loan of an adjustable rate mortgage.

Close Application (Payoff Letter):
A document that authorizes lenders to payoff old loans with the funds from a new loan (refinance).

A meeting at which all documents are signed and all expenses are paid to transfer ownership of property. Often called a "settlement."

Closing Costs:
Any fees paid by the borrowers or sellers during the closing of the mortgage loan. This normally includes an origination fee, discount points, attorney fees, title insurance, survey, and any items which must be prepaid, such as taxes and insurance escrow payments. a. closing costs, nonrecurring: one-time costs charged in conjunction with a loan. (i.e.: loan origination fee, title policy, escrow fee, credit report, appraisal, tax service, notary fees, recording fees, pest control inspection) b. closing costs, recurring: costs charged in conjunction with a loan (i.e.: tax reserve, tax prioritization, hazard insurance reserve, hazard insurance premium, prepaid interest)

Closing Instructions:
A document that outlines the entire loan package. This includes the terms of the loan, fees (that are also shown in the HUD-1), and tells what documents will be included in the loan package.

Community Property:
Property acquired by husband and wife, or either, during marriage, when not acquired as the separate property of either.

Conforming Loan:
Generally this is a mortgage loan under $207,000. Qualifying ratios and underwriting methods are standardized to a large degree.

Contract of Sale:
The agreement between the buyer and the seller on the purchase price, terms, and conditions necessary to both parties to convey the title to the buyer.

Credit Limit:
The maximum amount that a person can borrow under a home equity plan.

Debt Service:
The total amount of credit card, auto, mortgage or other debt upon which you must pay.

The legal document conveying title to a property.

Deed of Trust:
Used in many western states. The agreement used to pledge your home or other real estate as security for a loan. Similar to a mortgage and a three-party instrument between a borrower called the trustor; a lender called the beneficiary and a neutral third party called a trustee. The deed of trust is the instrument, which is recorded to give added assurance that the promissory note will be paid when due.

Deed, Grant:
A form of old deed common in California which contains implied warranties to the effect that the grantor has not previously conveyed or encumbered the property.

Deed, Quit Claim:
A deed, which conveys whatever present right, title, or interest, the grantor may have. Unlike a grant deed, it does not contain any warranties.

Discount Point (or Points):
The amount paid either to maintain or lower the interest rate charged. Each point is equal to one percent (1%) of the loan amount (i.e.: one point on a $100,000 mortgage would equal $1000).

Down Payment:
The difference between the purchasing price and that portion of the purchase price being financed. Most lenders require the down payment to be paid from the buyer's own funds. Gifts from related parties are sometimes acceptable, and must be disclosed to the lender.

Due on Sale:
A clause in a mortgage agreement providing that, if the mortgagor (the borrower) sells, transfers, or, in some instances, encumbers the property, the mortgagee (the lender) has the right to demand the outstanding balance in full.

Effective Interest Rate:
The cost of credit on a yearly basis expressed as a percentage. Includes up-front costs paid to obtain the loan, and is therefore, usually a higher amount than the interest rate stipulates in the mortgage note. Useful in comparing loan programs with different rates and points.

A claim against a property by another party which usually affects the ability to transfer ownership of the property.

The difference between the fair market value (appraised value) of your home and your outstanding mortgage balance.

An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.

Escrow Transfer Request and Disclosure:
A document requesting that the funds in an escrow for a borrowers old loan to be transferred to the escrow account of the new loan at the time the old loan is paid off.

Escrow Waiver Agreement:
A document that allows the lender to waive its right to require the borrower to establish an escrow impound account to pay for such things as real estate taxes or hazard insurance premiums.

Fannie Mae:
The Federal National Mortgage Association, a New York Stock Exchange company and the largest non-bank financial services company in the world. It operates pursuant to a federal charter and is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. It adds liquidity to the mortgage market by investing in home loans throughout the country.

First Mortgage:
A mortgage which is in first lien position, taking priority over all other liens (which are financial encumbrances).

Fixed Rate:
An interest rate which is fixed for the term of a loan. Payments as well are fixed at one amount.

FHA Loan:
More appropriately termed FHA Insured Loan. A loan for which the Federal Housing Administration insures the lender against losses the lender may incur due to a borrower's default.

Finance Charge:
The amount of interest prepaid finance charge and certain insurance premiums (if any) which the borrower will be expected to pay over the life of a loan. Or the finance charge is the total of payments less the amount financed.

Finance charge, prepaid:
Prepaid finance charges are certain charges made in connection with the loan and which must be paid upon the close of the loan. The Federal Reserve Board in Regulation Z defines these charges and the borrower must pay the charges. Non-inclusive examples of such charges are, loan organization fee, points or discount, private mortgage insurance, or FHA mortgage insurance, or tax service fee. Some loan charges are specifically excluded from the prepaid finance charge such as appraisal fees and credit fees.

Form W-9:
The purpose of this form is to allow the person who is required to file an information return with the IRS to get a borrowers correct taxpayer identification number (TIN) to report such items as income paid to the borrower (cash back), real estate transactions, mortgage interest paid to the borrower, acquisition or abandonment of secured property, or cancellation of debt.

Form 4506:
The purpose of this form is for the lender to get a tax return, verify that the borrower did or did not file a Federal tax return, W-2 information, or a copy of a tax form.

Freddie Mac:
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. A federal agency within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which insures residential mortgage loans made by private lenders and sets standards for underwriting mortgage loans.

Good Faith Estimate:
A written estimate of closing costs which a lender must provide the borrower within three (3) days of submitting an application.

Grace Period:
A period of time during which a loan payment may be paid after its due date and not incur a late penalty. Such late payments may be reported on your credit report.

Hazard Insurance:
A contract between purchaser and an insurer, to compensate the insured for loss of property due to hazards (fire, hail damage, etc), for a premium.

Home Equity Line of Credit:
A loan providing a borrower with the ability to borrow funds at the time and in the amount the borrower chooses, up to a maximum credit limit for which a borrower has qualified. Repayment is secured by the equity in the borrower's home. Simple interest (interest-only) payments on the outstanding balance) is usually tax-deductible. Often used for home improvements, major purchases or expenses, and debt consolidation.

Home Equity Loan:
A fixed or adjustable rate loan obtained for a variety of purposes, secured by the equity in your home. Interest paid is usually tax-deductible. Often used for home improvement or the freeing of equity for investment in other real estate or other investments. Recommended by many to replace or substitute for consumer loans whose interest is not tax-deductible, such as auto or boat loans, credit card debt, medical debt, and educational loans.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development was established by Congress in 1965 and is responsible for the implementation and administration of government housing and urban development programs. These programs include community planning and development, housing production and mortgage insurance (FHA), secondary mortgage market activities (GNMA) and equal opportunity in housing.

HUD-1 Settlement Statement:
This document is generated at the close of escrow and details all costs and expenses that were received or paid during the loan. Contained in this are the settlement charges to the borrower, the amount of the loan to be paid off, the gross amount due from the borrower, the principal amount of the new loan, and any other deposits or fees. Can be a form utilized at loan closing to itemize the costs associated with purchasing the home. Used universally by mandate of HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD-1, Addendum:
This is an additional page that may be attached, and verifies that the borrowers have read and understand the HUD-1.

Impound Account:
An account maintained by institutional lenders in which the borrower pays his real property taxes and hazard insurance premiums to the lender in monthly payments along with the principal and interest.

Interest Rate:
The periodic charge expressed as a percentage, for use of credit. Or the percentage of a sum of money charged for its use.

A number, usually a percentage, upon which future interest rates for adjustable rate mortgages are based. Common indexes include Cost of Funds for the Eleventh Federal District of banks or the average rate of one-year Government Treasury Security.

Joint Tenancy:
Title held by two or more individuals in equal shares with right of survivorship.

Jumbo Loan:
Mortgage loans over $203,150. Terms and underwriting requirements may vary from confirming loans.

Line of Credit:
An agreement whereby a financial institution promises to lend up to a certain amount without the need to file another application.

Loan to Value Ratio (LTV):
A ratio determined by dividing the sales price or appraised value into the loan amount, expressed as a percentage. For example, with a sales price of $100,000 and a mortgage loan of $80,000, a borrower loan to value ratio would be 80%. Loans with an LTV over 80% may require Private Mortgage Insurance (see Private Mortgage Insurance).

Lock (or Lock In):
A commitment a borrower obtains from a lender assuring the borrower that a particular interest rate or feature is locked in for a definite time period. Provides protection should interest rates rise between the time the borrower applies for a loan, acquire loan approval, and, subsequently, close the loan and receive the funds the borrower has borrowed.

An amount, usually a percentage, which is added to the index to determine the interest rate for adjustable rate mortgages.

Minimum Payment:
The minimum amount that a borrower must pay, usually monthly, on a home equity loan or line of credit. In some plans, the minimum payment may be "interest only," (simple interest). In other plans, the minimum payment may include principal and interest (amortized).

Monthly Payment:
The loan amount, called the Principal, the Number of Payments, and the Annual Interest Rate (Note Rate) are used together to determine the monthly payment. This is the amount shown on the Note. If the loan is fully amortized, as most loans are, then by making the monthly payment every month on time, the entire principal will be paid off by the time the last payment is due.

A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.

Mortgage Banker:
A person who originates mortgage loans, loaning a borrower the funds, and closing the loan in their name.

Mortgage Broker:
A person who, as a mortgage banker, takes loan applications and processes the necessary paperwork. Unlike a mortgage banker, brokers do not fund the loan with their own money, but work on behalf of several investors, such as mortgage bankers, S & L, banks, or investment bankers.

Mortgage Insurance:
Insurance purchased by a borrower to insure the lender or the government against loss should a loan become default. MIP: (or Mortgage Insurance Premium) is paid on government-insured loans (FHA or VA loans) regardless of a borrowers LTV (loan-to-value). Should a borrower pay off a government-insured loan in advance of maturity, the borrower may be entitled to a small refund of MIP. PMI: (or Private Mortgage Insurance) is paid on those loans which are not government-insured and whose LTV is greater than 80%. When a borrower has accumulated 20% of their home value as equity, the lender may waive PMI at the borrower request. Please note that such insurance does not constitute a form of life insurance, which pays off the loan in case of death.

Mortgage Loan:
A loan, which utilizes real estate as security or collateral to provide for repayment, should a borrower default on the terms of the borrower loan. The mortgage or Deed of Trust is the borrower agreement to pledge their home or other real estate as security.

The lender in a mortgage loan transaction.

The borrower in a mortgage loan transaction.

Mortgagor's Affidavit:
A document used by the Federal Housing Administration to insure a loan, or by the Veterans Administration to guarantee a loan, or by a Private Mortgage Insurance Company to insure a loan. This document also states whether or not a borrower intends to occupy the property as a primary residence. It also determines if a property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area.

Negative Amortization:
Amortization in which a payment made is insufficient to fund complete repayment of a loan at its termination. Usually occurs when an increase in the monthly payment is limited by a ceiling. That portion of the payment, which should be paid, is added to the remaining balance owed. The balance owed may increase, rather than decrease, over the life of the loan.

A signed document acknowledging a debt and a promise to repay per the terms outlined. The Note could contain: address of the property in question, loan amount, lender, interest rate, date in which the first payment of the new loan is due, date of last payment, where to mail the payments, monthly payments, and percentage charged if paid late.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs. On a HUD 1 or Estimated Closing Statement for a loan.

Overnight Fee Statement:
This allows the lender to use an overnight express mail to payoff the previous mortgage.

Payment Schedule:
The dollar figures in the payment schedule represent principal, interest and mortgage insurance (if applicable) over the life of a loan. These figures will not reflect taxes and insurance escrows or any temporary buy down payments contributed by the seller.

Payoff Statement:
This document tells borrowers how the amount of the payoff of an old loan was reached. Generally the total payoff amount on this statement will match the payoff amount listed one the HUD-1 statement. This statement may include, prepayment interest, optional insurance, fees required for payoff, funds to be credited, funds to be retained.

Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, which comprise a borrowers monthly mortgage payment.

Paid outside of closing. Typically on a HUD 1 or Estimated Closing Statement for a loan.

Prepaid Finance Charges:
Certain loan charges such as loan origination fees (points), loan discount (discount points), buy-downs, and prepaid interest (odd day interest), processing fees, etc. are defined as prepaid finance charges.

Prepayment Penalty:
A fee paid to a lending institution for paying a loan prior to the scheduling maturity date.

Qualifying Ratios:
Comparisons of a borrower debts and gross monthly income.

Quitclaim Deed:
A deed that transfers, without warranty of ownership, whatever interest or title a grantor may have at the time the conveyance is made.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA):
A federal law that requires lenders to provide borrowers with information on settlement (closing costs).

Refinance Transaction:
The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan, typically using the same property as security for the new loan.

Right of Rescission:
(A.K.A.: Notice of Right to Cancel - 3 Day Right of Rescission) The legal right to void or cancel a mortgage contract in such a way as to treat the contract as it never existed. Right of rescission is not applicable to mortgages made to purchase a home, but may be applicable to other mortgages, such as home equity loans.

Security Interest:
An interest that a lender takes in a borrower's property to assure repayment of a debt.

Second Mortgage:
A subordinated lien created by a mortgage loan, over the amount of a first mortgage. Second mortgages are used to reduce the amount of a cash down payment or in refinancing to raise cash.

Servicing A Loan:
The ongoing process of collecting a borrowers monthly mortgage payment, including accounting for and payment of a borrowers yearly tax and/or homeowners insurance bills.

Sole & Separate Property:
Property owned before marriage and that acquired afterward by gift, bequests, devise, or descent.

Subordination Agreement:
An agreement under which a prior trust deed is made inferior to an otherwise junior lien. Or this document ensures that if a second mortgage or some other entity has a claim on the title of the property, the new Deed of Trust will be placed in first position on the title of the property. There may be multiple subordination agreements.

Tenancy In Common:
Ownership of property by any two or more persons in undivided interests (not necessarily equal), without right of survivorship.

The written evidence that proves the right of ownership of a specific piece of property.

Title Company:
A Company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate.

Title Insurance:
Protection for lenders or homeowners against financial loss resulting from legal defects in the title.

Total of Payments:
A figure that represents the total of all payments made towards principal, interest, and mortgage insurance (if applicable) over the life of the loan.

Transaction Fee:
A fee, which may be charged each time, a borrower draws on a home equity credit line.

Truth and Lending Disclosure:
A federal law designated to show a borrower the total cost of a loan. This document discloses the following to borrower's annual percentage rate, finance charge, amount financed, and total number of payments, and amount of each payment associated with the loan. This document also stipulates if there are any pre-payment penalties associated with the loan.

The process of verifying data and approving a loan.

VA Loan:
(More appropriately termed VA Insured Loan). A loan for which the Veteran's Administration insures the lender against losses the lender may incur due to a borrower's default. Available only to veterans possessing a Certificate of Eligibility.

Variable Rate:
An interest rate that changes periodically in relation to an index. Payments may increase or decrease accordingly.

Various Riders:
At the end of the Deed of Trust, before the signatures, there is a list of possible Riders to the document. If one or more of the boxes are checked, then the appropriate Rider will be attached. Examples of a few common Riders are Condominium Rider for condominiums, 1-4 Family Rider in multi-family dwellings, and Balloon Rider where a balloon payment is part of the loan.

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