Glossary (click letters)
For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), a limitation on the amount the interest rate or mortgage payments may increase or decrease.
• See also "Lifetime Payment Cap," "Lifetime Rate Cap," "Periodic Payment Cap," and "Periodic Rate Cap"
A refinance transaction in which the borrower receives additional funds over and above the amount needed to repay the existing mortgage, closing costs, points, and any subordinate liens.
Certificate of Deposit
A document issued by a bank or other financial institution that is evidence of a deposit, with the issuer's promise to return the deposit plus earnings at a specified interest rate within a specified time period.
Certificate of Eligibility
A document issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) certifying a veteran's eligibility for a VA-guaranteed mortgage loan.
Chain of Title
The history of all of the documents that have transferred title to a parcel of real property, starting with the earliest existing document and ending with the most recent.
A change in the original construction plans ordered by the property owner or general contractor.
Ownership that is free of liens, defects, or other legal encumbrances.
The process of completing a financial transaction. For mortgage loans, the process of signing mortgage documents, disbursing funds, and, if applicable, transferring ownership of the property. In some jurisdictions, closing is referred to as "escrow," a process by which a buyer and seller deliver legal documents to a third party who completes the transaction in accordance with their instructions.
• Also see "Settlement"
The person or entity that coordinates the various closing activities, including the preparation and recordation of closing documents and the disbursement of funds. (May be referred to as an escrow agent or settlement agent in some jurisdictions.) Typically the closing is conducted by title companies, escrow companies or attorneys.
The fees charged in connection with a mortgage loan transaction. Money paid by a buyer (and/or seller or other third party, if applicable) to effect the closing of a mortgage loan, generally including, but not limited to a loan origination fee, title examination and insurance, survey, attorney's fee, and prepaid items, such as escrow deposits for taxes and insurance.
The date on which the sale of a property is to be finalized and a loan transaction completed. Often, a real estate sales professional coordinates the setting of this date with the buyer, the seller, the closing agent, and the lender.
• See "HUD-1 Settlement Statement"
Any borrower other than the first borrower whose name appears on the application and mortgage note, even when that person owns the property jointly with the first borrower and shares liability for the note.
An asset that is pledged as security for a loan. The borrower risks losing the asset if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the loan agreement.
The efforts a lender takes to collect past due payments.
The fee charged for services performed, usually based on a percentage of the price of the items sold (such as the fee a real estate agent earns on the sale of a house).
A binding offer by a lender to loan money at a future date subject to the borrower's compliance with stated conditions.
Those portions of a building, land, or improvements and amenities owned by a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project's homeowners' association (or a cooperative project's cooperative corporation) that are used by all of the unit owners, who share in the common expenses of their operation and maintenance. Common areas include swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities, as well as common corridors of buildings, parking areas, means of ingress and egress, etc.
An abbreviation for "comparable properties," which are used as a comparison in determining the current value of a property that is being appraised.
A real estate project in which each unit owner holds title to an individual unit in a building, and an undivided interest in the common areas.
A loan for financing the cost of construction or improvements to a property; the lender disburses payments to the builder at periodic intervals during construction.
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a home inspection contingency; the sales contract is not binding unless and until the purchaser has the home inspected.
A mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government or one of its agencies, such as FHA, VA or RHS. Contrast with "Government Mortgage."
A provision of some adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans that allows the borrower to change the ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage at specified times after loan origination.
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that allows the borrower to convert the loan to a fixed-rate mortgage under specified conditions.
Cooperative (Co-op) Project
A project in which a corporation holds title to a residential property and sells shares to individual buyers, who then receive a proprietary lease as their title.
Cost of Funds Index (COFI)
An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It is based on the weighted monthly average cost of deposits, advances, and other borrowings of members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
An independent agency that gathers and maintains information on the debts and repayment records of individuals and businesses.
A record of an individual's debts and repayment record. A credit history helps a lender to determine whether a potential borrower has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.
Credit Life Insurance
A type of insurance that pays off a specific amount of debt or a specified credit account if the borrower dies while the policy is in force.
A document provided by a credit reporting agency containing information about an individual's previous mortgage history, bank loans, credit cards, and public records dealing with financial matters.
A numerical value that ranks a borrower's credit risk at a given point in time based on a statistical evaluation of information in the individual's credit file that has been proven to be predictive of loan performance.
A person to whom money is owed.