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Glossary of terms and acronyms used on this site

There are 93 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Capital Improvements

Property improvements that either will enhance the property value or will increase the useful life of the property. Source: www.hud.gov

Cash-Out Refinance

When a borrower refinances a mortgage at a higher principal amount to get additional money. Usually this occurs when the property has appreciated in value. Source: www.hud.gov

Casualty Protection

Property insurance that covers any damage to the home and personal property either inside or outside the home. Source: www.hud.gov

Certificate of Title

A document provided by a qualified source, such as a title company, that shows the property legally belongs to the current owner; before the title is transferred at closing, it should be clear and free of all liens or other claims. Source: www.hud.gov

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

This type of bankruptcy sets a payment plan between the borrower and the creditor monitored by the court. The homeowner can keep the property, but must make payments according to the court's terms within a 3 to 5 year period. Source: www.hud.gov

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy that requires assets be liquidated in exchange for the cancellation of debt. Source: www.hud.gov


The portion of principal and interest due on a loan that is written off when deemed to be uncollectible. Source: www.hud.gov

Clear Title

A property title that has no defects. Properties with clear titles are marketable for sale. Source: www,hud.gov


The final step in property purchase where the title is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Closing occurs at a meeting between the buyer, seller, settlement agent, and other agents. At the closing the seller receives payment for the property. Also known as settlement. Source: www.hud.gov

Cloud On The Title

Any condition which affects the clear title to real property. Source: www.hud.gov


Security in the form of money or property pledged for the payment of a loan. For example, on a home loan, the home is the collateral and can be taken away from the borrower if mortgage payments are not made. Source: www.hud.gov

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

A property evaluation that determines property value by comparing similar properties sold within the last year. Source: www.hud.gov This is typically prepared by a real estate agent.


A form of ownership in which individuals purchase and own a unit f housing in a multi-unit complex. The owner also shares financial responsibility for common areas. Source: www.hud.com

Conforming Loan

Is a loan that does not exceed Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's loan limits. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans are referred to as conforming loans. Source: www.hud.gov

Construction Loan

A short-term, to finance the cost of building a new home. The lender pays the builder based on milestones accomplished during the building process. For example, once a sub-contractor pours the foundation and it is approved by inspectors the lender will pay for their service. Source: www.hud.gov


A clause in a purchase contract outlining conditions that must be fulfilled before the contract is executed. Both, buyer or seller may include contingencies in a contract, but both parties must accept the contingency. Source: www.hud.gov

Conventional Loan

A private sector loan, one that is not guaranteed or insured by the U.S. government. Source: www.hud.gov

Cooperative (Co-op)

Residents purchase stock in a cooperative corporation that owns a structure; each stockholder is then entitled to live in a specific unit of the structure and is responsible for paying a portion of the loan. Source: www.hud.gov


Legally enforceable terms that govern the use of property. These terms are transferred with the property deed. Discriminatory covenants are illegal and unenforceable. Also known as a condition, restriction, deed restriction or restrictive covenant. Source: www.hud.gov

Credit Union

A non-profit financial institution federally regulated and owned by the members or people who use their services. Credit unions serve groups that hold a common interest and you have to become a member to use the available services. Source: www.hud.gov

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