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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

The lending institution providing a loan or credit. Source: www.hud.gov


Direct Endorsement. Program permitting lender processed and endorsed FHA mortgages.


The person or entity that borrows money. The term debtor may be used interchangeably with the term borrower. Source: www.hud.gov


A document that legally transfers ownership of property from one person to another. The deed is recorded on public record with the property description and the owner's signature. Also known as the title. Source: www.hud.gov


To avoid foreclosure ("in lieu" of foreclosure), a deed is given to the lender to fulfill the obligation to repay the debt; this process does not allow the borrower to remain in the house but helps avoid the costs, time, and effort associated with foreclosure. Source: www.hud.gov


The inability to make timely monthly mortgage payments or otherwise comply with mortgage terms. A loan is considered in default when payment has not been paid after 60 to 90 days. Once in default the lender can exercise legal rights defined in the contract to begin foreclosure proceedings. Source: www.hud.gov


Failure of a borrower to make timely mortgage payments under a loan agreement. Generally after fifteen days a late fee may be assessed. Source: www.hud.gov


A decrease in the value or price of a property due to changes in market conditions, wear and tear on the property, or other factors. Source: www.hud.gov

Discount Point

Normally paid at closing and generally calculated to be equivalent to 1% of the total loan amount, discount points are paid to reduce the interest rate on a loan. In an ARM with an initial rate discount, the lender gives up a number of percentage points in interest to give you a lower rate and lower payments for part of the mortgage term (usually for one year or less). After the discount period, the ARM rate will probably go up depending on the index rate. Source: www.hud.gov

Document Recording

After closing on a loan, certain documents are filed and made public record. Discharges for the prior mortgage holder are filed first. Then the deed is filed with the new owner's and mortgage company's names. Source: www.hud.gov

Down Payment

The portion of a home's purchase price that is paid in cash and is not part of the mortgage loan. This amount varies based on the loan type, but is determined by taking the difference of the sale price and the actual mortgage loan amount. Mortgage insurance is required when a down payment less than 20 percent is made. Source: www.hud.com

Due on Sale Clause

A provision of a loan allowing the lender to demand full repayment of the loan if the property is sold. Source: www.hud.gov


The legal rights that give someone other than the owner access to use property for a specific purpose. Easements may affect property values and are sometimes a part of the deed. Source: www.hud.gov


Equal Credit Opportunity Act; a federal law requiring lenders to make credit available equally without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs. Source: www.hud.gov


Energy Efficient Mortgage; an FHA program that helps homebuyers save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energy efficiency features to a new or existing home as part of the home purchase. Source: www.hud.gov

Eminent Domain

When a government takes private property for public use. The owner receives payment for its fair market value. The property can then proceed to condemnation proceedings. Source: www.hud.gov


A structure that extends over the legal property line on to another individual's property. The property surveyor will note any encroachment on the lot survey done before property transfer. The person who owns the structure will be asked to remove it to prevent future problems. Source: www.hud.gov


Anything that affects title to a property, such as loans, leases, easements, or restrictions. Source: www.hud.gov


An owner's financial interest in a property; calculated by subtracting the amount still owed on the mortgage loon(s)from the fair market value of the property. Source: www.hud.gov


Funds held in an account to be used by the lender to pay for home insurance and property taxes. The funds may also be held by a third party until contractual conditions are met and then paid out. Source: www.hud.gov

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