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margin

The difference between the interest rate and the index on an adjustable rate mortgage. The margin remains stable over the life of the loan. It is the index which moves up and down.

maturity

The date on which the principal balance of a loan, bond, or other financial instrument becomes due and payable.

merged credit report

A credit report which reports the raw data pulled from two or more of the major credit repositories. Contrast with a Residential Mortgage Credit Report (RMCR) or a standard factual credit report.

modification

Occasionally, a lender will agree to modify the terms of your mortgage without requiring you t refinance. If any changes are made, it is called a modification.

mortgage

A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt. Instead of mortgages, some states use First Trust Deeds.

mortgage banker

For a more complete discussion of mortgage banker, see “Types of Lenders.” A mortgage banker is generally assumed to originate and fund their own loans, which are then sold on the secondary market, usually to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae. However, firms rather loosely apply this term to themselves, whether they are true mortgage bankers or simply mortgage brokers or correspondents.

mortgage broker

A mortgage company that originates loans, then places those loans with a variety of other lending institutions with whom they usually have pre-established relationships.

mortgagee

The lender in a mortgage agreement.

mortgage insurance (MI)

Insurance that covers the lender against some of the losses incurred as a result of a default on a home loan. Often mistakenly referred to as PMI, which is actually the name of one of the larger mortgage insurers. Mortgage insurance is usually required in one form or another on all loans that have a loan-to-value higher than eighty percent. Mortgages above 80% LTV that call themselves “No MI” are usually a made at a higher interest rate. Instead of the borrower paying the mortgage insurance premiums directly, they pay a higher interest rate to the lender, which then pays the mortgage insurance themselves. Also, FHA loans and certain first-time homebuyer programs require mortgage insurance regardless of the loan-to-value.

mortgage insurance premium (MIP)

The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance, either to a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or to a private mortgage insurance (MI) company.

mortgage life and disability insurance

A type of term life insurance often bought by borrowers. The amount of coverage decreases as the principal balance declines. Some policies also cover the borrower in the event of disability. In the event that the borrower dies while the policy is in force, the debt is automatically satisfied by insurance proceeds. In the case of disability insurance, the insurance will make the mortgage payment for a specified amount of time during the disability. Be careful to read the terms of coverage, however, because often the coverage does not start immediately upon the disability, but after a specified period, sometime forty-five days.

mortgagor

The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

multi-dwelling units

Properties that provide separate housing units for more than one family, although they secure only a single mortgage.

negative amortization

Some adjustable rate mortgages allow the interest rate to fluctuate independently of a required minimum payment. If a borrower makes the minimum payment it may not cover all of the interest that would normally be due at the current interest rate. In essence, the borrower is deferring the interest payment, which is why this is called “deferred interest.” The deferred interest is added to the balance of the loan and the loan balance grows larger instead of smaller, which is called negative amortization.

no cash-out refinance

A refinance transaction which is not intended to put cash in the hand of the borrower. Instead, the new balance is caculated to cover the balance due on the current loan and any costs associated with obtaining the new mortgage. Often referred to as a “rate and term refinance.”

no-cost loan

Many lenders offer loans that you can obtain at “no cost.” You should inquire whether this means there are no “lender” costs associated with the loan, or if it also covers the other costs you would normally have in a purchase or refinance transactions, such as title insurance, escrow fees, settlement fees, appraisal, recording fees, notary fees, and others. These are fees and costs which may be associated with buying a home or obtaining a loan, but not charged directly by the lender. Keep in mind that, like a “no-point” loan, the interest rate will be higher than if you obtain a loan that has costs associated with it.

note

A legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a mortgage loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time.

note rate

The interest rate stated on a mortgage note.

no-points loan

Almost all lenders offer loans at “no points.” You will find the interest rate on a “no points” loan is approximately a quarter percent higher than on a loan where you pay one point.

notice of default

A formal written notice to a borrower that a default has occurred and that legal action may be taken.

(NNN) or Triple Net lease

This is typically a lease of property where the Lessee or Tenant pays a base rent plus their pro-rata share of the property’s taxes, insurance, maintenance and janitorial. Typically, this lease is used in retail or industrial space. Example:

2,500 SF commercial space

$.75 / SF / Mo (base rent)

+ $.29 / SF / Mo (taxes, insurance, maintenance and property mgmt) = $1.04 / SF / MO

X 2,500 SF

= $2,600 / Mo + Rental tax 2.15%

= $2,655.90 total monthly payment / month

original principal balance

The total amount of principal owed on a mortgage before any payments are made.

origination fee

On a government loan the loan origination fee is one percent of the loan amount, but additional points may be charged which are called “discount points.” One point equals one percent of the loan amount. On a conventional loan, the loan origination fee refers to the total number of points a borrower pays.

owner financing

A property purchase transaction in which the property seller provides all or part of the financing.