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Lender: The entity or person who offers the mortgage loan. Also called “mortgagee.”

Lien: A legal hold or claim of one person on the property of another as security for a debt. May be listed on a credit report as public record.

Listing Agent: A real estate professional who has a contract with the seller of a house to advertise the property for sale and represent the seller when offers are made.

Loan Estimate: Replaces the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the initial Truth-in-Lending Disclosure. Designed to provide disclosures that will be helpful to consumers in understanding the key features, costs and risks of the mortgage loan for which they have applied. Provided to consumers within 3 business days after they submit a mortgage loan application.

Loan Modification: An agreement between a lender and a delinquent borrower that changes one or more of the loan terms.

Loan Term: The amount of time a borrower has to pay off a loan.

Loan-to-Value (LTV): The ratio of the loan balance to the appraised value of the house.

Mortgage: A security agreement between the lender and the buyer in which the property is collateral for the loan. The mortgage gives the lender the right collect payment on the loan and to foreclosure if the loan obligations are not met.

Mortgage Insurance: A policy required by the lender if a borrower puts less than 20 percent cash down when buying a home with a conventional or FHA loan, which protects the lender in the case of the borrower’s default. Also called “private mortgage insurance (PMI)” and “mortgage insurance premium (MIP)” for FHA loans.

Mortgage Note: A legal document obligating a borrower to repay a loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period that is secured by a mortgage and recorded in the public records along with the deed.

Mortgage Payment: The total monthly loan payment known as principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI). 

Multiple Listing Service (MLS): A service within a given community or area that allows real estate professional to submit listings and agree to attempt to sell as properties in the service.

Negative Amortization: Payment terms under which the borrower’s monthly payments do not cover the interest due and the loan balance subsequently increases.

Net Income: Money earned after taxes and other payroll deductions have been withdrawn.

Origination Fee: A fee some lenders charge for submitting, processing and evaluating a proposed mortgage loan.

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