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Home Resources Glossary


C

Glossary
cash-out refinance
A refinance transaction in which the amount of money received from the new loan exceeds the total of the money needed to repay the existing first mortgage, closing costs, points, and the amount required to satisfy any outstanding subordinate mortgage liens. In other words, a refinance transaction in which the borrower receives additional cash that can be used for any purpose.

Certificate of Eligibility
A document issued by the federal government certifying a veteran's eligibility for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage.

Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV)
A document issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA mortgage.

certificate of title
A statement provided by an abstract company, title company, or attorney stating that the title to real estate is legally held by the current owner.

change frequency
The frequency (in months) of payment and/or interest rate changes in an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

clear title
A title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property.

closing
A meeting at which a sale of a property is finalized by the buyer signing the mortgage documents and paying closing costs. Also called "settlement." At this meeting, ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

closing costs
Expenses (over and above the price of the property) incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, an attorney's fee, taxes, an amount placed in escrow, and charges for obtaining title insurance and a survey. Closing costs percentage will vary according to the area of the country; lenders or Realtors® often provide estimates of closing costs to prospective homebuyers.

collateral
An asset (such as a car or a home) that guarantees the repayment of a loan. The borrower risks losing the asset if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the loan contract.

commission
The fee charged by a broker or agent for negotiating a real estate or loan transaction. A commission is generally a percentage of the price of the property or loan.

commitment letter
A formal offer by a lender stating the terms under which it agrees to lend money to a home buyer. Also known as a "loan commitment."

compound interest
Interest paid on the original principal balance and on the accrued and unpaid interest.

condominium
A real estate project in which each unit owner has title to a unit in a building, an undivided interest in the common areas of the project, and sometimes the exclusive use of certain limited common areas.

construction loan
A short-term, interim loan for financing the cost of construction. The lender makes payments to the builder at periodic intervals as the work progresses.

contingency
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.

contract
An oral or written agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.

conventional mortgage
A mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Contrast with government mortgage.

covenant
A clause in a mortgage that obligates or restricts the borrower and that, if violated, can result in foreclosure.

credit history
A record of an individual's open and fully repaid debts. A credit history helps a lender to determine whether a potential borrower has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.

creditor
A person to whom money is owed.

credit report
A report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness.

credit reporting agency (or bureau)
An organization that prepares reports that are used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The agency obtains data for these reports from a credit repository as well as from other sources.




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