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A - Glossary and terms for mortgages and loans

Acceleration

The right of the mortgagee (lender) to demand the immediate repayment of the mortgage loan balance upon the default of the mortgagor (borrower), or by using the right vested in the Due-on-Sale Clause.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

Is a mortgage in which the interest rate is adjusted periodically based on a preselected index. Also sometimes known as the re-negotiable rate mortgage, the variable rate mortgage or the Canadian rollover mortgage.

Adjustment Interval

On an adjustable rate mortgage, the time between changes in the interest rate and/or monthly payment, typically one, three or five years, depending on the index.

Amortization

A repayment method in which the amount you borrow is repaid gradually though regular monthly payments of principal and interest. During the first few years, most of each payment is applied toward the interest owed. During the final years of the loan, payment amounts are applied almost exclusively to the remaining principal.

Amortization Term

The amount of time required to amortize the loan. The amortization term is expressed as a number of months. For example, for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, the amortization term is 180 months.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Is a interest rate reflecting the cost of a mortgage as a yearly rate. This rate is likely to be higher than the stated note rate or advertised rate on the mortgage, because it takes into account point and other credit cost. The APR allows home buyers to compare different types of mortgages based on the annual cost for each loan.

Application Fee

Fees that are paid upon application. An application fee may frequently include charges for property appraisal ($200-$400) and a credit report ($30-50). See also Glossary of Closing Costs.

Appraisal

An estimate of the value of property, made by a qualified professional called an appraiser.

Appraisal Report

A written report by an appraiser containing an opinion as to the value of a property and the reasoning leading to that opinion.

Assessment

A local tax levied against a property for a specific purpose, such as a sewer or street lights.

Assumption

The agreement between buyer and seller where the buyer takes over the payments on an existing mortgage from the seller. Assuming a loan can usually save the buyer money since this is an existing mortgage debt, unlike a new mortgage where closing cost and new, probably higher, market-rate interest charges will apply.



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