Learn more about Mortgage
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In most jurisdictions mortgages are strongly associated with loans secured on real estate rather than other property (such as ships) and in some cases only land may be mortgaged. Arranging a mortgage is seen as the standard method by which individuals or businesses can purchase residential or commercial real estate without the need to pay the full value immediately.
In many countries it is normal for home purchase to be funded by a mortgage. In countries where the demand for home ownership is highest, strong domestic markets have developed, notably in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
 Participants and variant terminology
Each legal system tends to share certain concepts but vary in the terminology and jargon they use.
In general terms the main participants in a mortgage are:
The creditor has legal rights to the debt secured by the mortgage and often makes a loan to the debtor of the purchase money for the property. Typically, creditors are banks, insurers or other financial institutions who make loans available for the purpose of real estate purchase.
A creditor is sometimes referred to as the mortgagee or lender.
The debtor[s] must meet the requirements of the mortgage conditions (and often the loan conditions) imposed by the creditor in order to avoid the creditor enacting provisions of the mortgage to recover the debt. Typically the debtors will be the individual home-owners, landlords or businesses who are purchasing their property by way of a loan.
A debtor is sometimes referred to as the mortgagor, borrower, or obligor.
 Other participants
Due to the complicated legal exchange, or conveyance, of the property, one or both of the main participants are likely to require legal representation. The terminology varies with legal jurisdiction; see lawyer, solicitor and conveyancer.
Because of the complex nature of many markets the debtor may approach a mortgage broker or financial adviser to help them source an appropriate creditor typically by finding the most competitive loan. Recently, many consumers (particularly higher income borrowers) are choosing to work with Certified Mortgage Planners, industry experts that work closely with Certified Financial Planners to align the home finance position(s) of homeowners with their larger financial portfolio(s).
The debt is sometimes referred to as the hypothecation, which may make use of the services of a hypothecary to assist in the hypothecation.
 Other Terminologies
Like any other legal system, mortgage has several jargons that may confuse some people. Below are several mortgage terminologies explained in brief for better understanding.
Advance This is the money you have borrowed plus all the additional fees.
Base Rate In UK, this is the base interest rate set by the Bank of England.
Bridging Loan This is a temporary loan that enables you to purchase your new property before you are able to sell your old property.
Conveyance This is the legal document that transfers ownership of unregistered land to you.
Disbursements These are all the fees of your solicitors, such as stamp duty, land registry, search fees, etc.
Early Redemption Charge / Pre-Payment Penalty / Redemption Penalty This is the amount of money you have to pay if you pay your mortgage in full before the time finished.
Equity This is the amount of your property in the market minus all loans that it has.
Freehold This means the ownership of a property and the land.
Land Registration This is a legal document that records the ownership of a property and land.
Legal Charge This is a legal document that records the data of the rightful owner of a property or land.
Mortgage Deed This is a legal document that stated that the lender has a legal charge over your property.
Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance This is the insurance that insures your mortgage payment arrives on time in case you are unable to pay your mortgage.
Sealing Fee This is a fee made when the lender releases the legal charge over your property.
Subject To Contract This is an agreement between seller and buyer before the actual contract is made.
 Legal Aspects
There are essentially two types of legal mortgage.
 Mortgage by demise
In a mortgage by demise, the creditor becomes the owner of the mortgaged property until the loan is repaid in full (known as "redemption"). This kind of mortgage takes the form of a conveyance of the property to the creditor, with a condition that the property will be returned on redemption.
This is an older form of legal mortgage and is less common than a mortgage by legal charge. It is no longer available in the UK, by virtue of the Land Registration Act 2002.
 Mortgage by legal charge
In a mortgage by legal charge, the debtor remains the legal owner of the property, but the creditor gains sufficient rights over it to enable them to enforce their security, such as a right to take possession of the property or sell it.
To protect the lender, a mortgage by legal charge is usually recorded in a public register. Since mortgage debt is often the largest debt owed by the debtor, banks and other mortgage lenders run title searches of the real property to make certain that there are no mortgages already registered on the debtor's property which might have higher priority. Tax liens, in some cases, will come ahead of mortgages. For this reason, if a borrower has delinquent property taxes, the bank will often pay them to prevent the lienholder from foreclosing and wiping out the mortgage.
In Scotland, the mortgage by legal charge is also known as standard security.
- See also: Security interests - types of security
At common law, a mortgage was a conveyance of land that on its face was absolute and conveyed a fee simple estate, but which was in fact conditional, and would be of no effect if certain conditions were not met --- usually, but not necessarily, the repayment of a debt to the original landowner. Hence the word "mortgage," Law French for "dead pledge;" that is, it was absolute in form, and unlike a "live gage", was not conditionally dependent on its repayment solely from raising and selling crops or livestock, or of simply giving the fruits of crops and livestock coming from the land that was mortgaged. The mortgage debt remained in effect whether or not the land could successfully produce enough income to repay the debt. In theory, a mortgage required no further steps to be taken by the creditor, such as acceptance of crops and livestock, for repayment.
The difficulty with this arrangement was that the lender was absolute owner of the property and could sell it, or refuse to reconvey it to the borrower, who was in a weak position. Increasingly the courts of equity began to protect the borrower's interests, so that a borrower came to have an absolute right to insist on reconveyance on redemption. This right of the borrower is known as the "equity of redemption".
This arrangement, whereby the mortgagee (the lender) was on theory the absolute owner, but in practice had few of the practical rights of ownership, was seen in many jurisdictions as being awkwardly artificial. By statute the common law position was altered so that the mortgagor would retain ownership, but the mortgagee's rights, such as foreclosure, the power of sale and the right to take possession would be protected.
In the United States, those states that have reformed the nature of mortgages in this way are known as lien states. A similar effect was achieved in England and Wales by the Law of Property Act 1925, which abolished mortgages by the conveyance of a fee simple.
In the United States, mortgages became widely used starting in 1934. In that year, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lowered the down payment requirements by offering 80% loan-to-value loans. Next, banks, insurance companies, and other lenders followed the example. The FHA also lengthened loan terms by first introducing 15-year loans to supplant 3, 5, and 7-years loans which ended with a balloon payment. Until the 1930s only 40% of U.S. households owned homes; the rate today is nearly 70%, though the percentage of equity belonging to owners is at a record low. In 2003, total U.S. residential mortgage production reached a record level of $3.8 trillion through record low interest rates (though these continue to vary according to credit rating.)
 Repaying the capital
There are various ways to repay a mortgage loan; repayment depends on locality, tax laws and prevailing culture.
 Capital & interest
The most common way to repay a loan is to make regular payments of the capital (also called principal) and interest over a set term. This is commonly referred to as (self) amortization in the U.S. and as a repayment mortgage in the UK. Depending on the size of the loan and the prevailing practice in the country the term may be short (10 years) or long (50 years plus). In the UK and U.S., 25 to 30 years is typical (in the U.S. 15-year notes are also common). Mortgage repayments, which are typically made monthly, contain a capital element and an interest element. The amount of capital included in each repayment varies throughout the term of the mortgage. In the early years the repayments are largely interest and a small part capital. Towards the end of the mortgage the repayments are mostly capital and a small part interest. In this way the repayment amount determined at outset is calculated to ensure the loan is repaid at a specified period in the future. This gives borrowers assurance that by maintaining repayment the loan will definitely be cleared at a specified date, if the interest rate does not increase.
 Interest only
The main alternative to capital and interest mortgage is an interest only mortgage, where the capital is not repaid throughout the term. This type of mortgage is common in the UK, especially when associated with a regular investment plan. With this arrangement regular contributions are made to a separate investment plan designed to build up a lump sum to repay the mortgage at maturity. This type of arrangement is called an investment-backed mortgage or is often related to the type of plan used: endowment mortgage if an endowment policy is used, similarly a Personal Equity Plan (PEP) mortgage, Individual Savings Account (ISA) mortgage or pension mortgage. Historically, investment-backed mortgages offered various tax advantages over repayment mortgages, although this is no longer the case in the UK. Investment-backed mortgages are seen as higher risk as they are dependent on the investment making sufficient return to clear the debt.
It is not uncommon for interest only mortgages to be arranged without a repayment vehicle, with the borrower gambling that the property market will rise sufficiently for the loan to be repaid by trading down at retirement (or when rent on the property and inflation combine to surpass the interest rate).
 No capital or interest
For older borrowers (typically in retirement), it is possible to arrange a mortgage where neither the capital nor interest is repaid. The interest is rolled up with the capital, increasing the debt each year.
These arrangements are variously called reverse mortgages, lifetime mortgages or equity release mortgages, depending on the country. The loans are typically not repaid until the borrowers die, hence the age restriction. For further details, see equity release.
 Interest and partial capital
In the U.S. a partial amortization or balloon loan is one where the amount of monthly payments due are calculated (amortized) over a certain term, but the outstanding capital balance is due at some point short of that term. In the UK, a part repayment mortgage is quite common, especially where the original mortgage was investment-backed and on moving house further borrowing is arranged on a capital and interest (repayment) basis.
 Mortgages in the United States
 Types of Mortgage Instruments
Two types of mortgage instruments are used in the United States: the mortgage (sometimes called a mortgage deed) and the deed of trust.
 The mortgage
In all but a few states, a mortgage creates a lien on the mortgaged property. Foreclosure of that lien almost always requires a judicial proceeding declaring the debt to be due and in default and ordering a sale of the land to pay the debt.
 The deed of trust
The deed of trust is a deed by the borrower to a trustee for the purposes of securing a debt. In most states, it also merely creates a lien and not a title transfer, regardless of its terms. It differs from a mortgage in that, in many states, it can be foreclosed by a non-judicial sale held by the trustee. It is also possible to foreclose them through a judicial proceeding.
Most "mortgages" in California are actually deeds of trust. The effective difference is that the foreclosure process can be much faster for a deed of trust than for a mortgage, on the order of 3 months rather than a year.
Deeds of trust to secure a debts should not be confused with deeds to trustees to create trusts for other purposes, such as estate planning. Though there are superficial similarities in the form, many states hold deeds of trust to secure repayment of debts do not create true trust arrangements.
 Mortgage loan types
There are many types of mortgage loans. The two basic types of amortized loans are the fixed rate mortgage (FRM) and adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
In a FRM, the interest rate, and hence monthly payment, remains fixed for the life (or term) of the loan. In the U.S., the term is usually for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years (15 and 30 being the most common). However recently lenders have introduced terms that are amoritized over 40 and 50 year terms. The only increase a consumer might see in their monthly payments would result from an increase in their property taxes or insurance rates (paid using an escrow account, if they've opted to use an escrow). But payments for principal and interest will be consistent throughout the life of the loan using an FRM.
In an ARM, the interest rate is fixed for a period of time, after which it will periodically (annually or monthly) adjust up or down to some market index. Common indices in the U.S. include the Prime Rate, the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), and the Treasury Index ("T-Bill"). Other indexes like 11th District Cost of Funds Index, COSI, and MTA, are also available but are less popular.
Adjustable rates transfer part of the interest rate risk from the lender to the borrower, and thus are widely used where unpredictable interest rates make fixed rate loans difficult to obtain. Since the risk is transferred, lenders will usually make the initial interest rate of the ARM's note anywhere from 0.5% to 2% lower than the average 30-year fixed rate.
Additionally, lenders rely on credit reports and credit scores derived from them. The higher the score, the more creditworthy the borrower is assumed to be. Favorable interest rates are offered to buyers with high scores. Lower scores indicate higher risk to the lender, and lenders require higher interest rates in such scenarios to compensate for increased risk.
A partial amortization or balloon loan is one where the amount of monthly payments due are calculated (amortized) over a certain term, but the outstanding principal balance is due at some point short of that term. This payment is sometimes referred to as a "balloon payment". A balloon loan can be either a Fixed or Adjustable in terms of the Interest Rate. Many Second Trust mortgages use this feature. The most common way of describing a balloon loan uses the terminology X due in Y, where X is the number of years over which the loan is amortized, and Y is the year in which the principal balance is due. A contract could be written up so there would be more than one "balloon payment" required to be paid during the life of the loan.
Other loan types:
- Assumed mortgage
- Balloon mortgage
- Blanket loan
- Bridge loan
- Budget loan
- Buydown mortgage
- Commercial loan
- Equity loan
- Foreign National mortgage
- Graduated payment mortgage loan
- Hard money loan
- Jumbo mortgages
- Package loan
- Participation mortgage
- Reverse mortgage
- Repayment mortgage
- Seasoned mortgage
- Term loan or Interest-only loan
- Wraparound mortgage
- Negative amortization loan
- Non-Conforming Mortgage
 United States mortgage process
In the U.S., the process by which a mortgage is secured by a borrower is called origination. This involves the borrower submitting an application and documentation related to his/her financial history and/or credit history to the underwriter. Many banks now offer "no-doc" or "low-doc" loans in which the borrower is required to submit only minimal financial information. These loans carry a slightly higher interest rate (perhaps 0.25% to 0.50% higher) and are available only to borrowers with excellent credit.
Sometimes, a third party is involved, such as a mortgage broker. This entity takes the borrower's information and reviews a number of lenders, selecting the ones that will best meet the needs of the consumer.
Loans are often sold on the open market to larger investors by the originating mortgage company. Many of the guidelines that they follow are suited to satisfy investors. Some companies, called correspondent lenders, sell all or most of their closed loans to these investors, accepting some risks for issuing them. They often offer niche loans at higher prices that the investor does not wish to originate.
If the underwriter is not satisfied with the documentation provided by the borrower, additional documentation and conditions may be imposed, called stipulations. The meeting of such conditions can be a daunting experience for the consumer, but it is crucial for the lending institution to ensure the information being submitted is accurate and meets specific guidelines. This is done to give the lender a reasonable guarantee that the borrower can and will repay the loan. If a third party is involved in the loan, it will help the borrower to clear such conditions.
The following documents are typically required for traditional underwriter review. Over the past several years, use of "automated underwriting" statistical models has reduced the amount of documentation required from many borrowers. Such automated underwriting engines include Freddie Mac's "Loan Prospector" and Fannie Mae's "Desktop Underwriter". For borrowers who have excellent credit and very acceptable debt positions, there may be virtually no documentation of income or assets required at all. Many of these documents are also not required for no-doc and low-doc loans.
- Credit Report
- 1003 — Uniform Residential Loan Application
- 1004 — Uniform Residential Appraisal Report
- 1005 — Verification Of Employment (VOE)
- 1006 — Verification Of Deposit (VOD)
- 1007 — Single Family Comparable Rent Schedule
- 1008 — Transmittal Summary
- Copy of deed of current home
- Federal income tax records for last two years
- Verification of Mortgage (VOM) or Verification of Payment (VOP)
- Borrower's Authorization
- Purchase Sales Agreement
- 1084A and 1084B (Self-Employed Income Analysis) and 1088 (Comparative Income Analysis) - used if borrower is self-employed
 Predatory mortgage lending
There is concern in the U.S. that consumers are often victims of predatory mortgage lending . The main concern is that mortgage brokers and lenders, operating legally, are finding loopholes in the law to obtain additional profit. The typical scenario is that terms of the loan are beyond the means of the borrower. The borrower makes a number of interest and principle payments, and then defaults. The lender then takes the property and recovers the amount of the loan, and also keeps the interest and principle payments, as well as loan origination fees.
 Option ARM
An option ARM allows you the option to pay as little as a 1% interest rate. As a result, the difference between your payment and the interest on your loan that month becomes negative. The option ARM gives you four payment choices each month (1%, interest only, 30 year fixed rate, 15 year fixed rate). The interest rate will adjust every month, depending on which index the loan is tied to. These loans are useful for people who have a lot of equity in their home and don't want to pay higher monthly costs, as well as investors, allowing them the flexibility to choose which payment to make every month.
One of the important feature of this type of loan is that the minimum payments are often fixed for each year for an initial term of up to 5 years. The minimum payment may rise each year a little (payment size increases of 7.5% are common) but remain the same for another year. For example, a minimum payment for year 1 may be $1,000 per month each month all year long. In year 2 the minimum payment for each month is $1,075 each month. This is a gradual increase in the minimum payment. The interest rate may fluctuate each month, which means you can't predict your negative amortization ahead of time.
Lenders may charge various fees when giving a mortgage to a mortgagor. These include entry fees, exit fees, administration fees and lenders mortgage insurance. There are also settlement fees (closing costs) the settlement company will charge. In addition, if a third party handles the loan, it may charge other fees as well.
 The United States mortgage finance industry
Mortgage lending is a major category of the business of finance in the United States. Mortgages are commercial paper and can be conveyed and assigned freely to other holders. In the U.S., Federal government created several programs, or government sponsored entities, to foster mortgage lending, construction and encourage home ownership. These programs include the Government National Mortgage Association (known as Ginnie Mae), the Federal National Mortgage Association (known as Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (known as Freddie Mac). These programs work by buying a large number of mortgages from banks and issuing (at a slightly lower interest rate) "mortgage-backed bonds" to investors, which are known as Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS).
This allows the banks to quickly relend the money to other borrowers (including in the form of mortgages) and thereby to create more mortgages than the banks could with the amount they have on deposit. This in turn allows the public to use these mortgages to purchase homes, something the government wishes to encourage. The investors, meanwhile, gain low-risk income at a higher interest rate (essentially the mortgage rate, minus the cuts of the bank and GSE) than they could gain from most other bonds.
Securitization is a momentous change in the way that mortgage bond markets function which has grown rapidly in the last 10 years as a result of the wider dissemination of technology in the mortgage lending world. For borrowers with superior credit, government loans and ideal profiles, this securitization keeps rates almost artificially low, since the pools of funds used to create new loans can be refreshed more quickly than in years past, allowing for more rapid outflow of capital from investors to borrowers without as many personal business ties as the past.
 Mortgage in the UK
 Mortgage types
The UK mortgage market is one of the most innovative and competitive in the world. Unlike other countries there is no intervention in the market by the state or state funded entities and virtually all borrowing is funded by either mutual organisations (building societies and credit unions) or proprietary lenders (typically banks). Since 1982, when the market was substantially deregulated, there has been substantial innovation and diversification of strategies employed by lenders to attract borrowers. This has led to a wide range of mortgage types.
As lenders derive their funds either from the money markets or from deposits, most mortgages revert to a variable rate, either the lenders standard variable rate or a tracker rate, which will tend to be linked to the underlying Bank of England (BoE) repo rate (or sometimes LIBOR). Initially they will tend to offer an incentive deal to attract new borrowers. This may be:
- A fixed rate; where the interest rate remains constant for a set period; typically for 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 years. Longer term fixed rates (over 5 years) whilst available, tend to be more expensive and therefore less popular than shorter term fixed rates.
- A capped rate; where similar to a fixed rate, the interest rate cannot rise above the cap but can vary beneath the cap. Sometimes there is a collar associated with this type of rate which imposes a minimum rate. Capped rate are often offered over periods similar to fixed rates, e.g. 2, 3, 4 or 5 years.
- A discount rate; where there is set margin reduction in the standard variable rate (e.g. a 2% discount) for a set period; typically 1 to 5 years. Sometimes the discount is expressed as a margin over the base rate (e.g. BoE base rate plus 0.5% for 2 years) and sometimes the rate is stepped (e.g. 3% in year 1, 2% in year 2, 1% in year three).
- A cashback mortgage; where a lump sum is provided (typically) as a percentage of the advance e.g. 5% of the loan.
To make matters more confusing these rates are often combined: For example, 4.5% 2 year fixed then a 3 year tracker at BoE rate plus 0.89%.
With each incentive the lender may be offering a rate at less than the market cost of the borrowing. Therefore, they typically impose a penalty if the borrower repays the loan; this used to be called a redemption penalty or tie-in, however since the onset of Financial Services Authority regulation they are referred to as an early repayment charge.
 Self Cert Mortgage
Mortgage lenders usually use salaries declared on wage slips to work out a borrower's annual income and will usually lend up to a fixed multiple of the borrower's annual income. Self Certification Mortgages, informally known as "self cert" mortgages, are available to employed and self employed people who have a deposit to buy a house but lack the sufficient documentation to prove their income.
This type of mortgage can be beneficial to people whose income comes from multiple sources, whose salary consists largely or exclusively of commissions or bonuses, or whose accounts may not show a true reflection of their earnings. Self cert mortgages have two disadvantages: the interest rates charged are usually higher than for normal mortgages and the loan to value ratio is usually lower.
 100% Mortgages
Normally when a bank lends a customer money they want to protect their money as much as possible, they do this by asking the borrower to pay a certain percentage of the loan in the form of a deposit.
100% mortgages are mortgages that require no deposit (100% loan to value). These are sometimes offered to first time buyers, but almost always carry a higher interest rate on the loan.
 UK mortgage process
UK lenders usually charge a valuation fee, which pays for a chartered surveyor to visit the property and ensure it is worth enough to cover the mortgage amount. This is not a full survey so it may not identify all the defects that a house buyer needs to know about. Also, it does not usually form a contract between the surveyor and the buyer, so the buyer has no right to sue if the survey fails to detect a major problem. For an extra fee, the surveyor can usually carry out a building survey or a (cheaper) "homebuyers survey" at the same time. <ref> Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors</ref>
 Islamic mortgages
The Sharia law of Islam prohibits the payment or receipt of interest, which means that practising Muslims cannot use conventional mortgages. However, real estate is far too expensive for most people to buy outright using cash: Islamic mortgages solve this problem by having the property change hands twice. In one variation, the bank will buy the house outright and then act as a landlord. The homebuyer, in addition to paying rent, will pay a contribution towards the purchase of the property. When the last payment is made, the property changes hands.
Typically, this may lead to a higher final price for the buyers. This is because in some countries (such as the United Kingdom and India) there is a Stamp Duty which is a tax charged by the government on a change of ownership. Because ownership changes twice in an Islamic mortgage, a stamp tax is charged twice.
An alternative scheme involves the bank reselling the property according to an installment plan, at a price higher than the original price.
All of these methods are still compensating the lender as if they were charging interest, but the loans are structured in a way that in name they are not, but they share the financial risks involved in the transaction with the homebuyer.
 See also
 General, or related to more than one nation
- Commercial mortgage
- Nonrecourse debt
- Shared appreciation mortgage
- No Income No Asset (NINA)
 Related to the United Kingdom
 Related to the United States
- Commercial lender (US) - a term for a lender collateralizing non-residential properties.
- Fixed rate mortgage calculations (USA)
- pre-qualification - U.S. mortgage terminology
- pre-approval - U.S. mortgage terminology
- FHA loan - Relating to the U.S. Federal Housing Administration
- VA loan - Relating to the U.S. Veterans Administration.
- Location Efficient Mortgage - a type of mortgage for urban areas
- Predatory mortgage lending
 Other nations
 Legal details
- Deed - legal aspects
- Mechanics lien - a legal concept
- Perfection - applicable legal filing requirements
 External links
- Mortgages at the Open Directory Project
- FHA loans (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- FSA Consumer page UK regulator mortgage information.
- ABC's of Mortgages, Financial Consumer Agency of Canadaca:Hipoteca
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