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Mortgage Glossary


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Fair Credit Reporting Act
A consumer protection law that regulates the disclosure of consumer credit reports by consumer/credit reporting agencies and establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on one's credit record.

Fair-market-value
The highest price that a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.

FDIC
(Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Provides insurance of accounts for institutions whose deposits were formerly covered by the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation. (FSLIC).

Fee simple
The greatest possible interest a person can have in real estate.

Fee simple estate
An unconditional, unlimited estate of inheritance that represents the greatest estate and most extensive interest in land that can be enjoyed. It is of perpetual duration. When the real estate is in a condominium project, the unit owner is the exclusive owner only of the air space within his or her portion of the building (the unit) and is an owner in common with respect to the land and other common portions of the property.

FHA
(Federal Housing Administration). A division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FHA's main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. It sets standards for construction and underwriting. FHA neither lends money, nor plans, nor constructs housing.

FHA Loan
Government loans are loans that are guaranteed or purchased by government organizations. Two of the most popular Government Loans are the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

FHFB
(Federal Housing Finance Board). It oversees the credit functions of the twelve regional Federal Home Loan Banks.

FHLBB
(Federal Home Loan Bank Board). A regulatory and supervisory agency for federally charted savings institutions, which oversees the operations of the FSLIC and FHLMC. This agency was abolished by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989. (See FIRREA.)

FHLMC
(Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Freddie Mac). A private corporation authorized by Congress, which became an independent, stockholder-owned government corporation with the passage of FIRREA. FHLMC promotes the flow of funds into the housing markets by purchasing conventional mortgages in the secondary market and selling securities backed by those mortgages in the capital market.

Finance Charge
The total dollar amount your loan will cost you. It includes all interest payments for the life of the loan, any interest paid at closing, your origination fee and any other charges paid to the lender and/or broker. Appraisal, credit report and title search fees are not included in the finance charge calculation.

Finder's fee
A fee or commission paid to a mortgage broker for finding a mortgage loan for a prospective borrower.

FIRRA
(Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989). An act signed into law in August 1989, by President Bush that restructured the thrift regulatory an insurance system.

Firm commitment
A lender’s agreement to make a loan to a specific borrower on a specific property.

First Mortgage
The mortgage that has first claim in the event of default.

Fixed installment
The monthly payment due on a mortgage loan.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage
(FRM) A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.

FNMA
(Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae). A government-sponsored corporation, owned solely by private investors, created to provide support to the secondary market for FHA and VA mortgages and conventional mortgages.

Fixture
Personal property that becomes real property when attached in a permanent manner to real estate.

Flood insurance
Insurance that compensates for physical property damage resulting from flooding. It is required for properties located in federally designated flood areas.

Forfeiture
The loss of money, property, rights, or privileges due to a breach of legal obligation.

Foreclosure
The process by which a mortgage property may be sold when a mortgage is in default.

Fully amortized ARM
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with a monthly payment that is sufficient to amortize the remaining balance, at the interest accrual rate, over the amortization term.

Full Recasting
Setting the P&I payments to the level that will fully amortize the loan's outstanding balance over the remaining term using the fully indexed accrual rate at the recasting point.

Fully Indexed Accrual Rate
The interest (accrual) rate resulting from the index at closing (or at another point in the loan) plus the lender's full spread, rounded as prescribed in the loan documents (often to the nearest 1/8th of 1%).