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Mortgage Glossary

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Earnest Money Deposit made by the borrower in evidence of good faith when the purchase agreement is signed
ECOA See Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Effective Gross Income A borrowers normal annual income, including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. Salary is usually the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.
Effective Interest Rate The cost of a mortgage expressed as a yearly rate, usually higher than the interest rate on the mortgage since this figure includes up-front costs.
Encumbrance A legal right or interest in a property that affects title and lessens the property value. Encumbrances can take the form of claims, liens, un-paid taxes and so on. These will usually have to be taken care of before a buyer may purchase a property.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act- ECOA Federal law requiring creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, martial status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs.
Equity The percentage of property value held by the owner; The difference between the current market value of the property and the outstanding mortgage balance
Equity Loan A loan based on the borrowers equity in the home.
Escrow An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit of funds or documents into an escrow account to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.
Escrow Account Account held by a lender containing funds collected as part of mortgage payments for annual expenses such as taxes and insurance, so that the homeowner will not have to pay a large sum when the bills come due.


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