financial services

Credit Score

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryNumerical calculation that creditors use to evaluate the credit worthiness of someone applying for credit, such as a mortgage or credit card. High credit scores (over 700) indicate less risk that you will...

Credit Union

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA cooperative financial institution owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting savings with fair interest rates and offering loans at reasonable rates. The National...


In general, someone to whom an obligation is owed.  Most commonly, the obligation owed is an obligation to pay money for some prior service or a loan.  

In bankruptcy law, someone who has a claim against the debtor that...

Creditor's Rights

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe legal procedures and rights available to creditors for collecting debts and judgments.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


1.  A retailer who purchases goods or services for resale to consumers in a principal capacity.

2.  In securities law, a person who functions at least part time as an agent, broker, or principal in the business of offering, buying, selling, or...

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe percentage of a person's monthly gross income that is spent on paying debts, such as housing and credit card payments. Banks and lenders use this ratio to decide how much money (and on what terms)...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySomething that is taken away or subtracted. Under an insurance policy, for example, the deductible is the maximum amount that an insured person must pay toward his own losses before he can recover from...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) In tax, a difference found by the IRS between a taxpayers reported tax liability and the amount of tax the IRS says that the taxpayer should have reported.2) In lending, the remaining balance of the...

Deficiency Judgment

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA judgment for the amount a homeowner owes the lender after a house or other asset is foreclosed upon and sold by the creditor for less than the actual debt (mortgage or car loan, for example) that is...


 Where liabilities exceed assets or expenses exceed income.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) A payment that is past due or not paid in full.2) A person who disobeys rules or breaks the law such as a juvenile delinquent.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Demand Note

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA promissory note that's payable any time the holder of the note makes a request. This is different from a note due at a specific time, upon occurrence of an event, or by installments.



Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo refuse to pay the face amount of a check or the amount due on a promissory note.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe seizure of another's property in order to obtain payment for money owed.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


Originally prepared by Heather Byrne, Jennifer Uren, and Jackeline Solivan of the Cornell Law School Securities Law Clinic.

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law in July 2010, made reforms to financial...

Dodd-Frank Act - Table of Contents



Section 101-- Establishment; Administrative Provisions

Section 102-- Registration with the Board

Section 103-- Auditing, Quality Control, and Independence Standards and Rules


Dodd-Frank: Definitions

Terms Defined within the Dodd-Frank Act

Title I:Financial Institution: 12 U.S.C. § 5462(5).

Nonbank Financial Company: 12 U.S.C. § 5311(a)(4)(B).

Bank Holding...

Dodd-Frank: Title I - Financial Stability


         Title I expands federal research, evaluation, and oversight of large financial institutions in order to find efficient ways to manage risks to the financial stability of the United States.  The Title...

Dodd-Frank: Title II - Orderly Liquidation Authority


    Title II, the Orderly Liquidation provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, provides a process to quickly and efficiently liquidate a large, complex financial company that is close to failing.  Title II provides an...

Dodd-Frank: Title III - Transfer of Powers to the Comptroller of the Currency, the Corporation, and the Board of Governors


Title III streamlines the supervision of depository institutions and their holding companies by abolishing the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and transferring its regulatory and rulemaking authority to the Office of the...

Dodd-Frank: Title IV - Regulation of Advisers to Hedge Funds and Others


Title IV clarifies the registration and record-keeping requirements for covered investment advisers to provide the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with information...

Dodd-Frank: Title IX - Investor Protections and Improvements to the Regulation of Securities



Increasing Investor Protection

Sections 911, 915 and 919D amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by creating an Investor Advisory Committee (“IAC”), an Office of the Investor Advocate (“OIA”) and an ombudsman...

Dodd-Frank: Title V - Insurance


   The insurance sector is primarily regulated at the state level by individual state agencies.  Title V of the Dodd-Frank Act establishes a Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the...

Dodd-Frank: Title VI - Improvements to Regulation of Bank and Savings Association Holding Companies and Depository Institutions


Title VI provides for heightened regulation of bank holding companies (BHCs), savings and loan holding companies (SLHCs), and depository institutions to ensure that these institutions do not threaten the United States’...

Dodd-Frank: Title VII - Wall Street Transparency and Accountability



Title VII creates a framework for the regulation of swap markets. Title VII grants the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) regulatory authority over swaps, except...

Dodd-Frank: Title VIII - Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision


            Title VIII provides a new framework for assessing the systemic risk associated with financial institutions and financial market utilities involved in clearing activities for financial...

Dodd-Frank: Title X - Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection


Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act (aka: "Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010"), created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB" or "Bureau") as an independent agency within the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve...

Dodd-Frank: Title XI - Federal Reserve System Provisions


 Title XI addresses changes to the Federal Reserve System. First, the Title allows greater supervision of the Federal Reserve’s operations by allowing the Comptroller General of the United States (the “Comptroller”) to audit the...

Dodd-Frank: Title XII - Improving Access to Mainstream Financial Institutions



Title XII authorizes the Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury to create multi-year grant programs designed to encourage Title XII’s targeted group, low-to-moderate income individuals, to utilize...

Dodd-Frank: Title XIII - Pay It Back Act


Title XIII, commonly known as the “Pay It Back Act” (the “Act”), amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the “EESA”) by decreasing the Secretary of the Treasury’s (the “Secretary”) authority to purchase distressed...

Dodd-Frank: Title XIV - Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act


The 2008 economic depression was triggered in part by the real estate bubble bursting.  Mortgages became extremely easy to obtain, and many of those mortgages had predatory provisions that made it difficult for...

Dodd-Frank: Title XV - Miscellaneous Provisions


Title XV contains sevenmiscellaneous provisions. Title XV restricts the ability of the United States’ Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund to approve loans to foreign countries that are unlikely to be...

Dodd-Frank: Title XVI - Section 1256 Contracts

Title XVI – Section 1256 Contracts

Title XVI supplements Title VII and modifies Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 1256 by exempting certain derivative contracts from treatment as § 1256 contracts for taxation purposes. Title VII...

Down Payment

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA lump sum cash payment paid by a buyer when he or she purchases a major piece of property, such as a car or house. The buyer typically takes out a loan for the balance remaining, and pays it off in...


A written order of payment by one party (the drawer) to another party (the drawee) to pay a particular sum to a third party (the payee) on or before a particular date.



(1) The withdrawal of money from a bank account, such as through presenting a check.

(2) To receive money in advance, such as a draw on a loan.

(3) To draft a legal document, such as a deed or will.

See alsoDraftCheck...