mortgages

Collateral

Property or assets that are committed by an individual in order to guarantee a loan. Upon default, the collateral becomes subject to seizure by the lender and may be sold to satisfy the debt.

EXAMPLE

In securing a mortgage, the borrower...

Conforming Loan

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA mortgage loan small enough to be bought by Fannie Mae or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration. The dollar limit on conforming loans is adjusted periodically and is higher in areas with a...

Cosign

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo sign a document -- such as a promissory note or lease -- along with another person in order to share responsibility for the obligation.

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

Cosigner

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA person who signs his or her name to a loan agreement, lease, or credit application. If the primary debtor does not pay, the cosigner is fully responsible for the loan or debt. Many people use cosigners...

Credit Reporting Agency

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA private company that collects and sells information about a person's credit history. Clients, such as banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, landlords, and potential employers, use the...

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...

Creditor

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 arose before declaration...

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.

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...

Encumber

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo place a lien, mortgage, or other encumbrance on real estate.

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

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