Mortgage loan

A mortgage loan or, simply, mortgage (/ˈmɔːrɡɪdʒ/) is used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or alternatively by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose, while putting a lien on the property being mortgaged. The loan is "secured" on the borrower's property through a process known as mortgage origination. This means that a legal mechanism is put into place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property ("foreclosure" or "repossession") to pay off the loan in the event the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a Law French term used in Britain in the Middle Ages meaning "death pledge" and refers to the pledge ending (dying) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure.[1] A mortgage can also be described as "a borrower giving consideration in the form of a collateral for a benefit (loan)".

Mortgage borrowers can be individuals mortgaging their home or they can be businesses mortgaging commercial property (for example, their own business premises, residential property let to tenants, or an investment portfolio). The lender will typically be a financial institution, such as a bank, credit union or building society, depending on the country concerned, and the loan arrangements can be made either directly or indirectly through intermediaries. Features of mortgage loans such as the size of the loan, maturity of the loan, interest rate, method of paying off the loan, and other characteristics can vary considerably. The lender's rights over the secured property take priority over the borrower's other creditors, which means that if the borrower becomes bankrupt or insolvent, the other creditors will only be repaid the debts owed to them from a sale of the secured property if the mortgage lender is repaid in full first.

In many jurisdictions, it is normal for home purchases to be funded by a mortgage loan. Few individuals have enough savings or liquid funds to enable them to purchase property outright. In countries where the demand for home ownership is highest, strong domestic markets for mortgages have developed. Mortgages can either be funded through the banking sector (that is, through short-term deposits) or through the capital markets through a process called "securitization", which converts pools of mortgages into fungible bonds that can be sold to investors in small denominations.

Mortgage loan basics

Basic concepts and legal regulation

According to Anglo-American property law, a mortgage occurs when an owner (usually of a fee simple interest in realty) pledges his or her interest (right to the property) as security or collateral for a loan. Therefore, a mortgage is an encumbrance (limitation) on the right to the property just as an easement would be, but because most mortgages occur as a condition for new loan money, the word mortgage has become the generic term for a loan secured by such real property. As with other types of loans, mortgages have an interest rate and are scheduled to amortize over a set period of time, typically 30 years. All types of real property can be, and usually are, secured with a mortgage and bear an interest rate that is supposed to reflect the lender's risk.

Mortgage lending is the primary mechanism used in many countries to finance private ownership of residential and commercial property (see commercial mortgages). Although the terminology and precise forms will differ from country to country, the basic components tend to be similar:

  • Property: the physical residence being financed. The exact form of ownership will vary from country to country, and may restrict the types of lending that are possible.
  • Mortgage: the security interest of the lender in the property, which may entail restrictions on the use or disposal of the property. Restrictions may include requirements to purchase home insurance and mortgage insurance, or pay off outstanding debt before selling the property.
  • Borrower: the person borrowing who either has or is creating an ownership interest in the property.
  • Lender: any lender, but usually a bank or other financial institution. (In some countries, particularly the United States, Lenders may also be investors who own an interest in the mortgage through a mortgage-backed security. In such a situation, the initial lender is known as the mortgage originator, which then packages and sells the loan to investors. The payments from the borrower are thereafter collected by a loan servicer.[2])
  • Principal: the original size of the loan, which may or may not include certain other costs; as any principal is repaid, the principal will go down in size.
  • Interest: a financial charge for use of the lender's money.
  • Foreclosure or repossession: the possibility that the lender has to foreclose, repossess or seize the property under certain circumstances is essential to a mortgage loan; without this aspect, the loan is arguably no different from any other type of loan.
  • Completion: legal completion of the mortgage deed, and hence the start of the mortgage.
  • Redemption: final repayment of the amount outstanding, which may be a "natural redemption" at the end of the scheduled term or a lump sum redemption, typically when the borrower decides to sell the property. A closed mortgage account is said to be "redeemed".

Many other specific characteristics are common to many markets, but the above are the essential features. Governments usually regulate many aspects of mortgage lending, either directly (through legal requirements, for example) or indirectly (through regulation of the participants or the financial markets, such as the banking industry), and often through state intervention (direct lending by the government, direct lending by state-owned banks, or sponsorship of various entities). Other aspects that define a specific mortgage market may be regional, historical, or driven by specific characteristics of the legal or financial system.

Mortgage loans are generally structured as long-term loans, the periodic payments for which are similar to an annuity and calculated according to the time value of money formulae. The most basic arrangement would require a fixed monthly payment over a period of ten to thirty years, depending on local conditions. Over this period the principal component of the loan (the original loan) would be slowly paid down through amortization. In practice, many variants are possible and common worldwide and within each country.

Lenders provide funds against property to earn interest income, and generally borrow these funds themselves (for example, by taking deposits or issuing bonds). The price at which the lenders borrow money therefore affects the cost of borrowing. Lenders may also, in many countries, sell the mortgage loan to other parties who are interested in receiving the stream of cash payments from the borrower, often in the form of a security (by means of a securitization).

Mortgage lending will also take into account the (perceived) riskiness of the mortgage loan, that is, the likelihood that the funds will be repaid (usually considered a function of the creditworthiness of the borrower); that if they are not repaid, the lender will be able to foreclose on the real estate assets; and the financial, interest rate risk and time delays that may be involved in certain circumstances.

Mortgage underwriting

During the mortgage loan approval process, a mortgage loan underwriter verifies the financial information that the applicant has provided as to income, employment, credit history and the value of the home being purchased.[3] An appraisal may be ordered. The underwriting process may take a few days to a few weeks. Sometimes the underwriting process takes so long that the provided financial statements need to be resubmitted so they are current.[4] It is advisable to maintain the same employment and not to use or open new credit during the underwriting process. Any changes made in the applicant’s credit, employment, or financial information could result in the loan being denied.

Mortgage loan types

There are many types of mortgages used worldwide, but several factors broadly define the characteristics of the mortgage. All of these may be subject to local regulation and legal requirements.

  • Interest: Interest may be fixed for the life of the loan or variable, and change at certain pre-defined periods; the interest rate can also, of course, be higher or lower.
  • Term: Mortgage loans generally have a maximum term, that is, the number of years after which an amortizing loan will be repaid. Some mortgage loans may have no amortization, or require full repayment of any remaining balance at a certain date, or even negative amortization.
  • Payment amount and frequency: The amount paid per period and the frequency of payments; in some cases, the amount paid per period may change or the borrower may have the option to increase or decrease the amount paid.
  • Prepayment: Some types of mortgages may limit or restrict prepayment of all or a portion of the loan, or require payment of a penalty to the lender for prepayment.

The two basic types of amortized loans are the fixed rate mortgage (FRM) and adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) (also known as a floating rate or variable rate mortgage). In some countries, such as the United States, fixed rate mortgages are the norm, but floating rate mortgages are relatively common. Combinations of fixed and floating rate mortgages are also common, whereby a mortgage loan will have a fixed rate for some period, for example the first five years, and vary after the end of that period.

  • In a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate, remains fixed for the life (or term) of the loan. In case of an annuity repayment scheme, the periodic payment remains the same amount throughout the loan. In case of linear payback, the periodic payment will gradually decrease.
  • In an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate is generally fixed for a period of time, after which it will periodically (for example, annually or monthly) adjust up or down to some market index. Adjustable rates transfer part of the interest rate risk from the lender to the borrower, and thus are widely used where fixed rate funding is difficult to obtain or prohibitively expensive. Since the risk is transferred to the borrower, the initial interest rate may be, for example, 0.5% to 2% lower than the average 30-year fixed rate; the size of the price differential will be related to debt market conditions, including the yield curve.

The charge to the borrower depends upon the credit risk in addition to the interest rate risk. The mortgage origination and underwriting process involves checking credit scores, debt-to-income, downpayments, assets, and assessing property value. Jumbo mortgages and subprime lending are not supported by government guarantees and face higher interest rates. Other innovations described below can affect the rates as well.

Loan to value and down payments

Upon making a mortgage loan for the purchase of a property, lenders usually require that the borrower make a down payment; that is, contribute a portion of the cost of the property. This down payment may be expressed as a portion of the value of the property (see below for a definition of this term). The loan to value ratio (or LTV) is the size of the loan against the value of the property. Therefore, a mortgage loan in which the purchaser has made a down payment of 20% has a loan to value ratio of 80%. For loans made against properties that the borrower already owns, the loan to value ratio will be imputed against the estimated value of the property.

The loan to value ratio is considered an important indicator of the riskiness of a mortgage loan: the higher the LTV, the higher the risk that the value of the property (in case of foreclosure) will be insufficient to cover the remaining principal of the loan.

Value: appraised, estimated, and actual

Since the value of the property is an important factor in understanding the risk of the loan, determining the value is a key factor in mortgage lending. The value may be determined in various ways, but the most common are:

  1. Actual or transaction value: this is usually taken to be the purchase price of the property. If the property is not being purchased at the time of borrowing, this information may not be available.
  2. Appraised or surveyed value: in most jurisdictions, some form of appraisal of the value by a licensed professional is common. There is often a requirement for the lender to obtain an official appraisal.
  3. Estimated value: lenders or other parties may use their own internal estimates, particularly in jurisdictions where no official appraisal procedure exists, but also in some other circumstances.

Payment and debt ratios

In most countries, a number of more or less standard measures of creditworthiness may be used. Common measures include payment to income (mortgage payments as a percentage of gross or net income); debt to income (all debt payments, including mortgage payments, as a percentage of income); and various net worth measures. In many countries, credit scores are used in lieu of or to supplement these measures. There will also be requirements for documentation of the creditworthiness, such as income tax returns, pay stubs, etc. the specifics will vary from location to location.

Some lenders may also require a potential borrower have one or more months of "reserve assets" available. In other words, the borrower may be required to show the availability of enough assets to pay for the housing costs (including mortgage, taxes, etc.) for a period of time in the event of the job loss or other loss of income.

Many countries have lower requirements for certain borrowers, or "no-doc" / "low-doc" lending standards that may be acceptable under certain circumstances.

Standard or conforming mortgages

Many countries have a notion of standard or conforming mortgages that define a perceived acceptable level of risk, which may be formal or informal, and may be reinforced by laws, government intervention, or market practice. For example, a standard mortgage may be considered to be one with no more than 70–80% LTV and no more than one-third of gross income going to mortgage debt.

A standard or conforming mortgage is a key concept as it often defines whether or not the mortgage can be easily sold or securitized, or, if non-standard, may affect the price at which it may be sold. In the United States, a conforming mortgage is one which meets the established rules and procedures of the two major government-sponsored entities in the housing finance market (including some legal requirements). In contrast, lenders who decide to make nonconforming loans are exercising a higher risk tolerance and do so knowing that they face more challenge in reselling the loan. Many countries have similar concepts or agencies that define what are "standard" mortgages. Regulated lenders (such as banks) may be subject to limits or higher-risk weightings for non-standard mortgages. For example, banks and mortgage brokerages in Canada face restrictions on lending more than 80% of the property value; beyond this level, mortgage insurance is generally required.[5]

Foreign currency mortgage

In some countries with currencies that tend to depreciate, foreign currency mortgages are common, enabling lenders to lend in a stable foreign currency, whilst the borrower takes on the currency risk that the currency will depreciate and they will therefore need to convert higher amounts of the domestic currency to repay the loan.

Repaying the mortgage

In addition to the two standard means of setting the cost of a mortgage loan (fixed at a set interest rate for the term, or variable relative to market interest rates), there are variations in how that cost is paid, and how the loan itself is repaid. Repayment depends on locality, tax laws and prevailing culture. There are also various mortgage repayment structures to suit different types of borrower.

Principal and interest

The most common way to repay a secured mortgage loan is to make regular payments toward the 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. A mortgage is a form of annuity (from the perspective of the lender), and the calculation of the periodic payments is based on the time value of money formulas. Certain details may be specific to different locations: interest may be calculated on the basis of a 360-day year, for example; interest may be compounded daily, yearly, or semi-annually; prepayment penalties may apply; and other factors. There may be legal restrictions on certain matters, and consumer protection laws may specify or prohibit certain practices.

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 the usual maximum term (although shorter periods, such as 15-year mortgage loans, are common). Mortgage payments, which are typically made monthly, contain a repayment of the principal and an interest element. The amount going toward the principal in each payment varies throughout the term of the mortgage. In the early years the repayments are mostly interest. Towards the end of the mortgage, payments are mostly for principal. In this way the payment amount determined at outset is calculated to ensure the loan is repaid at a specified date in the future. This gives borrowers assurance that by maintaining repayment the loan will be cleared at a specified date, if the interest rate does not change. Some lenders and 3rd parties offer a bi-weekly mortgage payment program designed to accelerate the payoff of the loan.

An amortization schedule is typically worked out taking the principal left at the end of each month, multiplying by the monthly rate and then subtracting the monthly payment. This is typically generated by an amortization calculator using the following formula:

where:

is the periodic amortization payment
is the principal amount borrowed
is the rate of interest expressed as a fraction; for a monthly payment, take the (Annual Rate)/12
is the number of payments; for monthly payments over 30 years, 12 months x 30 years = 360 payments.

Interest only

The main alternative to a principal and interest mortgage is an interest-only mortgage, where the principal 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.

Until recently it was 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).

Interest-only lifetime mortgage

Recent Financial Services Authority guidelines to UK lenders regarding interest-only mortgages has tightened the criteria on new lending on an interest-only basis. The problem for many people has been the fact that no repayment vehicle had been implemented, or the vehicle itself (e.g. endowment/ISA policy) performed poorly and therefore insufficient funds were available to repay balance at the end of the term.

Moving forward, the FSA under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) have stated there must be strict criteria on the repayment vehicle being used. As such the likes of Nationwide and other lenders have pulled out of the interest-only market.

A resurgence in the equity release market has been the introduction of interest-only lifetime mortgages. Where an interest-only mortgage has a fixed term, an interest-only lifetime mortgage will continue for the rest of the mortgagors life. These schemes have proved of interest to people who do like the roll-up effect (compounding) of interest on traditional equity release schemes. They have also proved beneficial to people who had an interest-only mortgage with no repayment vehicle and now need to settle the loan. These people can now effectively remortgage onto an interest-only lifetime mortgage to maintain continuity.

Interest-only lifetime mortgage schemes are currently offered by two lenders – Stonehaven and more2life. They work by having the options of paying the interest on a monthly basis. By paying off the interest means the balance will remain level for the rest of their life. This market is set to increase as more retirees require finance in retirement.

Reverse mortgages

For older borrowers (typically in retirement), it may be possible to arrange a mortgage where neither the principal nor interest is repaid. The interest is rolled up with the principal, increasing the debt each year.

These arrangements are variously called reverse mortgages, lifetime mortgages or equity release mortgages (referring to home equity), depending on the country. The loans are typically not repaid until the borrowers are deceased, hence the age restriction.

Through the Federal Housing Administration, the U.S. government insures reverse mortgages via a program called the HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage). Unlike standard mortgages (where the entire loan amount is typically disbursed at the time of loan closing) the HECM program allows the homeowner to receive funds in a variety of ways: as a one time lump sum payment; as a monthly tenure payment which continues until the borrower dies or moves out of the house permanently; as a monthly payment over a defined period of time; or as a credit line.[6]

For further details, see equity release.

Interest and partial principal

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 balance on the principal is due at some point short of that term. In the UK, a partial repayment mortgage is quite common, especially where the original mortgage was investment-backed.

Variations

Graduated payment mortgage loans have increasing costs over time and are geared to young borrowers who expect wage increases over time. Balloon payment mortgages have only partial amortization, meaning that 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, and at the end of the term a balloon payment is due. When interest rates are high relative to the rate on an existing seller's loan, the buyer can consider assuming the seller's mortgage.[7] A wraparound mortgage is a form of seller financing that can make it easier for a seller to sell a property. A biweekly mortgage has payments made every two weeks instead of monthly.

Budget loans include taxes and insurance in the mortgage payment;[8] package loans add the costs of furnishings and other personal property to the mortgage. Buydown mortgages allow the seller or lender to pay something similar to points to reduce interest rate and encourage buyers.[9] Homeowners can also take out equity loans in which they receive cash for a mortgage debt on their house. Shared appreciation mortgages are a form of equity release. In the US, foreign nationals due to their unique situation face Foreign National mortgage conditions.

Flexible mortgages allow for more freedom by the borrower to skip payments or prepay. Offset mortgages allow deposits to be counted against the mortgage loan. In the UK there is also the endowment mortgage where the borrowers pay interest while the principal is paid with a life insurance policy.

Commercial mortgages typically have different interest rates, risks, and contracts than personal loans. Participation mortgages allow multiple investors to share in a loan. Builders may take out blanket loans which cover several properties at once. Bridge loans may be used as temporary financing pending a longer-term loan. Hard money loans provide financing in exchange for the mortgaging of real estate collateral.

Foreclosure and non-recourse lending

In most jurisdictions, a lender may foreclose the mortgaged property if certain conditions occur – principally, non-payment of the mortgage loan. Subject to local legal requirements, the property may then be sold. Any amounts received from the sale (net of costs) are applied to the original debt. In some jurisdictions, mortgage loans are non-recourse loans: if the funds recouped from sale of the mortgaged property are insufficient to cover the outstanding debt, the lender may not have recourse to the borrower after foreclosure. In other jurisdictions, the borrower remains responsible for any remaining debt.

In virtually all jurisdictions, specific procedures for foreclosure and sale of the mortgaged property apply, and may be tightly regulated by the relevant government. There are strict or judicial foreclosures and non-judicial foreclosures, also known as power of sale foreclosures. In some jurisdictions, foreclosure and sale can occur quite rapidly, while in others, foreclosure may take many months or even years. In many countries, the ability of lenders to foreclose is extremely limited, and mortgage market development has been notably slower.

National differences

A study issued by the UN Economic Commission for Europe compared German, US, and Danish mortgage systems. The German Bausparkassen have reported nominal interest rates of approximately 6 per cent per annum in the last 40 years (as of 2004). German Bausparkassen (savings and loans associations) are not identical with banks that give mortgages. In addition, they charge administration and service fees (about 1.5 per cent of the loan amount). However, in the United States, the average interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages in the housing market started in the tens and twenties in the 1980s and have (as of 2004) reached about 6 per cent per annum. However, gross borrowing costs are substantially higher than the nominal interest rate and amounted for the last 30 years to 10.46 per cent. In Denmark, similar to the United States mortgage market, interest rates have fallen to 6 per cent per annum. A risk and administration fee amounts to 0.5 per cent of the outstanding debt. In addition, an acquisition fee is charged which amounts to one per cent of the principal.[10]

United States

The mortgage industry of the United States is a major financial sector. The 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).

The US mortgage sector has been the center of major financial crises over the last century. Unsound lending practices resulted in the National Mortgage Crisis of the 1930s, the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 which led to the 2010 foreclosure crisis.

In the United States, the mortgage loan involves two separate documents: the mortgage note (a promissory note) and the security interest evidenced by the "mortgage" document; generally, the two are assigned together, but if they are split traditionally the holder of the note and not the mortgage has the right to foreclose.[11] For example, Fannie Mae promulgates a standard form contract Multistate Fixed-Rate Note 3200[12] and also separate security instrument mortgage forms which vary by state.[13]

Canada

In Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is the country's national housing agency, providing mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research to Canadians.[14] It was created by the federal government in 1946 to address the country's post-war housing shortage, and to help Canadians achieve their homeownership goals.

The most common mortgage in Canada is the five-year fixed-rate closed mortgage, as opposed to the U.S. where the most common type is the 30-year fixed-rate open mortgage.[15] Throughout the financial crisis and the ensuing recession, Canada’s mortgage market continued to function well, partly due to the residential mortgage market's policy framework, which includes an effective regulatory and supervisory regime that applies to most lenders. Since the crisis however, the low interest rate environment that as arisen has contributed to a significant increases in mortgage debt in the country.[16]

In April 2014, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released guidelines for mortgage insurance providers aimed at tightening standards around underwriting and risk management. In a statement, the OSFI has stated that the guideline will “provide clarity about best practices in respect of residential mortgage insurance underwriting, which contribute to a stable financial system.” This comes after several years of federal government scrutiny over the CMHC, with former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty musing publicly as far back as 2012 about privatizing the Crown corporation.[17]

In an attempt to cool down the real estate prices in Canada, Ottawa introduced a mortgage stress test effective 17 October, 2016.[18] Under the stress test every home buyer with less than 20% down payment (high ratio) undergo a test where borrowers affordability is judged based on mortgage rate of 4.64% with 25 years amortization if they want to get a mortgage from any federally regulated lender.This stress test has lowered the maximum mortgage approved amount by almost 20% for all borrowers in Canada. Maximum amortization on home mortgages has been reduced back to 30 years instead of 35.

United Kingdom

The mortgage industry of the United Kingdom has traditionally been dominated by building societies, but from the 1970s the share of the new mortgage loans market held by building societies has declined substantially. Between 1977 and 1987, the share fell from 96% to 66% while that of banks and other institutions rose from 3% to 36%. There are currently over 200 significant separate financial organizations supplying mortgage loans to house buyers in Britain. The major lenders include building societies, banks, specialized mortgage corporations, insurance companies, and pension funds.

In the UK variable-rate mortgages are more common than in the United States.[19][20] This is in part because mortgage loan financing relies less on fixed income securitized assets (such as mortgage-backed securities) than in the United States, Denmark, and Germany, and more on retail savings deposits like Australia and Spain.[19][20] Thus, lenders prefer variable-rate mortgages to fixed rate ones and whole-of-term fixed rate mortgages are generally not available. Nevertheless, in recent years fixing the rate of the mortgage for short periods has become popular and the initial two, three, five and, occasionally, ten years of a mortgage can be fixed.[21] From 2007 to the beginning of 2013 between 50% and 83% of new mortgages had initial periods fixed in this way.[22]

Home ownership rates are comparable to the United States, but overall default rates are lower.[19] Prepayment penalties during a fixed rate period are common, whilst the United States has discouraged their use.[19] Like other European countries and the rest of the world, but unlike most of the United States, mortgages loans are usually not nonrecourse debt, meaning debtors are liable for any loan deficiencies after foreclosure.[19][23]

The customer-facing aspects of the residential mortgage sector are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and lenders' financial probity is overseen by a separate regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) which is part of the Bank of England. The FCA and PRA were established in 2013 with the aim of responding to criticism of regulatory failings highlighted by the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath.[24][25][26]

Continental Europe

In most of Western Europe (except Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany), variable-rate mortgages are more common, unlike the fixed-rate mortgage common in the United States.[19][20] Much of Europe has home ownership rates comparable to the United States, but overall default rates are lower in Europe than in the United States.[19] Mortgage loan financing relies less on securitizing mortgages and more on formal government guarantees backed by covered bonds (such as the Pfandbriefe) and deposits, except Denmark and Germany where asset-backed securities are also common.[19][20] Prepayment penalties are still common, whilst the United States has discouraged their use.[19] Unlike much of the United States, mortgage loans are usually not nonrecourse debt.[19]

Within the European Union, covered bonds market volume (covered bonds outstanding) amounted to about EUR 2 trillion at year-end 2007 with Germany, Denmark, Spain, and France each having outstandings above 200,000 EUR million.[27] Pfandbrief-like securities have been introduced in more than 25 European countries—and in recent years also in the U.S. and other countries outside Europe—each with their own unique law and regulations.[28]

Recent trends

Mortgage-Rates-Historical
Mortgage rates historical trends 1986 to 2010

On July 28, 2008, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that, along with four large U.S. banks, the Treasury would attempt to kick start a market for these securities in the United States, primarily to provide an alternative form of mortgage-backed securities.[29] Similarly, in the UK "the Government is inviting views on options for a UK framework to deliver more affordable long-term fixed-rate mortgages, including the lessons to be learned from international markets and institutions".[30]

George Soros's October 10, 2008 The Wall Street Journal editorial promoted the Danish mortgage market model.[31]

Malaysia

Mortgages in Malaysia can be categorised into 2 different groups: conventional home loan and Islamic home loan. Under the conventional home loan, banks normally charge a fixed interest rate, a variable interest rate, or both. These interest rates are tied to a base rate (individual bank's benchmark rate).

For Islamic home financing, it follows the Sharia Law and comes in 2 common types: Bai’ Bithaman Ajil (BBA) or Musharakah Mutanaqisah (MM). Bai' Bithaman Ajil is when the bank buys the property at current market price and sells it back to you at a much higher price. Musharakah Mutanaqisah is when the bank buys the property together with you. You will then slowly buy the bank's portion of the property through rental (whereby a portion of the rental goes to paying for the purchase of a part of the bank's share in the property until the property comes to your complete ownership).

Islamic countries

Islamic Sharia law prohibits the payment or receipt of interest, meaning that 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 may be charged twice. Many other jurisdictions have similar transaction taxes on change of ownership which may be levied. In the United Kingdom, the dual application of stamp duty in such transactions was removed in the Finance Act 2003 in order to facilitate Islamic mortgages.[32]

An alternative scheme involves the bank reselling the property according to an installment plan, at a price higher than the original price.

Both of these methods compensate the lender as if they were charging interest, but the loans are structured in a way that in name they are not, and the lender shares the financial risks involved in the transaction with the homebuyer.

Exception

Bali, Indonesia is an exception to the rule of most home purchase being funded by a mortgage. Instead, most properties there are paid with cash due to the lack of available mortgages.[33]

Mortgage insurance

Mortgage insurance is an insurance policy designed to protect the mortgagee (lender) from any default by the mortgagor (borrower). It is used commonly in loans with a loan-to-value ratio over 80%, and employed in the event of foreclosure and repossession.

This policy is typically paid for by the borrower as a component to final nominal (note) rate, or in one lump sum up front, or as a separate and itemized component of monthly mortgage payment. In the last case, mortgage insurance can be dropped when the lender informs the borrower, or its subsequent assigns, that the property has appreciated, the loan has been paid down, or any combination of both to relegate the loan-to-value under 80%.

In the event of repossession, banks, investors, etc. must resort to selling the property to recoup their original investment (the money lent) and are able to dispose of hard assets (such as real estate) more quickly by reductions in price. Therefore, the mortgage insurance acts as a hedge should the repossessing authority recover less than full and fair market value for any hard asset.

See also

General, or related to more than one nation

Related to the United Kingdom

Related to the United States

Other nations

Legal details

References

  1. ^ Coke, Edward. Commentaries on the Laws of England. [I]f he doth not pay, then the Land which is put in pledge upon condition for the payment of the money, is taken from him for ever, and so dead to him upon condition, &c. And if he doth pay the money, then the pledge is dead as to the Tenant
  2. ^ FTC. Mortgage Servicing: Making Sure Your Payments Count.
  3. ^ "How Long Does Mortgage Underwriting Take?". homeguides.sfgate.com. SFGate. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  4. ^ "The Underwriter: Unseen Approver of Your Mortgage"http://www.realtor.com/advice/the-underwriter-unseen-approver-of-your-mortgage/
  5. ^ "Who Needs Mortgage Loan Insurance?". Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  6. ^ "How do HECM Reverse Mortgages Work?". www.mtgprofessor.com.
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  17. ^ "New mortgage guidelines push CMHC to embrace insurance basics". 14 April 2014.
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External links

Adjustable-rate mortgage

A variable-rate mortgage, adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), or tracker mortgage is a mortgage loan with the interest rate on the note periodically adjusted based on an index which reflects the cost to the lender of borrowing on the credit markets. The loan may be offered at the lender's standard variable rate/base rate. There may be a direct and legally defined link to the underlying index, but where the lender offers no specific link to the underlying market or index the rate can be changed at the lender's discretion. The term "variable-rate mortgage" is most common outside the United States, whilst in the United States, "adjustable-rate mortgage" is most common, and implies a mortgage regulated by the Federal government, with caps on charges. In many countries, adjustable rate mortgages are the norm, and in such places, may simply be referred to as mortgages.

Among the most common indices are the rates on 1-year constant-maturity Treasury (CMT) securities, the cost of funds index (COFI), and the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). A few lenders use their own cost of funds as an index, rather than using other indices. This is done to ensure a steady margin for the lender, whose own cost of funding will usually be related to the index. Consequently, payments made by the borrower may change over time with the changing interest rate (alternatively, the term of the loan may change). This is distinct from the graduated payment mortgage, which offers changing payment amounts but a fixed interest rate. Other forms of mortgage loan include the interest-only mortgage, the fixed-rate mortgage, the negative amortization mortgage, and the balloon payment mortgage.

Adjustable rates transfer part of the interest rate risk from the lender to the borrower. They can be used where unpredictable interest rates make fixed rate loans difficult to obtain. The borrower benefits if the interest rate falls but loses if the interest rate increases. The borrower benefits from reduced margins to the underlying cost of borrowing compared to fixed or capped rate mortgages.

Bank of Hope

Hope Bancorp, Inc. is a holding company for Bank of Hope. Bank of Hope was formed through a merger of BBCN Bank and Wilshire Bank. The bank is the largest Korean-American bank in the U.S. The company focuses the business in South Korean expatriate communities, and it offers its customers commercial banking loan and deposit products through 63 full-service branches in California, Washington, Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama. The Bank also operates SBA loan production offices in Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Portland, Oregon and Annandale, Virginia; a commercial loan production office in Fremont, California; residential mortgage loan production offices in California; and a representative office in Seoul, Korea. The Company’s profit mainly comes from earning interest on loans and investment securities.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Crown Corporation of the Government of Canada. Its superseding agency was established after World War II, to help returning war veterans find housing. It has since expanded its mandate to assist housing for all Canadians. The organization's primary goals are to provide mortgage liquidity, assist in affordable housing development, and provide "unbiased" research and advice to the Canadian government, and housing industry.CMHC is the largest Crown corporation in terms of assets with some CA$252,107,000,000 as of 2015.

Collateral (finance)

In lending agreements, collateral is a borrower's pledge of specific property to a lender, to secure repayment of a loan. The collateral serves as a lender's protection against a borrower's default and so can be used to offset the loan if the borrower fails to pay the principal and interest satisfactorily under the terms of the lending agreement.

The protection that collateral provides generally allows lenders to offer a lower interest rate on loans that have collateral. The reduction in interest rate can be up to several percentage points, depending on the type and value of the collateral. For example, the interest rate (APR) on an unsecured loan is often much higher than on a secured loan or logbook loan, as the risk for the lender is then increased.

If a borrower defaults on a loan (due to insolvency or another event), that borrower loses the property pledged as collateral, with the lender then becoming the owner of the property. In a typical mortgage loan transaction, for instance, the real estate being acquired with the help of the loan serves as collateral. If the buyer fails to repay the loan according to the mortgage agreement, the lender can use the legal process of foreclosure to obtain ownership of the real estate. A pawnbroker is a common example of a business that may accept a wide range of items as collateral.

The type of the collateral may be restricted based on the type of the loan (as is the case with auto loans and mortgages); it also can be flexible, such as in the case of collateral-based personal loans.

Countrywide

For the former United States-based mortgage loan and financial services company, see Countrywide FinancialCountrywide PLC is the United Kingdom's largest property group, including residential property surveying, a collaboration of estate agents, and corporate services. It employs circa 10,000 personnel nationwide, working across 850+ estate agency or lettings offices operating under 65+ local high street brands, supplemented by 650 mortgage consultants. Countrywide is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Financial institution

Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of financial markets. Broadly speaking, there are three major types of financial institutions:

Depository institutions – deposit-taking institutions that accept and manage deposits and make loans, including banks, building societies, credit unions, trust companies, and mortgage loan companies;

Contractual institutions – insurance companies and pension funds

Investment institutions – investment banks, underwriters, brokerage firms.Financial institutions can be distinguished broadly into two categories according to ownership structure:

Commercial Banks

Cooperative BanksSome experts see a trend toward homogenisation of financial institutions, meaning a tendency to invest in similar areas and have similar business strategies. A consequence of this might be fewer banks serving specific target groups, and small-scale producers may be under-served.

Fixed-rate mortgage

A fixed-rate mortgage (FRM), often referred to as a "vanilla wafer" mortgage loan, is a fully amortizing mortgage loan where the interest rate on the note remains the same through the term of the loan, as opposed to loans where the interest rate may adjust or "float". As a result, payment amounts and the duration of the loan are fixed and the person who is responsible for paying back the loan benefits from a consistent, single payment and the ability to plan a budget based on this fixed cost.

Other forms of mortgage loans include interest only mortgage, graduated payment mortgage, variable rate mortgage (including adjustable-rate mortgages and tracker mortgages), negative amortization mortgage, and balloon payment mortgage. Unlike many other loan types, FRM interest payments and loan duration is fixed from beginning to end.

Fixed-rate mortgages are characterized by amount of loan, interest rate, compounding frequency, and duration. With these values, the monthly repayments can be calculated.

Flexible mortgage

The term flexible mortgage refers to a residential mortgage loan that offers flexibility in the requirements to make monthly repayments. The flexible mortgage first appeared in Australia in the early 1990s (hence the US term Australian mortgage), however it did not gain popularity until the late 1990s. This technique gained popularity in the US and UK recently due to the United States housing bubble.The term mortgage acceleration is also used, as the mortgage loan can be paid off faster than standard mortgages if the borrower is in a position to do so. With traditional mortgages, borrowers often face large penalties for additional capital repayments or if payments were not made on time.

A specific type of flexible mortgage common in Australia and the United Kingdom is an offset mortgage. The key feature of an offset mortgage is the ability to reduce the interest charged by offsetting a credit balance against the mortgage debt, with interest charged based on the outstanding net debt. Some lenders have a single account for all transactions, this is often referred to as a current account mortgage.

Foreign national mortgage

A mortgage to a non resident is called a Foreign National Mortgage loan. A foreign national who is not a resident of the United States will in many cases seek to own real estate. Financing real estate is generally done by US mortgage companies and banks to United States citizens.

Lenders also offer loans to non citizens. They may be resident aliens, temporary residents or other classifications of either temporary or permanent status.

Graduated payment mortgage loan

A graduated payment mortgage loan, often referred to as GPM, is a mortgage with low initial monthly payments which gradually increase over a specified time frame. These plans are mostly geared towards young people who cannot afford large payments now, but can realistically expect to raise their incomes in the future. For instance a medical student who is just about to finish medical school might not have the financial capability to pay for a mortgage loan, but once he graduates, it is more than probable that he will be earning a high income. It is a form of negative amortization loan.

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Pub.L. 110–289, 122 Stat. 2654, enacted July 30, 2008) (commonly referred to as HERA) was designed primarily to address the subprime mortgage crisis. It authorized the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee up to $300 billion in new 30-year fixed rate mortgages for subprime borrowers if lenders wrote down principal loan balances to 90 percent of current appraisal value. It was intended to restore confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by strengthening regulations and injecting capital into the two large U.S. suppliers of mortgage funding. States are authorized to refinance subprime loans using mortgage revenue bonds. Enactment of the Act led to the government conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Lenders mortgage insurance

Lenders mortgage insurance (LMI), also known as private mortgage insurance (PMI) in the US, is insurance payable to a lender or trustee for a pool of securities that may be required when taking out a mortgage loan. It is insurance to offset losses in the case where a mortgagor is not able to repay the loan and the lender is not able to recover its costs after foreclosure and sale of the mortgaged property. Typical rates are $55/mo. per $100,000 financed, or as high as $125/mo. for a typical $200,000 loan.

Loan officer

Loan Officers, also referred to as "Mortgage Loan Originators," are people who work for banks and other financial institutions with the main objective to recommend individual and business loan applications for approval and participate in the front end of the mortgage origination process. Loan officers specialize in commercial, consumer and mortgage loans. Although they are employed by financial institutions, they can be seen as intermediaries between lending institutions and borrowers. They solicit loans, represent creditors to borrowers, and represent borrowers to creditors.

Mortgage belt

The Mortgage belt is a term used in Australian politics to signify residential suburbs which have a high concentration of families mortgaging their homes.

Often the belt covers areas where homes could be considered more affordable yet the cost of servicing the mortgage loan represents a high proportion of the families' available income. Changes to cost of servicing a mortgage, seen through interest rate fluctuations, can trigger widespread satisfaction or dissatisfaction towards the government of the day.

In the 2004 federal election, the media played up the narrative the mortgage belt voted highly in favour of the Coalition, in fear that economic management under the Australian Labor Party could increase interest rates. As the Coalition ran a fear campaign on the issue and this became one of the keystones which helped it win a successive fourth term. However, it is generally agreed that governments have little control over interest rates, which are set by the Reserve Bank of Australia. There is little evidence in the political science literature to support the media's narrative for the mortgage belt making negative economic assessments of the Labor Party instead leader effects had a far larger impact on vote choice with a significant effect for negative assessments of the Labor leader, Mark Latham, on the defection of Labor partisans to the Coalition.In March 2005, interest rates rose by a quarter of a percent.

Mortgage belt areas played a significant role in the 2007 election where Labor won back many mortgage belt Liberal strongholds won in the 1996 election due to general disaffection with the incumbent government as well as high interest rates.The term has also seen use in New Zealand by political and economic commentators.

Mortgage underwriting

Mortgage underwriting is the process a lender uses to determine if the risk (especially the risk that the borrower will default

) of offering a mortgage loan to a particular borrower is acceptable and is a part of the larger mortgage origination process. Most of the risks and terms that underwriters consider fall under the five C’s of underwriting: credit, capacity, cashflow, collateral, and character. (This is also known in the UK as the three canons of credit - capacity, collateral, and character.)

To help the underwriter assess the quality of the loan, banks and lenders create guidelines and even computer models that analyze the various aspects of the mortgage and provide recommendations regarding the risks involved. However, it is always up to the underwriter to make the final decision on whether to approve or decline a loan.

Reverse mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a mortgage loan, usually secured over a residential property, that enables the borrower to access the unencumbered value of the property. The loans are typically promoted to older homeowners and typically do not require monthly mortgage payments. Borrowers are still responsible for property taxes and homeowner's insurance. Reverse mortgages allow elders to access the home equity they have built up in their homes now, and defer payment of the loan until they die, sell, or move out of the home. Because there are no required mortgage payments on a reverse mortgage, the interest is added to the loan balance each month. The rising loan balance can eventually grow to exceed the value of the home, particularly in times of declining home values or if the borrower continues to live in the home for many years. However, the borrower (or the borrower's estate) is generally not required to repay any additional loan balance in excess of the value of the home.In the United States, the FHA insured HECM, (home equity conversion mortgage) aka Reverse Mortgage is a non-recourse loan. In simple terms, the borrowers are not responsible to repay any loan balance that exceeds the net-sales proceeds of their home. For example, if the last borrower left the home and the loan balance on their FHA insured Reverse Mortgage was $125,000. And the home sold for $100,000, neither the borrower or their heirs would be responsible for the $25,000 on the Reverse Mortgage loan that exceeded the value of their home. The extra $25,000 would be paid from the FHA insurance that was purchased when the HECM loan was originated. A Reverse Mortgage cannot go upsided down. The cost of the FHA mortgage insurance is a one-time fee of 2% of the appraised value of the home. And an annual fee of .50% of the outstanding loan balance. https://www.hud.gov/ about The HECM Reverse Mortgage loan

Specific rules for reverse mortgage transactions vary depending on the laws of the jurisdiction. For example, in Canada, the loan balance cannot exceed the fair market value of the home by law.

One may compare a reverse mortgage with a conventional mortgage, whereby the homeowner makes a monthly payment to the lender and after each payment the homeowner's equity increases by the amount of the principal included in the payment.

Regulators and academics have given mixed commentary on the reverse mortgage market. Some economists argue that reverse mortgages may benefit the elderly by smoothing out their income and consumption patterns over time. However, regulatory authorities, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, argue that reverse mortgages are "complex products and difficult for consumers to understand", especially in light of "misleading advertising", low-quality counseling, and "risk of fraud and other scams". Moreover, the Bureau claims that many consumers do not use reverse mortgages for the positive, consumption-smoothing purposes advanced by economists. In Canada, the borrower must seek independent legal advice before being approved for a reverse mortgage. In 2014, a "relatively high number" of the U.S. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage borrowers—about 12%—defaulted on "their property taxes or homeowners insurance". In the United States, reverse mortgage borrowers can face foreclosure if they do not maintain their homes or keep up to date on homeowner's insurance and property taxes.

Roly MacIntyre

Roly MacIntyre (born 1943) is a former civil servant and politician in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in 1995 and re-elected in 2003 and 2006 after having been defeated in 1999.

MacIntyre was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He was district manager for Niagara Finance and Niagara Mortgage & Loan from 1964 to 1971. MacIntyre married Phyllis Coady. In 1971, he joined the federal Unemployment Insurance Commission, moving to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1976 after he became regional manager. In 1978, he became district manager for Human Resources Development Canada. He retired in 1995.

He represented the electoral district of Saint John East (formerly Saint John Champlain from 1995 to 2006) and was a member of the cabinet from 1995 to 1999 and again from 2006 to 2008.

Servicing

Servicing may refer to:

car servicing, a series of maintenance procedures carried out at a set time-interval or after the vehicle has travelled a certain distance

computer maintenance

loan servicing, the process by which a mortgage bank collects the timely payment of interest and principal from borrowers

mortgage servicing, company to which some borrowers pay their mortgage loan payments and which performs other services

William Cowger

William Owen Cowger (January 1, 1922 – October 2, 1971), a Republican, served as mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Cowger was born in Hastings, Nebraska. He moved to Louisville, Kentucky to study political science at the University of Louisville. After other graduate work and military service in World War II, he returned to Louisville and became president of a mortgage loan company. In 1961, Cowger was elected mayor of Louisville for a single four-year term. (State law at the time did not allow him to seek re-election.) Cowger was then elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1966 and served in the House of Representatives from January 3, 1967 to January 3, 1971. Cowger unsuccessfully sought re-election in 1970 while dealing with a fatal illness, but was defeated by Democrat Romano L. Mazzoli. After his defeat, Cowger returned to his mortgage business in Louisville and died less than one year after. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

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