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E A TO Z GLOSSARY OF TERMS
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Earnest Money Deposit
A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

The earnest money deposit is a good-faith payment you submit with your offer on a home to show the seller you are serious about proceeding.

The earnest money is deposited in an escrow account and will be applied to your closing costs.

Sometimes, your lender will want you to bring a receipt for the earnest money deposit along with your sales contract to the initial loan application meeting.

Easement
A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.

Effective Age
An appraiser's estimate of the physical condition of a building. The actual age of a building may be shorter or longer than its effective age.

Effective Gross Income
Normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. The income may be from more than one source. Salary is generally the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.

Eminent Domain
The right of a government to take private property for public use upon payment of its fair market value. Eminent domain is the basis for condemnation proceedings.

Encroachment
An improvement that intrudes illegally on another's property.

Encumbrance
Anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property, such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions.

Endorser
A person who signs ownership interest over to another party. Contrast with co-maker.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
A federal law that requires lenders and other creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs.

Equity
A homeowner's financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage.

A lender determines how much equity you have in your home by taking the appraised value of the home and subtracting any mortgage debt.

For example, if your house is valued at $150,000 and your mortgage balance is $80,000, you have $70,000 equity in the house.

Errors in Credit Report
Your credit report may contain inaccuracies. The best way to ensure there are no errors in your credit report is to request copies and review the information.

Since each of the main credit bureaus keeps its own records, you may want to request copies from all three: Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.

If you have been turned down for credit because of the information in your credit report, you are entitled to receive a free copy of your report within 60 days of the denial. If you haven't been denied credit, you can still request a copy of your credit report, usually for a nominal fee.

If you find errors in your report, follow the directions in the credit report and contact the agencies to have the errors corrected. They will investigate the targeted items and remove incorrect information.

You don't have to delay applying for a mortgage while errors in your report are being corrected. Explain the discrepancies in the report to your lender and state that the credit agency is correcting them.

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 by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.

Escrow Account
The account in which a mortgage servicer holds the borrower's escrow payments prior to paying property expenses.

An escrow account is money that is deposited with a third party -- outside the buyer and the seller -- to be used to pay various fees. A borrower typically provides funds that will pay taxes, mortgage insurance, lease payments, hazard insurance premiums, and other payments when they are due.

An escrow payment by the holder of a mortgage is also known as impounds or reserves in some states.

When escrow funds are used to pay taxes, hazard insurance, and other fees, it is called an escrow disbursement. Periodically, an escrow analysis will be performed to determine if current monthly deposits provide sufficient funds to pay bills when they are due.



Escrow Analysis
The periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current monthly deposits will provide sufficient funds to pay taxes, insurance, and other bills when due.

Escrow Collections
Funds collected by the servicer and set aside in an escrow account to pay the borrower's property taxes, mortgage insurance, and hazard insurance.

Escrow Disbursements
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.

Escrow Payment
The portion of a mortgagor's monthly payment that is held by the servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due. Known as impounds or reserves in some states.

Establishing a Credit Report
It is possible to establish a credit history even if you do not have a traditional credit record that shows credit card payments or payments on a student or car loan.

You can build a nontraditional credit history, for example, by documenting your monthly payments to previous and current landlords; to utility companies for your gas, water and telephone services; and to insurance companies for medical, life, and automobile coverage.

Your lender can provide further details on how you can effectively establish a credit record.

Estate
Estate

Eviction
The lawful expulsion of an occupant from real property.

Examination of Title
The report on the title of a property from the public records or an abstract of the title.

Exclusive Listing
A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time, but reserving the owner's right to sell the property alone without the payment of a commission.