Glossary of Mortgage & Real Estate Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Lease
A written agreement between the property owner and a tenant that stipulates the payment and conditions under which the tenant may possess the real estate for a specified period of time.

Lease Description
A property description, recognized by law, that is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.

Lease Option
An alternative financing option that allows home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month's rent payment may consist of not only the rent, but an additional amount which can be applied toward the down payment on an already specified price.

Leasehold Estate
A way of holding title to a property wherein the mortgagor does not actually own the property but rather has a recorded long-term lease on it.

Lender
A term which can refer to the institution making the loan or to the individual representing the firm. For example, loan officers are often referred to as "lenders."

Leverage
Using someone else's money for the purchase of property.

Liabilities
A person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt, as well as any other amounts that are owed to others.

Liability Insurance
Insurance coverage that offers protection against claims alleging that a property owner's negligence or inappropriate action resulted in bodily injury or property damage to another party. It is usually part of a homeowners insurance policy.

LIBOR
The London Interbank Offered Rate Index (LIBOR) is an average of the interest rates that major international banks charge each other to borrow U.S. dollars in the London money market. Like the U.S. treasury the CD indexes, LIBOR tends to move and adjust quite rapidly to changes in interest rates.

Lien
A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed is considered a lien.

Life Cap
For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount that the interest rate can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.

Line of Credit
An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time to a specified borrower.

Liquid Asset
A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.

Loan
A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.

Loan Officer
Also referred to by a variety of other terms, such as lender, loan representative, loan "rep," account executive, and others. The loan officer serves several functions and has various responsibilities: they solicit loans, they are the representative of the lending institution, and they represent the borrower to the lending institution.

Loan Origination
How a lender refers to the process of obtaining new loans

Loan Servicing
After you obtain a loan, the company you make the payments to is "servicing" your loan. They process payments, send statements, manage the escrow/impound account, provide collection efforts on delinquent loans, ensure that insurance and property taxes are made on the property, handle pay-offs and assumptions, and provide a variety of other services.

Loan-To-Value (LTV)
The percentage relationship between the amount of the loan and the appraised value or sales price (whichever is lower).

Lock-In
An agreement in which the lender guarantees a specified interest rate for a certain amount of time at a certain cost.

Lock-In Period
The time period during which the lender has guaranteed an interest rate to a borrower.
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