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Mortgage / Loan Terms




A legal proceeding under which a person's money in control of another (such as salary) is taken for payment of a debt. The amount, which may be taken, is set by statute (usually as a percentage), and, in most states, a judgment is necessary before garnishment.

General Lien

(1) A lien such as a tax lien or judgment lien which attaches to all property of the debtor rather than the lien of, for example, a trust deed, which attaches only to specific property. (2) The right of a creditor to hold personal property of a debtor for payment of a debt not associated with the property being held. Must be done under an agreement since against general precepts of law.

General Membership

A partnership made up of general partners, without special (limited) partners.

GNMA (Government National Mortgage Association) Options

A method of purchasing GNMA securities through "puts" and calls." A GNMA Call Option is the right to buy GNMA securities at a specific yield for a specified time; A Put Option is the right to sell GNMA securities at a specific yield for a specified time. The buyer pays for the option and may exercise it, not exercise it, or sell it.

Graduated Payment Mortgage

A mortgage or deed or trust calling for increasingly higher payments over the term of the loan. This allows the buyer low beginning payments. The payments then increase as (theoretically) the buyer's earnings increase.


One to whom a grant is made. The purchaser of real property.


One who has made a grant. The seller of real property.

Grantor Grantee Index

The record of the passing of title to all the properties in a county as kept by the county recorder's office. Property is checked by tracing the names of the sellers and buyers (chain of title). Title companies usually have more efficient methods by keeping records according to property description, rather than people's names.

Gross Income

The scheduled (total) income, either actual or estimated, derived from a business or property.

Gross Income Multiplier

A figure which, when multiplied by the annual gross income, will theoretically determine the market value. A general rule of thumb, which varies with specific properties and areas.

Gross Lease

A lease which obligates the lessor to pay all or part of the expenses of the leased property, such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc.


(1) Thin mortar used in masonry work to fill joints between bricks, blocks, and tiles. etc. (2) A variety of plaster used to finish ceilings of superior quality.

Growing Equity Mortgage (g.e.m.)

A fixed rate, graduated payment loan allowing low beginning payments and a shorter term because of higher payments as the loan progress. Based on the theory of increasing income by the buyer and, therefore, ability to make higher future payments. When state law applies, usury laws in some states may not presently allow such loans when less than interest only payments create interest on interest.


Agreement to pay the debt or perform the obligation of another in the event the debt is not paid or obligation not performed. Differs from a surety agreement in that there must be a failure to pay or perform before the guaranty can be in effect.


Hard Money Mortgage

A mortgage given in return for cash, rather than to secure a portion of the purchase price, as with a purchase money mortgage.


One who by law, rather than by will, receives the estate of a deceased person.


(1) Anything, which could be considered real property. (2) Anything, which may be inherited.

Hidden Defect

An encumbrance on a title that is not apparent in the public records; for example, unknown heirs, secret marriages and forged instruments.


Portion of a loan held back by the lender until a contingency is met. In the sale of a home insured by V.A. or F.H.A., funds may be held back to make necessary improvements to bring the property to V.A. or F.H.A. standards. The money to make "these" repairs may not be available until closing. One and one halt to double the estimated amount necessary is held back. If repairs are not made in the time allowed. These funds are used to make the repairs. In construction financing, funds are held back until, for example, a certain percentage of a subdivision has been sold, or a certain portion of a building has been constructed.

Holder In Due Course

A holder of a check or note who takes, for value and in good faith, the note before it is overdue or the check without knowledge that it has bounced, if, in fact it has.

Holding Period

The time period used by the IRS to determine along or short term capital gain. The period during which the taxpayer owns the capital asset.


The dwelling (house and contiguous land) of the head of a family. Some states grant statutory exemptions, protecting homestead property (usually to a set maximum amount) against the rights of creditors. Property tax exemptions (for all or part of the tax) are also available in some states. Statutory requirements to establish a homestead may include a formal declaration to be recorded.

Home Warranty Insurance

Private insurance insuring a buyer against defects (usually in plumbing, heating, and electrical) in the home he has purchased. The period of insurance varies and both new and used homes may be insured.


To mortgage or pledge without delivery of the security to the lender.

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