Mortgage loan

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A mortgage loan or, simply, mortgage ( /ˈmɔːrɡɪ/ ) 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)".

Real property legal term; property consisting of land and the buildings on it

In English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which is the property of some person and all structures integrated with or affixed to the land, including crops, buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, and roads, among other things. The term is historic, arising from the now-discontinued form of action, which distinguished between real property disputes and personal property disputes. Personal property was, and continues to be, all property that is not real property.

A lien is a form of security interest granted over an item of property to secure the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation. The owner of the property, who grants the lien, is referred to as the lienee and the person who has the benefit of the lien is referred to as the lienor or lien holder.

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.

Contents

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.

Commercial mortgage

A commercial mortgage is a mortgage loan secured by commercial property, such as an office building, shopping center, industrial warehouse, or apartment complex. The proceeds from a commercial mortgage are typically used to acquire, refinance, or redevelop commercial property.

Bank financial institution

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

Credit union member-owned financial cooperative

A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative, controlled by its members and operated on the principle of people helping people, providing its members credit at competitive rates as well as other financial services.

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

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.

Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership and tenancy in real property and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property. Movable property roughly corresponds to personal property, while immovable property corresponds to real estate or real property, and the associated rights, and obligations thereon.

In English law, a fee simple or fee simple absolute is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is a way that real estate and land may be owned in common law countries, and is the highest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property. Allodial title is reserved to governments under a civil law structure. The rights of the fee simple owner are limited by government powers of taxation, compulsory purchase, police power, and escheat, and it could also be limited further by certain encumbrances or conditions in the deed, such as, for example, a condition that required the land to be used as a public park, with a reversion interest in the grantor if the condition fails; this is a fee simple conditional.

Security (finance) tradable financial asset

A security is a tradable financial asset. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal definition varies by jurisdiction. In some countries and languages the term "security" is commonly used in day-to-day parlance to mean any form of financial instrument, even though the underlying legal and regulatory regime may not have such a broad definition. In some jurisdictions the term specifically excludes financial instruments other than equities and fixed income instruments. In some jurisdictions it includes some instruments that are close to equities and fixed income, e.g., equity warrants.

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:

A mortgage is a security interest in real property held by a lender as a security for a debt, usually a loan of money. A mortgage in itself is not a debt, it is the lender's security for a debt. It is a transfer of an interest in land from the owner to the mortgage lender, on the condition that this interest will be returned to the owner when the terms of the mortgage have been satisfied or performed. In other words, the mortgage is a security for the loan that the lender makes to the borrower.

Security interest legal concept

A security interest is a legal right granted by a debtor to a creditor over the debtor's property which enables the creditor to have recourse to the property if the debtor defaults in making payment or otherwise performing the secured obligations. One of the most common examples of a security interest is a mortgage: When person, by the action of an expressed conveyance, pledges by a promise to pay a certain sum of money, with certain conditions, on a said date or dates for a said period, that action on the page with wet ink applied on the part of the one wishing the exchange creates the original funds and negotiable Instrument. That action of pledging conveys a promise binding upon the mortgagee which creates a face value upon the Instrument of the amount of currency being asked for in exchange. It is therein in good faith offered to the Bank in exchange for local currency from the Bank to buy a house. The particular country's Bank Acts usually requires the Banks to deliver such fund bearing negotiable instruments to the Countries Main Bank such as is the case in Canada. This creates a security interest in the land the house sits on for the Bank and they file a caveat at land titles on the house as evidence of that security interest. If the mortgagee fails to pay defaulting in his promise to repay the exchange, the bank then applies to the court to for-close on your property to eventually sell the house for profit.

Home insurance, also commonly called homeowner's insurance, is a type of property insurance that covers a private residence. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one's home, its contents, loss of use, or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.

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.

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.

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.[ citation needed ] 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. Similarly, a mortgage can be ended before its scheduled end by paying some or all of the remainder prematurely, called curtailment. [6]

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[ when? ] 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)[ citation needed ].

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. [7]

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. [8] 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; [9] 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. [10] 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. [11]

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. [12] For example, Fannie Mae promulgates a standard form contract Multistate Fixed-Rate Note 3200 [13] and also separate security instrument mortgage forms which vary by state. [14]

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. [15] 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. [16] 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 has arisen has contributed to a significant increase in mortgage debt in the country. [17]

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. [18]

In an attempt to cool down the real estate prices in Canada, Ottawa introduced a mortgage stress test effective 17 October 2016. [19] Under the stress test, every home buyer with less than 20% down payment (high ratio) undergoes a test in which the borrower's 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. [20] [21] 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. [20] [21] 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. [22] From 2007 to the beginning of 2013 between 50% and 83% of new mortgages had initial periods fixed in this way. [23]

Home ownership rates are comparable to the United States, but overall default rates are lower. [20] Prepayment penalties during a fixed rate period are common, whilst the United States has discouraged their use. [20] 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. [20] [24]

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. [25] [26] [27]

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. [20] [21] 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. [20] 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. [20] [21] Prepayment penalties are still common, whilst the United States has discouraged their use. [20] Unlike much of the United States, mortgage loans are usually not nonrecourse debt. [20]

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. [28] 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. [29]

Mortgage rates historical trends 1986 to 2010 Mortgage-Rates-Historical.png
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. [30] 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". [31]

George Soros's October 10, 2008 The Wall Street Journal editorial promoted the Danish mortgage market model. [32]

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.[ clarification needed ]

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. [33]

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.[ citation needed ]

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

Other nations

Related Research Articles

Debt deferred payment, or series of payments, that is owed in the future

Debt is when something, usually money, is owed by one party, the borrower or debtor, to a second party, the lender or creditor. Debt is a deferred payment, or series of payments, that is owed in the future, which is what differentiates it from an immediate purchase. The debt may be owed by sovereign state or country, local government, company, or an individual. Commercial debt is generally subject to contractual terms regarding the amount and timing of repayments of principal and interest. Loans, bonds, notes, and mortgages are all types of debt. The term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value. For example, in Western cultures, a person who has been helped by a second person is sometimes said to owe a "debt of gratitude" to the second person.

Loan transfer of money that must be repaid

In finance, a loan is the lending of money by one or more individuals, organizations, or other entities to other individuals, organizations etc. The recipient incurs a debt, and is usually liable to pay interest on that debt until it is repaid, and also to repay the principal amount borrowed.

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.

Fixed income

Fixed income refers to any type of investment under which the borrower or issuer is obliged to make payments of a fixed amount on a fixed schedule. For example, the borrower may have to pay interest at a fixed rate once a year, and to repay the principal amount on maturity. Fixed-income securities can be contrasted with equity securities – often referred to as stocks and shares – that create no obligation to pay dividends or any other form of income.

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 is generally not required to repay any additional loan balance in excess of the value of the home.

Refinancing is the replacement of an existing debt obligation with another debt obligation under different terms. The terms and conditions of refinancing may vary widely by country, province, or state, based on several economic factors such as inherent risk, projected risk, political stability of a nation, currency stability, banking regulations, borrower's credit worthiness, and credit rating of a nation. In many industrialized nations, a common form of refinancing is for a place of primary residency mortgage.

A home equity line of credit is a loan in which the lender agrees to lend a maximum amount within an agreed period, where the collateral is the borrower's equity in his/her house. Because a home often is a consumer's most valuable asset, many homeowners use home equity credit lines only for major items, such as education, home improvements, or medical bills, and choose not to use them for day-to-day expenses. HELOC abuse is often cited as one cause of the subprime mortgage crisis.

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.

In finance, negative amortization occurs whenever the loan payment for any period is less than the interest charged over that period so that the outstanding balance of the loan increases. As an amortization method the shorted amount is then added to the total amount owed to the lender. Such a practice would have to be agreed upon before shorting the payment so as to avoid default on payment. This method is generally used in an introductory period before loan payments exceed interest and the loan becomes self-amortizing. The term is most often used for mortgage loans; corporate loans with negative amortization are called PIK loans.

A balloon payment mortgage is a mortgage which does not fully amortize over the term of the note, thus leaving a balance due at maturity. The final payment is called a balloon payment because of its large size. Balloon payment mortgages are more common in commercial real estate than in residential real estate. A balloon payment mortgage may have a fixed or a floating interest rate. The most common way of describing a balloon loan uses the terminology X due in Y, where X is the number of years over which the loan is amortized, and Y is the year in which the principal balance is due.

This page gives descriptions of UK mortgage terminology which can often confuse borrowers.

Mortgage calculators are automated tools that enable users to determine the financial implications of changes in one or more variables in a mortgage financing arrangement. Mortgage calculators are used by consumers to determine monthly repayments, and by mortgage providers to determine the financial suitability of a home loan applicant.

In the United States, a mortgage note is a promissory note secured by a specified mortgage loan.

In finance, subprime lending is the provision of loans to people who may have difficulty maintaining the repayment schedule. Historically, subprime borrowers were defined as having FICO scores below 600, although this threshold has varied over time.

A Super Jumbo Mortgage is classified in the United States as a residential mortgage or other home-equity secured loan in an amount greater than $650,000, although lenders differ on just what constitutes a super jumbo mortgage subject to their own internal investment criteria. Super Jumbo mortgages are made available to borrowers whose loan requirements exceed the guidelines commonly referred to as Jumbo loan limits, which apply to mortgage loan amounts in excess of the FNMA / FHLMC conforming loan limits of 417,000. Unlike Jumbo loan limits, the super jumbo mortgage category is not directly defined, controlled, or regulated by any of these aforementioned agencies. Instead, mortgage lenders internally and independently define their own parameters and criteria for what defines a Super Jumbo mortgage. The minimum loan amount for some lenders to classify a loan as Super Jumbo ranges from $500,000 to $1,500,000, with maximum super jumbo loan amounts generally running into the $10,000,000 to $20,000,000 range.

Mortgage underwriting in the United States is the process a lender uses to determine if the risk of offering a mortgage loan to a particular borrower under certain parameters is acceptable. Most of the risks and terms that underwriters consider fall under the three C's of underwriting: credit, capacity and collateral.

Loss mitigation is used to describe a third party helping a homeowner, a division within a bank that mitigates the loss of the bank, or a firm that handles the process of negotiation between a homeowner and the homeowner's lender. Loss mitigation works to negotiate mortgage terms for the homeowner that will prevent foreclosure. These new terms are typically obtained through loan modification, short sale negotiation, short refinance negotiation, deed in lieu of foreclosure, cash-for-keys negotiation, a partial claim loan, repayment plan, forbearance, or other loan work-out. All of the options serve the same purpose, to stabilize the risk of loss the lender (investor) is in danger of realizing../

Securitization is the financial practice of pooling various types of contractual debt such as residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, auto loans or credit card debt obligations and selling their related cash flows to third party investors as securities, which may be described as bonds, pass-through securities, or collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). Investors are repaid from the principal and interest cash flows collected from the underlying debt and redistributed through the capital structure of the new financing. Securities backed by mortgage receivables are called mortgage-backed securities (MBS), while those backed by other types of receivables are asset-backed securities (ABS).

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