Key terms

While working with your mortgage company, it’s important to understand the mortgage terms that may be used so you can have a better (and easier) discussion with your mortgage company.

Modification

Any change to the terms of a mortgage loan, including changes to the interest rate, loan balance or loan term.

Learn more about Modification

Mortgage

A legal document that pledges property to the mortgage company as security for the repayment of the loan. The term is also used to refer to the loan itself.

Mortgage Company

Mortgage companies may originate (i.e., your lender) as well as service the loan. The lender who originated your mortgage may or may not service your loan. When the mortgage company services your mortgage, they do the following: collect the homeowner’s mortgage payments, pay taxes and insurance, generally manage your escrow accounts (i.e., they “service” your loan), and provide customer service and support.

Find your mortgage company's contact information

Mortgage Insurance

Insurance that protects the mortgage company against losses caused by a homeowner's default on a mortgage loan. Mortgage insurance (or MI) typically is required if the homeowner's down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price.

Mortgage Interest

The amount a lender charges to borrow money to buy or refinance a home.

Mortgage Release (Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure)

The transfer of title from a homeowner to the mortgage company to satisfy the mortgage debt and avoid foreclosure, also called a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure or a voluntary conveyance.

Learn more about Mortgage Release