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Banking Terms



Tangible Property

Real estate and other property of value which can be seen and touched.

Tax Base

The total value of property, income, or other taxable assets subject to taxation.

Tax Certificate

A tax charged by some state or local governments at the time of transfer of real estate title from one owner to another. For our comparison purposes, these fees are considered to be a tax or other unavoidable fee.

Tax Service Fee

A fee charged to a borrower by a lender so that another company will assume responsibility for verifying the amount of real estate taxes due and that taxes have been paid over the life of the loan. For our comparison purposes, a tax service fee is considered to be a third party fee, however, some lenders may not charge for this service.

Taxes and Other Unavoidable Fees

Fees that we consider to be taxes and other unavoidable fees include State/Local Taxes and recording fees. These fees will most likely have to be paid regardless of the lender you choose. If you see a tax or recording fee in the fee comparison table that is listed by some of the sites and not others, don't assume that you won't have to pay it. It probably means that the lender who doesn't list the fee hasn't done the research necessary to provide accurate closing cost information nationwide. Contact one of the sites directly for more information or talk to your real estate agent or attorney for guidance.


An acronym for “Telephone Initiated Entry”; an entry that is initiated via a phone call to have your account debited by a business.

©2011 NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association® All rights reserved.

Temporary Internet Files

A temporary Internet file is a file that is located on your hard drive that a browser uses to store Web site data for every Web page or URL address that you visit. When the Web server sends the Web page files to the browser, they are stored in a file so that the next time you visit the same Web site the browser takes the data from the temporary Internet file. Loading the Web site in this way from a temporary Internet file is called caching.
With this method, the page quickly displays in the browser instead of having to wait for response from the Web site's server all over again. Basically, the browser is opening the Web page from your hard drive instead of downloading the files from the Internet. Only the new content since your last visit would be downloaded on consecutive visits to a Web page. Not only is it faster to view the content from your temporary Internet files rather than from the Web server, but if your Internet connection is unavailable you can view the cached versions of recently visited Web pages while offline.


Tenancy by the Entirety

Type of joint tenancy that provides the right of survivorship and is available only to a husband and wife. Compare with tenancy in common.

Tenancy in Common

Type of joint tenancy without the right of survivorship. Compare with tenancy by the entirety and with joint tenancy.


The loan term is the number of months that you will make monthly payments. If the loan term is the same as the payment calculation term, you will pay the loan in full during the loan term and no balance will be due. If the payment calculation term is greater than the loan term, a balance or "balloon payment" may be due at the end of the loan term.

Third Party Fees

Third party fees are usually fees that the lender will collect and pass on to the person who actually performed the service. For example, an appraiser is paid the appraisal fee, a credit bureau is paid the credit report fee and a title company or an attorney is paid the title insurance fees.

Examples of fees that we consider third party fees include the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, the settlement or closing fee, the survey fee, tax service fees, title insurance fees, flood certification fees, and courier/mailing fees.

Typically, you’ll see some minor variances in third party fees from lender to lender since a lender may have negotiated a special charge from a provider they use often or chooses a provider that offers nationwide coverage at a flat rate. You may also see that some lenders absorb minor third party fees such as the flood certification fee, the tax service fee or courier/mailing fees.

Time Deposit

A deposit account carrying a specified maturity date, usually bearing interest and restricting the depositor's ability to make withdrawals before the maturity date.


A legal written instrument evidencing a person's lawful possession of a property.

Title Company

A company that specializes in examining titles to real estate and issuing title insurance.

Title Examination

A fee charged by a title company or attorney in some states to cover the cost of searching the public record to make sure the buyer is purchasing a house from the legal owner and there are no liens, overdue assessments, or other claims filed that would adversely affect the transfer of the title. For our comparison purposes, a title examination fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Title Insurance

An insurance policy that protects the lender (and sometimes the property owner as well) against loss due to disputes over the ownership of a property and defects in the title that were not found in the search of the public record. For our comparison purposes, the title insurance cost is considered to be a third party fee.

Title Opinion

A statement issued by an attorney as to the quality of title after examining an abstract of title. Also, referred to as an Attorney Opinion. For our comparison purposes, a title opinion fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Title Search

An examination of the public title records to determine the legal ownership of a property, and to ensure that there are no liens, encumbrances or other claims outstanding.

Total Closing Costs

This is the total of all the items that must be paid at closing related to your new mortgage. Since the exact charges for some of these items cannot be obtained until the time of closing, the figure may only be an estimate.

Total Debt Ratio

A standard calculation performed by mortgage lenders to determine if a borrower qualifies for a specific loan type. It is calculated by dividing the monthly housing expense (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance plus all other monthly debt obligation) by the borrower's monthly gross income. Also referred to as a back end ratio or a bottom ratio.

Trade Equity

Equity that results from a buyer giving an existing property as trade for all, or part of, the down payment on the subject property.


(noun) A transaction is a single act of doing business.

©2010 Wordsmyth


(verb) To transfer is to move or carry from one person or place to another.

©2010 Wordsmyth (definition only)

Transfer of Ownership

Any legal method by which the ownership of property changes hands.

Traveler's Check

A negotiable instrument sold by a bank or other issuer in various denominations for the convenience of individuals who do not wish to carry cash. These checks are readily converted into cash upon proper identification, usually by a signature in the presence of the cashing party.


DEFINITION 1: The Treasury is the government department responsible for public money.
DEFINITION 2: A treasury is the money of a club, business, government, or other group.

©2010 Wordsmyth (definition only)

Treasury Bills

An index used to establish interest rates for adjustable rate mortgages. It is based on the interest rate paid to private investors by the US Government to obtain funding for the national debt and other expenses. Sometimes called T-bills, they are available in denominations of 3-months, 6-months and 1-year. The 3-month and 6-month Treasury bills are auctioned every Monday, and the 1-year Treasury bills are auctioned on Tuesday. The resulting figures are released to the public the next day. This index can have either a weekly or a monthly value.

Treasury Bond

Negotiable, long-term U.S. Government debt obligation with a maturity of ten years or longer, issued in minimum denominations of $1,000.

Treasury Index

An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for some adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) programs. It is often based on the U.S. Treasury's daily yield curve.

Treasury Note

An intermediate U.S. Government security with a maturity of 1 to 10 years. Denominations range from $1,000 to $1 million or more. The notes are sold by cash subscription, in exchange for outstanding or maturing government issues, or at auction.

Treasury Securities

An index used to establish interest rates for adjustable rate mortgages. It is based on the yields of actively traded 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year Treasury Securities adjusted to constant maturities. The Treasury Security indices are calculated by the U.S. Treasury and reported by the Federal Reserve Board. These indices have either a weekly or a monthly value. The weekly indices are released on Monday afternoon for the previous week. Monthly values for these indices are generally available on the first Monday of the following month.


A fiduciary relationship in which one person (the trustee) is the holder of legal title to property (the trust property) subject to an equitable obligation (an obligation enforceable in a court of equity) to keep or use the property for the benefit of another personal (beneficiary).

The Glossary of Fiduciary Terms, second edition, published by the American Bankers Association


A fiduciary who holds property in trust for another to secure performance of an obligation or act.


The parties named in a trust document who have responsibility to hold assets for the participants. Some plan documents also give investment responsibility to the trustees.

WK: 401(k) Answer Book - Great West Retirement Services, Glossary - © 2011 Wolters Kluwer

Truth in Lending Act

Also known as Regulation Z, this federal regulation requires a lender to provide borrowers with a disclosure estimating the costs of the loan including your total finance charge and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) within three business days of the application for a loan. This act is designed to provide consumers with a standard method of comparing the financing costs from lender to lender.



Detailed process of evaluating a borrower's loan application to determine the risk involved for the lender. Underwriting usually involves an in-depth analysis of the borrower's credit history, as well as an examination of the value and quality of the subject property.

Undivided Interest

An ownership right to use and occupy property that is shared among more than one owner. No single co-owner may have exclusive rights or possession to any part of the property.

Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)

Group of laws that are applicable to commercial transactions. Only a few of the laws have relevance to real estate transactions.

Unsecured Loan

Bank credit extended without collateral.

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium

FHA charges the borrower an Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (Upfront MIP) for most transactions to financially support the FHA program. This fee is a percentage of the principal loan amount and is due at closing. The full amount can be financed as part of the loan amount or paid in cash.


An acronym for “Uniform Resource Locator”; An Internet address (for example, http://www.hmco.com/trade/), usually consisting of the access protocol (http), the domain name (www.hmco.com), and optionally the path to a file or resource residing on that server (trade).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Vacancy Rate

The percentage of all units or space that is not leased, not rented or is unoccupied.

Vacant Land

Land that is not currently being used.


To move out of a premises.

Vacation home

A home used by the owners only occasionally or seasonally, primarily for recreational purposes.


A document or contract that has legally binding force.


A document or contract that has legally binding force.

Variable Rate Loan (AKA - Adjustable Rate Loan)

A loan that allows the lender to make periodic adjustments in the interest rate, according to fluctuating market conditions.


Having the right or privilege to use a portion of a fund, such as an individual retirement account (IRA).

Vested Benefits

Benefits that become nonforfeitable with respect to a participant as the result of the passage of time or the occurrence of an event such as retirement or plan termination.

WK: 401(k) Answer Book - Great West Retirement Services, Glossary - © 2011 Wolters Kluwer

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