The amount recoverable by a person who has been injured in any manner through the act or default of another.


An unsecured bond or note.


In a closing statement or settlement, an item that is charged to a buyer or seller.  Compare with credit.

Debit Card (EFT)

A plastic card which looks similar to a credit card, that consumers may use to make purchases, withdrawals, or other types of electronic fund transfers.


An obligation to pay another.


The written instrument that conveys a property from the seller to the buyer.  The deed is recorded at the local courthouse so that the transfer of ownership is part of the public record.

Deed of Trust

This document, referred to as a mortgage in some states, pledges a property to a lender or trustee as security for the repayment of a debt.


A breech of the agreement with a lender such as the failure to make loan payments in a timely manner.


The failure to make payments on debts when they are due.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

An agency of the federal government that provides services and guarantees residential mortgages made to eligible veterans of the military services.


Funds required by a lender in advance of the processing of a loan request.  Generally a deposit is collected to cover the costs of an appraisal and credit report and may or may not be refundable.


A decline in the value of real or personal property.  The opposite of appreciation.


A gift of real property by will or last testament.


To pay out on the loan.


Information that must be given to consumers about their financial dealings.

Discount Points

Fees that are collected by the lender in exchange for a lower interest rate.  Each discount point is 1% of the loan amount.  For our comparison purposes, a discount point is considered to be a lender fee.  To determine if it is wise to pay discount points to obtain a lower rate, you must compare the up front cost of the points to the monthly savings that result from obtaining the lower rate.  Sometimes referred to as "points".

Discount Rate

The interest rate that the Federal Reserve charges member banks for loans, using government securities or eligible paper as collateral.  This provides a floor on interest rates, since banks set their loan rates a notch above the discount rate.

Document Preparation

Lenders will prepare some of the legal documents that you will be signing at the time of closing, such as the mortgage, note, and truth-in-lending statement.  This fee covers the expenses associated with the preparation of these documents.  For our comparison purposes, the document preparation charges are considered to be a lender fee.


The rights of a widow in the property of her husband upon his death.

Down Payment

The portion of the purchase price of a property that the borrower will be paying in cash rather than included in the mortgage amount.

Draw Period

Generally associated with home equity lines of credit, the draw period is the period of time that you can access funds from the line.  After the draw period expires, a repayment period generally follows.

Due-on-sale Clause

A provision in a mortgage that allows the lender to demand repayment in full, if the borrower sells the property that serves as security for the loan.

Durable Goods Orders

Economic indicator that measures new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for immediate and future delivery of factory hard-goods.  Monthly percent changes reflect the rate of change of such orders.  Levels of, and changes in, Durable Goods Orders are widely followed as an indicator of factory sector momentum.    Frequency:  Monthly Source:  Commerce Department