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L

Term Definition
land

In a legal sense, the solid part of the surface of the earth, as distinguished from water; any ground, soil or earth whatsoever regarded as the subject of ownership and everything annexed to it, whether by nature, e.g., trees and everything in or on it, such as minerals and running water, or annexed to it by man; e.g., buildings, fences, etc. In an economic sense, land consists of all those elements in the wealth of a nation which is supposed to be furnished by nature as distinguished from those improvements which owe their value to the labor and organizing power of man.

land contract

Installment plan for buying a house. It is used as an alternative to obtaining a loan from a traditional, source such as a mortgage banker or savings and loan.

late charge

The penalty a borrower must pay when a payment is made a stated number of days. On a first trust deed or mortgage, this is usually fifteen days.

lease

A written agreement between the property owner and a tenant that stipulates the payment and conditions under which the tenant may possess the real estate for a specified period of time.

lease option

An alternative financing option that allows home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month's rent payment may consist of not only the rent, but an additional amount which can be applied toward the down payment on an already specified price.

leasehold estate

A way of holding title to a property wherein the mortgagor does not actually own the property but rather has a recorded long-term lease on it.

legal description

A property description, recognized by law, that is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.

lender

A term which can refer to the institution making the loan or to the individual representing the firm. For example, loan officers are often referred to as "lenders."

liabilities

A person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt, as well as any other amounts that are owed to others.

liability insurance

Insurance coverage that offers protection against claims alleging that a property owner's negligence or inappropriate action resulted in bodily injury or property damage to another party. It is usually part of a homeowner's insurance policy.

lien

A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed is considered a lien.

life cap

For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount that the enterest rate can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.

line of credit

An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time to a specified borrower.

liquid asset

A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.

loan

A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.

loan officer

Also referred to by a variety of other terms, such as lender, loan representative, loan "rep," account executive, and others. The loan officer serves several functions and has various responsibilities: they solicit loans, they are the representative of the lending institution, and they represent the borrower to the lending institution.

loan origination

How a lender refers to the process of obtaining new loans.

loan servicing

After you obtain a loan, the company you make the payments to is "servicing" your loan. They process payments, send statements, manage the escrow/impound account, provide collection efforts on delinquent loans, ensure that insurance and property taxes are made on the property, handle pay-offs and assumptions, and provide a variety of other services.

loan-to-value (LTV)

The percentage relationship between the amount of the loan and the appraised value or sales price (whichever is lower).

lock-in

An agreement in which the lender guarantees a specified interest rate for a certain amount of time at a certain cost.

lock-in period

The time period during which the lender has guaranteed an interest rate to a borrower.

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