Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mortgage Terms in the Post-Bubble Era

Automated Valuation Model ("AVM") - a method of using mathematical modeling and databases to obtain property valuations. A servicer under the new guidelines of the U.S. Treasury Department's "Making Home Affordable Program" may use a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac's or its own internal AVM among other methods for rendering a valuation.

Credit-Default Swap - an insurance-like policy against default.

Counterparty - the party on the other side of a financial transaction.

Debt to Income ("DTI") - the percentage of a person's gross monthly income that goes to paying certain debt.

Government Sponsored Entity ("GSE") - a type of quasi-governmental organization, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, that falls in between the categories of the private sector and governmental entities. Congress defined the term GSE in the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990.

Median Family Income ("MFI") - used by HUD program as basis for income limits in various HUD programs.

Troubled Asset Relief Program ("TARP") - a federal program including efforts to purchase assets or equity from financial institutions to strengthen the financial sector.