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Mortgage and Real Estate Glossary

Alberta Equity's glossary contains hundreds of terms. With this tool, you can click or search through the largest real estate and mortgage glossary in Canada!

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Days on the Market
The period between listing and sale, or listing and a property being taken off the market.
Another name for withdrawal of funds from your account.
Debit Bureau
A service used by banks that will eventually track account opening and closing information, cheque order history, cheque writing history, any history of collection activity on unpaid accounts, frequency of debit and ATM card use and household demographics. Under the system, when a consumer presents a cheque to a participating retailer, the individual's account is identified by punching a code into a computer or swiping a card containing a magnetic strip or microchip through an electronic reader, which tells the retailer whether to accept or reject the transaction.
Debit Card
A payment card that is linked directly to a customer's bank account. Some cards require a personal identification number. Others require a customer's signature. A PIN-based or direct debit card removes a purchase price from a customer's chequing account almost immediately. A signature-based or deferred debit card has a Visa or MasterCard logo and removes the purchase price from a customer's bank account in two or three days.
Money one person or firm owes to another person or firm.
Debt Consolidation
The replacement of multiple loans with a single loan, often with a lower monthly payment and a longer repayment period. It's also called a consolidation loan. CanEquity has access to Canada's best debt consolidation products, for more info about debt consolidation see our debt consolidation page.
Debt Issues
The issuance of bonds or other forms of debt on the public markets.
Debt/Equity Ratio
A comparison of debt and equity used to measure the health of a business.
Technically, a person who has filed a petition for relief under the bankruptcy laws. More generally, anyone who owes.
These are expenses the government allows you to subtract from your taxable income. If you have taxable income of $31,000 and deductions of $4,000, then you would figure how much tax you owe on the difference — $27,000.
A document that provides title to property and is filed with a country recorder.
The condition that occurs when a consumer fails to fulfill the obligations set out in a loan or lease.
An actual decline in the general level of prices in the economy.
Failure to make mortgage payments when mortgage payments are due.
Delinquent Mortgage
A home loan in which the borrower has failed to make payments on time, as specified in the loan agreement.
Demand Loan
A loan that must be repaid in full, on demand.
Characteristics of the population that influence consumption of products and services. They include age, sex, race, family size, level of education, occupation, income and location of residence.
A person who relies on someone else for financial support. If you have dependents, you can claim them as exemptions, which will reduce the amount of your income that is taxed.
A payment made to prove that a buyer is serious about making a given transaction. An earnest money deposit is money a buyer gives to a seller to purchase to prove that he or she is serious about buying the house.
Deposit Insurance
The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation insures depositors' funds to a maximum of $60,000 per depositor, per institution, with some exceptions, in the event of the failure of a federal financial institution. Deposits in some provincial financial institutions are also covered.
The gradual loss of value of a building or other property because of age or natural wear.
A prolonged downturn in the economy and level of business activity.
Financial contracts whose value is derived from the value of some underlying asset, rate or index. Derivatives are used as risk-management tools by governments and corporations to reduce exposure to risk, mainly related to fluctuations in foreign-exchange and interest rates. Derivative instruments include swaps, options, futures and forward contracts and are used by banks in two principal activities: sales/trading and asset/liability management.
Destination Charge
The fee charged for transporting the vehicle to the dealer from the manufacturer or port of entry. This charge is to be passed on to the buyer without any mark-up.
Dimension Plans
Diagrams that show location of building outlines and other improvements on a lot, but which are not as detailed as blueprints.
Direct Cheque Printers
These operations offer lower prices and greater selection than chequing customers get through their banks. Many of these printers are also printing cheques for banks that use outside printers. Customers must supply most direct cheque companies with a voided cheque or a reorder form from a current batch of cheques and a deposit slip. Names and addresses must match with information on file at the account holder's bank.
Direct Debit
A means of authorizing recurring payments (e.g., mortgage payments, insurance premiums) to be drawn on an account.
Direct Deposit
An automatic deposit of wages or benefits to a customer's bank account.
Direct Deposit/Direct Fund Transfers (DFT)
A means of authorizing payment made by governments or companies to be deposited directly into a recipient's bank account. It is used mainly for deposits of a recurring nature such as salary, pensions and interest payments.
Direct Financing
A buyer who lines up financing through an outside financial institution rather than through the dealer is said to have direct financing.
Direct Tax
A tax that you pay directly, as opposed to indirect taxes, such as tariffs and business taxes. The income tax is a direct tax, as are property taxes. See also "Indirect Tax."
1. A statement listing potential defects to a property, such as the possible existence of lead paint or radon. 2. A statement required by most provinces that requires the creditor to tell the debtor the annual percentage rate, finance charges and other terms of a loan.
Discount Point
A sum a borrower pays to a lender to decrease the interest rate of a mortgage. A point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
A reduction in the rate of inflation either as a result of government policy or of declining economic activity.
Disposition Fee
A fee charged by some lessors at the end of a lease. The sum, spelled out in the lease, charges consumers for the privilege of giving back the vehicles they had leased.
The right of a party to sell the real or personal property of another party to pay for arrears in rent or loan payments.
Distressed Property
Property that is in poor condition, or whose owner is in poor financial condition.
Distribution of earnings to shareholders. In credit unions, it's the money paid to members for deposits, similar to the interest banks pay to their customers for deposits.
Document Needs List
An inventory of papers a lender needs to underwrite a loan, usually including pay-cheque stubs, bank statements and tax returns.
Documentary Credit
Written undertaking by a bank on behalf of an importer authorizing an exporter to draw drafts on the bank up to a specified amount under specific terms and conditions. They are used to facilitate international trade. In the United States these instruments are called commercial letters of credit.
Domestic Banks
Banks owned by Canadians. Canada has nine domestic banks, of which seven are Schedule I banks.
A person's permanent residence.
Down Payment
The portion of the purchase price a buyer pays, in cash, at the time the loan originates.
Draw Mortgage
A payment, made periodically, to a construction contractor or subcontractor as work progresses. A draw is part of a construction mortgage.
Draw Period
On a line of credit, the draw period is the fixed time when a borrower can make withdrawals from the account. Once the draw period expires, borrowers may be able to renew the credit line or may be required to pay the outstanding balance in full, or over time.
Dry Rot
A fungal decay that causes lumber to crumble.
Panels of gypsum plaster wrapped in thin cardboard and attached to the house framing to create interior walls.
Dual Agency
The condition of a real-estate agent or broker representing both parties in a transaction.
Due-on-sale Clause
A condition of a mortgage that states that the loan must be paid when the house is sold. Commonly used in reverse mortgage lending.
One building that contains two housing units.