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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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Umbrella Mortgage
Also referred to as a wraparound, a special arrangement whereby one document encompasses one or more already existing mortgages registered on the same property. The mortgagee is responsible for remission of payment(s), to lender(s), while the mortgagor makes one payment to the mortgagee.
Underpayment Penalty
A penalty for not paying enough total estimated tax and withholding. You can avoid underpayment penalties by paying a percentage amount of last year's tax due or of the current year's expected tax due. You may pay the taxes in combined estimated and withholding tax payments.
The analysis of risk involved in making a mortgage loan to determine whether the risk is acceptable to the lender. Underwriting involves evaluating the property as outlined in the appraisal report, and also evaluating the borrower's ability and willingness to repay the loan.
Unearned Income
Income such as interest, dividends, capital gains or rents, as opposed to earned income, such as wages, tips and salaries.
Unemployment Rate
The percentage of the labour force that is not employed but currently seeking work.
Unsecured Claim
A claim or debt for which a creditor holds no special assurance of payment, unlike a mortgage or lien; a debt for which credit was extended based solely upon the creditor's assessment of the debtor's future ability to pay.
Unsecured Debt
Debt that is not guaranteed by the pledge of any collateral. Most credit cards are unsecured debt, which is a main reason why their interest rate is higher than other forms of lending, such as mortgages, which employ property as collateral.
Unsecured Loan
An advance of money that is not secured by collateral.
Up-front Costs
The costs that must be paid at the time of signing a car lease agreement. These can include the first month's payment, a refundable security deposit, a capitalized cost reduction or down payment, taxes, registration and other fees.
Options that allow buyers of newly built houses to select higher-quality floor coverings, cabinets, windows and other amenities for more money.
A position that consumers find themselves in when the outstanding balance of a loan is higher than the current fair market value of the property purchased with the loan. In automobiles, it is most common in the early years of a lease or loan, when the car is depreciating rapidly but the balance owed remains very high. See also "Depreciation."
The process, often controversial, of changing the zoning in an area, usually to allow greater density or commercial use. Sometimes the term is used to mean the opposite — changing the zoning in a broad area to limit growth and density.
Useful Life
The number of years depreciable business property is expected to be productive and in use. For depreciation purposes, the IRS has predetermined useful lives for most types of business properties.
Usurious Rate
A rate based on unnecessarily or unlawfully high interest; act or practice of lending money at high interest; sometimes intangible property taxes are applied to income from usurious rates.
Illegal, excessive interest.