TOOLS • Mortgage Glossary

From A to Z

Mortgage Factory strives to provide the best rates, products and services to new and current homeowners across Canada. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to own their home, and we are committed to making this process as easy and seamless as possible.



Acceptance of an offer, one of seven essential elements of a contract, must be given in clear terms and be a positive act.

Accrual Loan:
An accrual loan accumulates interest charged, which is added to the principal amount and, in turn, earns interest over the remainder of the contract.

Action for Payment on the Covenant:
An action for payment on the covenant occurs when a property is sold, and there is still a balance on the loan. Although the new homeowner receives a document stating they

Action for Possession:
Action for possession is part of the foreclosure and power of sale process where a lender may, upon default by the borrower, take possession of the mortgaged property.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM):
See Variable Rate Mortgages with Payment Adjustments.

Amortization Period:
The number of years it takes to repay the entire amount of financing is based on a set of fixed payments.

Application for Appointment of a Receiver:
An application for appointment of a receiver allows the mortgage lender to apply to the court for the appointment of a receiver.

An appraisal is one person’s estimate of a property’s value at a specific moment in time.

Asking Price:
See Listing Price

What you own has value—often used to determine net worth or secure financing.

Assumption Agreement:
A legal document signed by a buyer requires the buyer to assume responsibility for the obligations of an existing mortgage. If someone takes your mortgage, make sure that you get a release from the mortgage company to ensure that you are no longer liable for the debt.

Assignment of Mortgages:
An assignment of a mortgage involves a request from a borrower to have a mortgage transferred from one lender to another without the mortgage being discharged.

Attornment of Rents:
Attornment of rents is a notice to tenants to pay the rents from a revenue-producing property to the lender.



Blended Payments:
Equal payments consisting of both an interest and a principal component. Typically, while the payment amount does not change, the principal portion increases while the interest portion decreases.

A builder is a manager who carries out the actual construction of residential and commercial properties.



Capacity is one of the seven essential elements of a contract. The lack of capacity (incapacity) results in the inability to make a contract, e.g., under the age of majority.

Capital Reserve Requirement:
Capital reserve requirements are specified amounts of capital Federally Regulated Financial Institutions (FRFIs) and provincially-regulated credit unions must set aside.

Capitalization Rate:
The capitalization rate, the free and clear return for a property, is calculated by dividing the net operating income by the sale price.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC):
CMHC is a federal Crown corporation that administers the National Housing Act (NHA). They insure mortgages for lenders greater than 80% of a home’s purchase price or value. The borrower pays the cost of that insurance and adds it to the mortgage amount. These are ‘Hi-Ratio’ mortgages.

A caveat is a note placed on a certificate of title by a person claiming an interest in that land and prevents all dealings (e.g., transfers, mortgages, etc.).

Ceiling Price:
The ceiling price is the maximum price a prospective buyer is prepared to pay for a property.

Certificate of Pending Litigation (CPL) (lis pendens):
A certificate of pending litigation is a claim to land made by a person who has commenced a proceeding or is a party to a proceeding which can be registered.

A charge is an estate or interest in land less than the fee simple and includes an estate or interest registered as a charge; for example, a mortgage, life estate, or lease.

An asset, such as a term deposit, Canada Savings Bond, or an automobile that you offer as security for a loan.

Collateral Charge/Mortgage:
A mortgage product where lenders register an additional 25% of the property value. It is important to note that this is not a traditional mortgage and cannot be transferred to another lender.

Closed Mortgage:
A mortgage that cannot be renegotiated for a fixed period without penalties.

Closing Costs:
The accumulated costs associated with any real estate transaction. This may include legal and administrative expenses.

Closing Date:
The closing date indicates when the seller is obligated to transfer title in the state set out in the Purchase/Sale Agreement, and the buyer is obligated to pay the purchase price set out in the Purchase/Sale Agreement. The closing date may or may not be the same as the possession date, depending on the Province.

See Comparative Market Analysis

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA):
A comparative market analysis compares recently sold properties (i.e., within the last three to six months) similar in design and style used to determine another property’s listing price.

Comprehensive Residential Mortgage Underwriting Policy (RMUP):
A comprehensive residential mortgage underwriting policy, required by Principle 1 of Guideline B-20, establishes limits regarding the level of risk the federally- regulated

Condition (Subject Clause):
A condition is an essential term of a contract, a breach of which allows the injured party to terminate the Purchase/Sale Agreement and/or sue for damages or specific performance.

Condition Precedent:
A condition precedent describes a condition that must occur before a party is liable to perform his or her principal obligations under the contract.

Condition Subsequent:
A condition subsequently describes a condition whose occurrence will bring the principal obligations of a party to the contract to an end.

Conforming Lenders:
Conforming lenders represent the top tier of lending and require good credit history, adequate verifiable income, traditional verifiable down payment sources, and debt.

Consideration, one of seven essential elements of a contract, means some right, benefit, or profit accruing to the promisor (usually monetary) or some detriment, loss or responsibility suffered by the promisee (e.g., forfeiture of deposit).

Constant Blended Repayment Plan (Fully Amortized):
A fully amortized constant blended repayment plan has equal payments throughout the life of the loan. Each payment consists of all interest due for that period plus some principal.

Constant Blended Repayment Plan (Partially Amortized):
In a partially amortized constant blended repayment plan, the loan’s contractual term is set for a shorter duration than the amortization period, meaning not enough regular

Conventional Mortgage:
A mortgage of up to 80% of the property’s purchase price. A mortgage exceeding 80% is a ‘High-Ratio’ mortgage; the lender will require insurance.

See Certificate of Pending Litigation

Credit Analysis:
A credit analysis evaluates the applicant’s ability to meet the mortgage terms and the amount of their income available for future mortgage payments.

Credit Report:
A credit report is a record identifying an applicant’s habits regarding his or her financial commitments and a comment on the borrower’s historical ability to keep within their credit limits.

Credit Score:
A credit score is a statistical means of assessing the risk of extending credit to an individual borrower.



Debt Coverage Ratio:
The debt coverage ratio is the property’s annual net operating income (NOI) to the annual debt service. It states that annual NOI must cover the annual debt service.

Demand measures the quantity of property the market wants to purchase at any given price.

Demand Letter:
A demand letter is from the lender’s lawyer to the borrower and guarantors (if any), requesting payment of the outstanding mortgage amount.

A sum of money deposited in trust by the purchaser when making an offer to purchase. When the offer is accepted, the deposit is held in trust until the closing.

Detailed Feasibility Costs:
Detailed feasibility costs, one of five major activities in project initiation, involve the preparation of a detailed feasibility study.

A developer is a financial manager who creates new properties by effectively managing the necessary components to create those properties.

Dual Rate Variable Rate Mortgages (Teaser Rate):
This variable rate mortgage alternative involves using a “dual rate,” or a rate that changes during the loan term at set intervals.



Effective Gross Income:
Effective gross income is the potential rental income minus allowances for vacancy and bad debts.

Efficiency Ratio:
The efficiency ratio is the ratio of net to gross leasable space.

The difference between the market value of the property and any outstanding mortgages registered against the property. This difference belongs to the owner of that property.

Equity Reserves:
Equity reserves represent the developer’s own capital available to contribute to the project, e.g., accumulated revenues, retained earnings, and profits from other developments.

Estimated Market Value:
The estimated market value is the net operating income (NOI) divided by the market capitalization rate.

Exclusive Listing:
An exclusive listing is one where only real estate salespeople from the listing brokerage can access the property for showings.

Exploratory Business Costs:
Exploratory business costs are incurred when developers use capital to quickly explore the economies of a potential project indicated by market monitoring.



Fee Simple Interest:
In a fee simple interest, one of four leasehold interests, the owner of an unleased property has the real estate and is the owner of the property, holding the legal title.

Financing Costs:
Financing costs, one of five major activities in project initiation, is the stage where the developer should be in a position to adequately assess the viability and profitability.

First Mortgage:
A debt registered against a property that has the first call on that property.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage:
A mortgage for which the interest is set for the mortgage’s term.

Fixed Operating Expenses:
Fixed operating expenses are costs that, in the short run, remain constant throughout the period, independent of the level of occupancy, e.g., real property taxes.

Fixed Overhead Business Costs:
Fixed overhead business costs are costs incurred in operating a business that remains constant, including the cost of business accommodation, basic staff wages and salaries,

Floor Price:
The floor price is the owner’s minimum price that he/she is prepared to accept to sell his/her house.

Foreclosure is when the mortgage holder obtains possession of the property and sells it to pay off the loan.



Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS):
Lenders use GDS to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a mortgage. It considers the mortgage payments, property taxes, approximate heating costs, and 50% of any maintenance fees, and this sum is then divided by the borrower’s gross income.

Genuine Consent:
Genuine consent, one of the seven essential elements of a contract, means that the parties must clearly understand the contract’s substance when they consent to be a party to it.

Gross Income:
The total income before taxes and deductions per year.



High-Ratio Mortgage:
When a mortgage exceeds 80% of the property value, this type of mortgage must be insured.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC):
A personal line of credit secured against the borrower’s property. Up to 80% of the property’s value is allowed to be borrowed with this product.



Interest Adjustment Date (IAD):
The date on which the mortgage term will begin. The interest cost between the closing date and the first payment date. That is why closing your deal towards the end of the month is always better.

Interest Accruing Loan:
An interest-accruing loan is one on which no payments of interest and no repayments of principal are made during the life of a loan.

Interest-Only Mortgage:
A mortgage on which only the monthly interest is paid. The total principal remains outstanding. The payment is lower than an amortized mortgage since one is not paying any principal.

Interest Rate Differential (IRD):
The interest rate differential is the difference between the amount the lender would earn on the borrower’s remaining mortgage principal outstanding over the remainder of the term, in contrast to the current market rates.



Judicial (Tender) Sale:
A judicial sale is a property auction overseen by the courts where the lender does not ask for foreclosure.



Land Acquisition/Assembly:
Land acquisition/assembly, one of five major activities in project initiation, involves obtaining control over a site before detailed feasibility studies and financial commitments.

Land Sale/Leasehold Mortgage:
A land sale/leasehold mortgage is a mortgage where a developer sells the land to an institutional lender in return for a long-term ground lease and a long-term mortgage.

Land Title(s) Acts:
Land Title(s) Acts are provincial legislation providing the legislative framework for the department to register land-related documents that create and terminate the property’s legal rights.

Land Titles (Torrens) System:
The land titles system produces a title statement and operates in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and parts of Manitoba and Ontario. All documents dealing with interests in land are filed at a central registry.

Lawyer’s Report:
The lawyer’s report sets out the mortgage details, including the title search results relating to any easements or other restrictions on the property, tax details, and fire insurance.

A lease is a contract by which one party (the landlord or lessor) conveys the use and exclusive possession of an interest in real property to another (the tenant or lessee).

Leased Fee Estate:
A leased fee estate, one of four leasehold interests, exists when an owner in fee simple leases his or her interest in a property to a second party (the lessee).

Leasehold Estate:
A leasehold estate, one of four leasehold interests, is created when a person enters into a lease creating a further interest in a property.

Legal Intent:
Legal intent, one of seven essential elements of a contract, means a person must have intended to be bound by a contract.

Legal Objective/Legality:
Legal objective/legality, one of seven essential elements of a contract, states that to be binding and enforceable, the objective of a contract must be legal. Contracts for certain purposes (i.e. a contract to commit a crime or a contract which results in breaches of statutes such as the Criminal Code or Income Tax Act) are considered void.

Letter of Instruction:
The Letter of Instruction requests the borrower’s lawyer to act for the lender in preparing and registering the mortgage instrument and supervising the funds’ disbursement.

Liquidity refers to cash and assets which are easily convertible into cash, and available to meet immediate needs (e.g. funds to meet withdrawals, operating expenses, and loans).

lis penden:
See Certificate of Pending Litigation (CPL)

Listing Agreement:
A Listing Agreement is a contract between the seller and a real estate brokerage where the brokerage promises to try to find a buyer for the seller’s property, and the seller promises to pay a stated amount of commission if the brokerage is successful.

Listing Price (Asking Price):
The listing price is the dollar amount a seller would like to receive on the property’s sale.

Loan Portfolio Diversification:
Loan portfolio diversification refers to the balance or mix of one or more elements lenders may consider to avoid the concentration of any one particular risk.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV):
The loan-to-value ratio is the mortgage loan amount compared to the property’s value. The ratio = 1 – (down payment/property value).

Long-Term Loans with Progress Advances:
Long-term loans with progress advances occur when a long-term lender underwrites the permanent loan but makes incremental loan progress advances to the developer.



Market Monitoring Business Costs:
Market monitoring business costs include the ongoing costs by developers to monitor market conditions changes to identify potential development opportunities.

Market Study:
A market study, an integral part of the feasibility study, involves the projection and analysis of the determinants of demand, including a careful analysis of current housing market conditions.

Marketability Analysis:
A marketability analysis is a study to determine to what extent the completed project can be marketed under current or anticipated market conditions.

Market Value::
The price your home could sell for in current market conditions.

Maturity Date:
The end of your current mortgage term.

Mortgage-Backed Securities. See Securitization

See Multiple Listing Service®

A mortgage is a loan that uses a piece of real estate as a security. Once that loan is paid-off, the lender provides a discharge for that mortgage.

The financial institution or person (lender) borrows the money using a mortgage.

The person who borrows the money using a mortgage.

Mortgage Default Insurance:
Mortgage default insurance reimburses the insured and the lender in the event of a loss.

Mortgage Tilt:
Mortgage tilt refers to the problem when, due to inflation, the real mortgage payments will decline. These mortgage payments represent a relatively heavier burden.

Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS):
See securitization.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®):
The Multiple Listing Service® is an information-sharing and cooperative marketing network created to help the public buy and sell homes.



Nemo dat:
Nemo dat quod non habet, literally meaning “no one gives what they don’t have” is a legal rule, sometimes called the nemo dat rule, that states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title.

Net Lease:
A net lease is a lease in which the tenant typically assumes payment of base rent and all property charges, such as taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance, etc.

Net Operating Income (NOI):
Net operating income is the effective gross income minus operating expenses.

Net Square Footage:
Net square footage refers to usable space, excluding access space, servicing space, etc.

See Net Operating income

Non-Conforming Lenders:
Non-conforming lenders generally operate under prudent yet more flexible qualification guidelines than conforming lenders.

Non-Recourse Mortgage:
In a non-recourse mortgage, the lender is limited to the property’s value to satisfy outstanding amounts in the event of default.



Objective Value:
Objective value is the estimate of market value assigned by a third party who is distanced from the negotiations, unbiased, and unemotional.

Occupation Lease:
An occupation lease is one in which the tenants occupy, for their use, a defined portion of space.

An offer, one of seven essential elements of a contract, is a promise one party makes to another. An offer must be made in unambiguous terms, or it may not lead to a binding contract.

Open Mortgage:
A mortgage that can be repaid without any penalties. The interest rate is much higher than a closed mortgage.



Participation Mortgages:
Participation mortgages are mortgages where the lender obtains some share or interest in the venture instead of payments.

Percentage Lease:
A percentage lease is a lease where the tenant must pay a specified percentage of gross or net sales made on the premises.

Periodic Tenancy:
A periodic tenancy, one of four general types of leases and tenancies, is a lease automatically renewed on the last day of the original lease term for a further term of the same duration.

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA):
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is federal legislation that sets out regulations for private sector organizations that collect personal information.

Principal, interest, and property tax due on a mortgage.

See Price Level Adjusted Mortgages

Planning Costs:
Planning costs, one of five major activities in project initiation, includes the planning and designing of the project itself, including detailed soil tests, surveys, grading and levelling design.

Portable Mortgage:
A mortgage that can be transferred to a new property. One would want to port their mortgage to avoid penalties or if the interest rate is much lower than the current rates.

Possession Date:
The possession date is when the buyer is entitled to possession of a property. The possession date may or may not be the same as the closing date, depending on the Province.

Power of Sale:
Power of sale is when the mortgage holder obtains legal possession of the property and sells it to pay off the loan.

Prepayment Penalty:
A lender charges the fee when the borrower prepays all or part of a mortgage over and above the agreed-upon amount. Although there is no law about how a lender can charge you the penalty, a usual charge is the greater of the Interest Rate Differential (I.R.D.) or 3 months’ interest.

Pre-approved mortgages let potential borrowers know how much money they can borrow to buy a home or draw equity from their properties.

Pre-qualified mortgages let potential borrowers know how much money they can borrow to buy a home or draw equity from their properties.

Price Level Adjusted Mortgages (PLAMs):
In a price level adjustment mortgage, the principal and interest portions of the mortgage payments are revised to reflect the previous year’s inflation rate.

The original amount of a loan before interest.

Privity of Contract:
The relationship that exists between parties to a contract. Only those parties to the contract are bound by the terms of the contract and can enforce the contractual obligations.

Purchase/Sale Agreement:
The Purchase/Sale Agreement is a written contract between the buyer and seller to purchase and sell a specific property. The buyer agrees to a price provided that a number of terms and conditions are met. The Agreement becomes legally binding when the seller accepts.



Quit Claim:
A quit claim is a voluntary property transfer from the borrower to the mortgage lender, relieving the borrower of any outstanding debt.



Rate Commitment/Hold:
The number of days the lender will guarantee the mortgage rate on a mortgage approval. This can vary from lender to lender anywhere from 30 to 120 days.

Recourse Mortgage:
A recourse mortgage is a mortgage where the lender has the right to go after a borrower’s other assets to settle a claim in the event of default.

Refers to replacing an existing mortgage with a new one under different terms.
A loan (debt) can be refinanced for various reasons:
1.) to take advantage of a better interest rate (which will result in a reduced monthly payment or a reduced term)
2.) to consolidate other debt(s) into one loan
3.) to reduce the monthly repayment amount
4.) to reduce or alter risk (e.g. changing from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate loan)
5.) to free up cash

Registry System:
The Registry System produces an inventory of instruments and operates in the Maritimes, parts of Ontario, and parts of Manitoba. All documents dealing with interests in land are filed at a central registry.

When the mortgage term has concluded, your mortgage is up for renewal. It is open for prepayment in part or in full, then renewing with the same lender or transferring it to another lender at no cost (we can arrange it).

Replacement Reserves (Operating Expenses):
Replacement reserves are funds allocated to replace short-lived items such as stoves, refrigerators, air-conditioning equipment, and roofing.

Reverse Mortgages (Reverse Annuity Mortgages):
A reverse mortgage is a loan where periodic payments are made by the lender to the borrower. At the end of the contractual term or upon the death of the borrower,

See Comprehensive Residential Mortgage Underwriting Policy



Safety Margin:
The safety margin ensures that the net operating income can cover the mortgage payments by expressing the margin between the net operating income and mortgage debt.

Sale of a Part Interest:
In a sale of a part interest, the developer sells the land to an institutional lender but retains part ownership in the entire project and receives a cash payment for the portion sold.

A sale-leaseback is a combined transaction involving a sale of real property by a vendor to a purchaser with a simultaneous lease granted by the purchaser (lessor) back to the vendor (lessee).

Sales Price (Value in Exchange):
The sales price is the final price negotiated between the buyer and the seller.

See Shared Appreciation Mortgages

Second Mortgage:
A debt registered against a property that is secured by a second charge on the property.

Securitization of mortgages is the process by which financial institutions package pools of mortgages into new securities (Mortgage-Backed Securities [MBS]), which can then be offered to investors as new securities.

See Sinking Fund Assisted Mortgage

Shared Appreciation Mortgages (SAMs):
Shared appreciation mortgages provide the lender with a fixed percentage of the gain (appreciation) in property values (e.g., owner-occupied residences) in exchange for a reduction in the mortgage rate.

Sinking Fund Assisted Mortgage (SFAM):
A sinking fund-assisted mortgage advances the borrower an amount that is less than the full face value of the loan, setting the difference aside in an interest-bearing account, with an amount withdrawn each payment period as a subsidy to reduce the mortgage payments.

Stand-By Commitment:
A standby commitment is a long-term loan commitment where, for a fee, a lender guarantees to act as a lender of last resort, demonstrating to the construction lender that long-term funds will ultimately be available. However, another lending institution may provide them.

Straight Line Principal Reduction Repayment Scheme:
A straight-line principal reduction repayment scheme requires an equal amount of principal repaid every interest compounding period plus interest for the period.

Subjective Value:
Subjective value is the estimate of market value assigned to a property by a person that reflects that person’s characteristics, preferences, and biases.

Sublessee’s Interest:
A sublessee’s interest, one of four leasehold interests, is created when the tenant or lessee subleases a property to a third party.

Supply measures the quantity of property supplied at any given price. The supply of real property increases as the price increases; that is, real property owners, become more willing to sell their holdings as the price increases.

The survey sets out the legal description of the mortgaged property, allowing the lawyer to confirm that the house sits within the described land boundaries.

Syndication describes the process by which two or more investors come together to form an association to conduct business.

Switch (Transfer):
To transfer an existing mortgage from one financial institution to another. We can have this arranged for you at no cost to you.



A term is a promise that forms part of the Purchase/Sale Agreement. The purchase price, title, viewing rights by the buyer, the offer irrevocability date, and adjustments are some examples of terms.

Term Certain Lease:
A term certain lease, one of four general types of leases and tenancies, is a lease for a certain and definite duration of time. The commencement date and the maximum duration of the term are known before the lease takes effect.

Title (or Title Search):
Title or title search is a common term stated and explained in the Purchase/Sale Agreement. This term allows the buyer to search and examine the property’s title at the buyer’s expense.

Torrens System:
See Land Titles (Torrens) System

Total Debt Service (TDS) Ratio:
Lenders use TDS to determine a borrower’s capacity to repay a mortgage. It takes into account the mortgage payments, property taxes, approximate heating costs, 50% of any maintenance fees, and any other monthly obligations (i.e. personal loans, car payments, lines of credit, credit card debts, other mortgages, etc.), and this sum is then divided by the gross income of the applicants.



Underwriting is the process of assessing the risk of a proposed mortgage loan and making the decision to accept, reject, or modify the proposed terms in order to satisfy potential risk.



Value to the Owner:
The value to the owner refers to the floor and ceiling prices where the “owner” includes a prospective owner. It is a subjective measure of value.

Variable Rate Mortgages with Amortization Period Adjustment:
A decrease in the market interest rate will shorten the amortization period in a variable mortgage with an amortization period adjustment.

Variable Rate Mortgages with Outstanding Balance Adjustment:
In a variable-rate mortgage with an outstanding balance adjustment, if the interest rate increases, more payments cover interest and less to the principal.

Variable Rate Mortgages with Payment Adjustment:
In variable-rate mortgages with payment adjustment, if the interest rate decreases, the borrower’s payment declines; if interest rates increase, the payment increases.


Mortgage News

Too Early For Rate Decrease: Bank Of Canada

Too Early For Rate Decrease: Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada’s Governing Council is hesitant to pinpoint when they might begin easing interest rates, as indicated in the summary of discussions from their January 24 meeting.

Mortgage Porting Bring Your Mortgage With You

Mortgage Porting: Bring Your Mortgage With You

Suppose you are committed to a five-year mortgage term with two years left until renewal. However, recent changes in your life, such as a new job offer requiring relocation or the need for more space due to a growing family, necessitate an early exit from

Real Estate Upswing In December

Real Estate Upswing in December

After an uneventful November and the tension of a cooling year-end market, the national real estate figures for December have defied expectations. A surprising upswing of 8.7% monthly compared to November, with 38,135 property transactions. On an annual basis, sales activity saw a 3.7% increase.


We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve ads, content, analyze our traffic and perform necessary functions to ensure you get the best experience. By clicking "Accept", you consent to our use of cookies.

Learn more about M Factory’s Privacy Policy and Cookies.