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Mail-Away Closing

When you can't be present at the closing table, it may be possible to do a mail-away closing: The closing documents are mailed to you by the closing agent. You sign all necessary documents and mail them back. The closing agent then releases the funds and records the transaction at the county office before mailing the package back to the lender.

Manufactured Housing

Factory-built homes, including prefabricated (also known as modular) and mobile homes.

Monthly Payment

The amount you pay on your mortgage loan on a monthly basis. Normally, a monthly mortgage payment consists of principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance—known as PITI.


A legal document that gives you conditional ownership of your home, and uses the home itself for security (see collateral ) on the loan. The main condition of a mortgage is that you make regular payments of principal and interest until the mortgage debt is fully paid.

Mortgage Application

The process by which you submit personal financial information—including income, assets and debts—to a mortgage lender. The lender verifies and evaluates the information to determine loan approval.

Mortgage Broker

A person or company that takes mortgage applications, performs many loan processing functions (ordering credit reports, appraisals etc.), and offers a borrower loans found from a search of sources—for a fee or commission.

Mortgage Insurance (MI)

A policy that guarantees payment of a mortgage loan in case of default. Paid by the homeowner, mortgage insurance is not required on a conventional loan if your down payment is at least 20 percent.

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)

An amount paid at closing or as a part of your monthly payment for mortgage insurance.

Mortgage Note

A document that holds you legally responsible to repay your loan. It indicates the terms and conditions of the loan and how it will be repaid, the monthly payment amount, the date payment is due, the interest rate and the length of the mortgage.


Your mortgage lender, who holds the mortgage note as legal evidence of your promise to repay the loan.


The borrower in a mortgage loan transaction.

Multi-Family Dwelling

A property with more than four residential units.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

A continually updated database that features information on homes for sale in your area. Participating real estate agents maintain the information and agree to share commissions with each other.