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E

Earnest Money: Deposit made by a buyer towards the down payment in evidence of good faith when the purchase agreement is signed.

ECOA: Equal Credit Opportunity Act. A federal law requiring creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status or receipt of income from public assistance programs.

Effective Rate: The effective rate is a consumer-oriented rate that takes into account the projected amount of time you tell us you will actually have the loan, as well as the specific costs, fees, and potential rate changes associated with it. The fees and costs are distributed over the time you plan to be in the house, allowing you to do an apples-to-apples comparison of a variety of loan types. The effective rate is not the APR. It is similar in that it factors in interest, mortgage insurance, and other fees (including points); however, the APR assumes that you keep your loan for the entire term, while the effective rate takes into account how long you tell us you plan to be in your house.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): Federal law requiring creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status or receipt of income from public assistance programs.

Equity: The difference between the current market value of a property and the total debt obligations against the property. On a new mortgage loan, the down payment represents the equity in the property.

Escrow: A transaction in which a third party acts as the agent for seller and buyer, or for borrower and lender, in handling legal documents and disbursement of funds.

Escrow Account: An account held by the lender to which the borrower pays monthly installments, collected as part of the monthly mortgage payment, for annual expenses such as taxes and insurance. The lender disburses escrow account funds on behalf of the borrower when they become due. Also known as Impound Account.

Escrow Agent: A person with fiduciary responsibility to the buyer and seller, or the borrower and lender, to ensure that the terms of the purchase/sale or loan are carried out.