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E-3-05, Acronyms and Glossary of Defined Terms: E (12/14/2022)

earnest money deposit

A deposit submitted with a purchase offer to show that the buyer’s offer is being made in good faith.


A Web-based application that supports the servicing of reverse mortgages.

economic obsolescence

See external depreciation.


Relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

electronic imaging

A method of reproducing a facsimile of a document or photograph with a computer or another electronic device.

electronic mortgage (eMortgage)

A mortgage for which the promissory note and possibly other documents (such as the security instrument and loan application) are created and stored electronically rather than by using traditional paper documentation that has a pen and ink signature. Most (but not all) eMortgages typically consist of a paper security instrument and an electronic note. The terms “electronic mortgage,” “electronic mortgage loan,” “eMortgage,” and “eMortgage loan” used in this Guide have the same meaning.

electronic record

A contract or other record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.

electronic signature

An electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with, a contract or other record executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

employer-assisted housing mortgage

Any mortgage for which a borrower’s employer is either offering mortgage payment assistance or providing down payment or closing costs assistance (through a grant, an unsecured loan, or a secured subordinate mortgage).

environmental hazard assessment

An evaluation of the environmental soundness of a project development based on information gathered from various sources. A Phase I assessment involves a screening process that focuses on reviewing available documentation, interviewing people knowledgeable about the project, and inspecting the site, the building, and adjoining properties. A Phase II assessment provides a more detailed review of the site (with specific physical sampling for each hazard that was not acceptable under the Phase I assessment) and a review of historical records to determine the presence or absence of specific environmental liabilities or to quantify the extent of an observed or suspected environmental liability.

errors and omissions insurance

Insurance which protects a business or organization against liability as a result of committing an error or omission in performance of professional duties.

escrow account

A trust account that is established to hold funds allocated for the payment of a borrower’s property taxes and assessments by special assessment districts, ground rents, insurance premiums, condo or homeowners’ association or planned unit development association dues and similar expenses as they are received each month in accordance with the borrower’s mortgage documents and until such time as they are disbursed to pay the related bills.


Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. A federal law that gives broad legal effect to the use of electronic signatures and records in interstate commerce.

existing issue

See delivery versus payment settlement.

external depreciation (economic obsolescence)

A loss in value that is caused by negative influences that are outside of a property’s site, such as economic factors or environmental changes.