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Property advice | Mortgage guide | Mortgage glossary

Mortgage guide: Mortgage glossary

Listings for B

- an institution authorised by the Bank of England under the Banking Act 1987.

base rate
- introduced by banks following the abolition of Minimum Lending Rate by Geoffrey Howe, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, in 1981.

Commonly used to refer to the mortgage lender's standard variable rate. The lenders SVR, although based on the base rate, is usually higher.

basic annual income
- the amount of money earned that is guaranteed regardless of the individual or the company performance. See other income

- an individual who has been declared bankrupt in accordance with the Insolvency Act.

A supervisor is appointed to receive a bankrupt person's earnings. The bankrupt is permitted to receive an allowance on which to live with the balance being reserved for the benefit of his or her creditors.

A bankrupt person is not permitted to hold a bank account or apply for credit in excess of £250 without the court's permission.

bankruptcy: discharge from
- After a period, normally three years, the debtor is discharged from bankruptcy, his debt being treated as paid. A discharged bankrupt is likely, however, to experience severe difficulties in borrowing money. Credit reference agencies will normally identify former bankrupts for 15 years after their discharge.

booking fee
- fee charged by a lender to secure mortgage funds, payable at the time the application is submitted. Normally applies to special offer loans, such as fixed or capped rates.

broker fee
- fee charged by an intermediary to the applicant for negotiating a loan.

building society
- an institution regulated by the Building Societies Act.

Building Societies are mutual organisations owned by their members and are restricted as to the amount of their funds which they are allowed to raise from the money markets.

In addition, the Building Societies Commission lays down restrictions on their lending criteria. Thus building societies are less able to help with certain categories of loans than are banks.

buildings insurance
- insurance covering the structure of the building which you must have.

Where the property is leasehold the buildings insurance will normally be arranged by the freeholder and the cost charged on to the leaseholder within the service charges payable.

As a general rule of thumb any item which cannot be taken away by the owner is covered by the buildings insurance, anything which can be removed should be covered by the contents insurance. This is only a guideline and any doubts should be raised with insurers as this definition can prove problematic in some instances, such as fitted carpets.

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