USDA Guidelines – Definitions

1980.302  Definitions and abbreviations.

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(a) The following definitions are applicable to RH loans:

Agency. Rural Housing and Community Development Service (RHCDS).

Applicant. The party applying to a Lender for a loan.

Approval official. An RHCDS employee with delegated loan approval authority under subpart A of part 1901 of this chapter consistent with the amount and type of loan considered.

Borrower. Collectively, all parties who applied for and received a specific guaranteed loan from an eligible Lender.

Coapplicant. An adult member of the household who joins the applicant in applying to a lender for a loan.

Conditional commitment. RHCDS’s notice to the Lender that the material it has submitted is approved subject to the completion of all conditions and requirements set forth in the notice.

Development standard. The current edition of any of the model building, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical codes listed in exhibit E to subpart A of part 1924 of this chapter applicable to single family residential construction or other similar codes adopted by RHCDS for use in the State.

Disabled person. A person who is unable to engage in any substantially gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment expected to result in death or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. The disability is expected to be of long or indefinite duration; substantially impede the person’s ability to live independently; and is of such a nature that the person’s ability to live independently could be improved by more suitable housing conditions. In the case of an individual who has attained the age of 55 and is blind, disability is defined as inability by reason of such blindness to engage in substantially gainful activity requiring skills or abilities comparable to those of any gainful activity in which the individual has previously engaged with some regularity over a substantial period of time. Receipt of veteran’s benefits for disability, whether service-oriented or otherwise, does not automatically establish disability. A disabled person also includes a person with a developmental disability. A developmental disability means a severe, chronic disability of a person which:

(1) Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of mental and physical impairments;

(2) Is manifested before the person attains age 22;

(3) Is likely to continue indefinitely;

(4) Results in substantial functional limitations in one or more of the following areas of major life activity:

(i) Self-care,

(ii) Receptive and expressive language,

(iii) Learning,

(iv) Mobility,

(v) Self-direction,

(vi) Capacity for independent living, and

(vii) Economic self-sufficiency; and

(5) Reflects the person’s need for a combination and sequence of special care, treatment, or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

Displaced homemaker. An individual who is an adult; has not worked full-time full-year (2,080 hours) in the labor force for a number of years but has during such years worked primarily without remuneration to care for the home and family; and is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

Elderly family. An elderly family consists of one of the following:

(1) A person who is the head, spouse, or sole member of a household and who is 62 years of age or older or who is disabled and is the applicant/borrower or the coapplicant/coborrower; or

(2) Two or more unrelated elderly (age 62 or older), disabled persons who are living together, at least one of whom is the applicant/borrower or coapplicant/coborrower; or

(3) In the case of a family where a deceased borrower/

coborrower or spouse was at least 62 years old or disabled, the surviving household members shall continue to be classified as an “elderly family” for the purpose of determining adjusted income even though the surviving members may not meet the definition of elderly family on their own, provided:

(i) They occupied the dwelling with the deceased family member at the time of his/her death; and

(ii) If one of the surviving members is the spouse of the deceased family member, the surviving family shall be classified as an elderly family only until the remarriage of the surviving spouse; and

(iii) At the time of death, the dwelling of the deceased family member was financed under Title V of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended.

Eligible lender. A Lender meeting the criteria outlined in §1980.309 of this subpart who has requested and received RHCDS approval for participation in the program.

Existing dwelling. A dwelling which has been completed for more than 1 year as evidenced by an occupancy permit or a similar document.

Extended family. A family unit comprised of adult relatives who live together with the other members of the household, for reasons of physical dependency, economics, and/or social custom, who, under other circumstances, could maintain separate households. A typical example is parents living with their adult children.

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) rate. The rate authorized in exhibit B of subpart A of part 1810 of this chapter (RD Instruction 440.1, available in any RHCDS office).

Finance Office. The office which maintains RHCDS’s financial records.

First-time homebuyer. Any individual who (and whose spouse) has had no present ownership in a principal residence during the 3 year period ending on the date of purchase of the property acquired with a guaranteed loan under this subpart. A first-time homebuyer includes displaced homemakers and single parents even though they might have owned, or resided in, a dwelling with a spouse. This definition is used to determine RHCDS processing priority in accordance with §1980.353 of this subpart.

Guaranteed loan. A loan made, held, and serviced by a Lender for which RHCDS has entered into an agreement with the Lender in accordance with this subpart.

Household or family. The applicant, coapplicant, and all other persons who will make the applicant’s dwelling their primary residence for all or part of the next 12 months. The temporary absence of a child from the home due to placement in foster care shall not be taken into account in considering family composition and size. Foster children placed in the borrower’s home and live-in aides shall not be counted as members of the household.

Interest assistance. Loan assistance payments made by RHCDS to the Lender on behalf of the borrower.

Lender. The organization making, holding, and/or servicing the loan which is guaranteed under the provisions of this subpart. The Lender is also the party requesting the guarantee. The Lender includes an entity purchasing an RHCDS guaranteed loan. A purchasing Lender acquires all the privileges, duties, and responsibilities of the originating Lender. The Lender is primarily responsible for originating, underwriting, servicing, and, where necessary, liquidating the loan and disposing of the property in a manner consistent with maximizing the Government’s interest.

Lender agreement. Form RD 1980-16, “Agreement for Participation in Single Family Housing Guaranteed/Insured Loan Programs of the United States Government,” is the signed master agreement between RHCDS and the Lender setting forth the Lender’s loan responsibilities for loan processing and servicing guaranteed RH loans.

Lender record change. Form RD 1980-11, “Guaranteed Rural Housing Lender Record Change,” is the Lender’s notice to RHCDS of a change of Lender or a change of servicer.

Liquidation. Liquidation of the loan occurs when the Lender acquires title to the security, a third party buys the property at the foreclosure sale, or the borrower sells the property to a third party in order to avoid or cure a default situation with the prior approval of the Lender and RHCDS. In States providing a redemption period, the Lender does not typically acquire title until after expiration of the redemption period.

Liquidation expense. The Lender’s cost of liquidation including those costs that do not qualify as a protective advance.

Loan note guarantee. Form RD 1980-17, “Loan Note Guarantee,” is the signed commitment issued by RHCDS setting forth the terms and conditions of the guarantee.

Manufactured home. A structure built to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards and RHCDS thermal requirements.

Master interest assistance agreement. Form RD 1980-12, “Master Interest Assistance and Shared Equity Agreement with Promissory Note,” is the agreement between RHCDS, the borrower, and the Lender which provides the basis for payment of interest assistance and shared equity.

Minor. A person under 18 years of age. Neither the applicant, coapplicant, or spouse may be counted as a minor. Foster children placed in the borrower’s home are not counted as minors for the purpose of determination of annual or adjusted income.

Net family assets. Include:

(1) The value of equity in real property, savings, individual retirement account’s (IRA), demand deposits, and the market value of stocks, bonds, and other forms of capital investments, but exclude:

(i) Interests in Indian Trust land,

(ii) The value of the dwelling and a minimum adequate site,

(iii) Cash on hand which will be used to reduce the amount of the loan,

(iv) The value of necessary items of personal property such as furniture and automobiles and the debts against them,

(v) The assets that are a part of the business, trade, or farming operation in the case of any member of the household who is actively engaged in such operation, and

(vi) The value of a trust fund that has been established and the trust is not revocable by, or under the control of, any member of the household, so long as the funds continue to be held in trust.

(2) The value of any business or household assets disposed of by a member of the household for less than fair market value (including disposition in trust, but not in a foreclosure or bankruptcy sale) during the 2 years preceding the date of application, in excess of the consideration received therefore. In the case of a disposition as part of a separation or divorce settlement, the disposition shall not be considered to be less than fair market value if the household member receives important consideration not measurable in dollar terms.

Net proceeds. The proceeds remaining from the property after it is sold or its net value as determined in accordance with this subpart. The determination of net proceeds depends upon whether the property is sold or acquired by the Lender. Net proceeds may be determined using the appraised value and subtracting authorized deductions when the Lender acquires the property.

Protective advance. Advances made by the Lender when the borrower is in liquidation or otherwise in default to protect or preserve the security itself from loss or destruction.

Qualifying income. The amount of the applicant’s income which the lender determines is adequate and dependable enough to consider for repayment ability. This figure may be different from the adjusted income which is used for RHCDS program eligibility. Qualifying income is typically less than adjusted income unless the applicant has income from the sources listed in §1980.347(e) of this subpart.

Rural area. An area meeting the requirements of §1980.312 of this subpart. Rural areas are designated on maps available in the RHCDS office servicing that area.

Single parent. An individual who is unmarried or legally separated from a spouse and has custody or joint custody of one or more minor children or is pregnant.

State Director. Director of RHCDS programs within a State Office area.

Veteran. A veteran is a person who has been discharged or released from the active forces of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard under conditions other than dishonorable discharge including “clemency discharges” and who served on active duty in such forces:

(1) from April 6, 1917, through March 31, 1921;

(2) from December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946;

(3) from June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955; or

(4) for more than 180 days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, but on or before May 7, 1975.

(b) The following abbreviations are applicable to this subpart:

Fannie Mae – Federal National Mortgage Association.

FCS – Farm Credit Service.

FHA – Federal Housing Administration.

Freddie Mac – Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.

Ginnie Mae – Government National Mortgage Association.

HUD – Department of Housing and Urban Development.

IRS – Internal Revenue Service.

MCCs – Mortgage Credit Certificates.

PITI – Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.

RHCDS – Rural Housing and Community Development Service.

URAR – Uniform Residential Appraisal Report.

VA – Department of Veterans Affairs.

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