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Glossary

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Financial Instrument

A financial instrument is an asset or a package of capital designed for trade. This can include evidence of indebtedness or evidence of ownership of an entity. Most financial instruments allow for the efficient transfer and flow of capital across global investors.

Financial Regulatory Agency

A financial regulatory agency is an organization created by statutes to ensure the safe and sound operation of financial institutions conducting business under that agency's jurisdiction. There are state agencies, federal bank regulatory agencies, and national agencies in the U.S. Some examples of the primary regulators include the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Fixed Rate Loan

A fixed rate loan is a loan with an interest rate that remains the same over the life of the loan. The consumer makes equal payment installments of the principal and interest until they have cleared the debt. Fixed rate loans differ from loans with a variable interest rate, which can see the interest rate change within specific parameters throughout the life of the loan.

Float

In financial terms, a float refers to funds that a banking system counts twice due to delays in processing the deposit or withdrawal of paper checks. As a result, the paid sum simultaneously appears in the accounts of both the recipient and the payer of the check.

Foreclosure

Foreclosure is the legal process by which a lender may take control of and sell a property that is collateral on a defaulted loan. If the homeowner is unable to make the full principal and interest repayments, then the lender may evict the homeowner and force the sale of the property to recover the money due, plus the costs of foreclosure. After a set period when the payment becomes past due, the lender must serve the debtor with a notice of default. This gives the debtor time to pay all delinquencies and costs to redeem the property.

Forgery

Forgery is the fraudulent making, signing or alteration of a written instrument, such as a check, mortgage or deed, using another person's name. If someone intends to deceive or defraud, then they commit forgery in the first degree. This is a crime under federal and various state statutes.

Fraud Alert

A fraud alert is an alert that a consumer can place on their credit record. This notifies credit reporting bureaus that the consumer believes they are a victim of identity theft and that requests for new credit under their name may not be legitimate. The fraud alert requires any creditors that receive requests for new credit to contact the consumer by phone to verify that the credit application is legitimate.

Fraud Protection

Fraud protection refers to various services and features offered by financial institutions to reduce a consumer's risk of falling victim to fraud. Some examples include SMS notifications for credit card transactions, the ability to lock a credit or debit card to prevent unauthorized use, and 24/7 fraud monitoring systems which track credit card transactions in real time for indications of fraudulent activity.

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