glossary

GLOSSARY

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Viager

Viager is a real estate financing arrangement similar to a reverse mortgage. A homeowner sells his home to another party, who pays an immediate down payment and regular monthly payments. The seller lives in the home as long as he chooses. When he moves or dies, the other party takes physical possession of the home. This arrangement is also called a reverse annuity mortgage or charitable remainder trust.

Viatical settlement

Viatical settlement is the purchase of another person's life insurance policy benefits at a discount off face value. When the insured dies, the one who purchased the policy receives the full death benefit, thus realizing a gain on the transaction.

VIN

VIN, or Vehicle identification number, is a unique series of characters assigned to an automobile by the manufacturer. Since 1980, VINs have been standardized to be 17 characters in length.

Vintage

Vintage is a term that's used in the mortgage-backed security (MBS) industry, referring to the time period during which a mortgage was funded. Certain vintages of mortgage loans have similar characteristics pertaining to default risk, prepayment rate, etc. MBSs that are backed by vintages known to be less risky trade at a premium.

VIRUS

Virus is a software program that, once installed, replicates itself and corrupts data within one's computer. Viruses may be attached to another program that appears to be harmless; the virus gains entry to the computer when this other program is run.

VISA

VISA is an electronic payments network. Many credit cards carry the VISA logo, which signifies that the card is almost universally accepted. Merchants who agree to accept VISA payments will accept any card that carries the VISA logo.

Vishing

Vishing is scam that incorporates a call-in system where the consumer is directed to provide personal information, such as bank account numbers or Social Security number. The consumer may be initially contacted by email or by phone, with a message that her account needs urgent attention.

VITA

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. It's an IRS program that provides free tax return preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income households.

Voluntary claim

A legal claim against property for payment of a debt and placed upon the property with the consent of the owner.

Voluntary compliance

Voluntary compliance is the philosophical principle that people will follow the rules honestly. The U.S. tax system is based on voluntary compliance, in that taxpayers are expected to report their tax information on time and in accordance with tax law. Therefore, not every tax return is thoroughly reviewed for compliance.

Voluntary lien

A voluntary lien is a claim placed on property that results from an unfulfilled obligation; the voluntary descriptor means that the claim was filed with the property owner's consent.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is an IRS program that provides free tax return preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income households.

Voucher

Voucher is a document that can be redeemed by the holder for a certain value, either in money or goods, as specified on the document itself.