What Is Subordination In Real Estate? (Perfect answer)

Subordination is the process of ranking home loans (mortgage, HELOC or home equity loan) by order of importance. When you have a home equity line of credit, for example, you actually have two loans – your mortgage and HELOC. Through subordination, lenders assign a “lien position” to these loans.


What is an example of subordination in real estate?

Here’s an example of how subordination clauses in mortgage notes work for a better understanding: John decides to buy a house. John’s bank agrees to lend him the money to purchase a home on the condition that they take repayment priority. John’s bank uses a subordination clause to secure its rights.

How do you explain subordination?

the act of placing in a lower rank or position: The refusal to allow women to be educated was part of society’s subordination of women to men. the act subordinating, or of making dependent, secondary, or subservient. the condition of being subordinated, or made dependent, secondary, or subservient.

What is the purpose of a subordination clause?

A subordination clause is a clause in an agreement which states that the current claim on any debts will take priority over any other claims formed in other agreements made in the future. Subordination is the act of yielding priority.

What is the meaning of subordination agreement?

Subordination agreement is a contract which guarantees senior debt will be paid before other “subordinated” debt if the debtor becomes bankrupt. The creditor usually will require the debtor to sign a subordination agreement which ensures they get paid before other creditors, ensuring they are not taking on high risks.

Who prepares a subordination agreement?

Subordination agreements are prepared by your lender. The process occurs internally if you only have one lender. When your mortgage and home equity line or loan have different lenders, both financial institutions work together to draft the necessary paperwork.

What is subordinate clause example?

They’re just two different names for the same thing. For example, in the sentence ‘I played out until it went dark’, the phrase ‘until it went dark’ is the subordinate clause because it requires additional information in order to make sense. Subordinate clauses contain a subject noun and a verb.

What is a subordination fee in a mortgage?

Subordinations are, essentially, a way for a lender to ensure that their lien takes priority over any other liens a customer may have on their property. This process costs money, which is what you pay for in a subordination fee. This fee may apply to a mortgage refinance, depending on your circumstances.

What is a subordinate mortgage lien?

What is a Subordinate Mortgage? Subordinate mortgages are loans that have a lower priority status than any other recorded liens (or debts) against a property. When you get the loan you need to purchase your home, this loan is typically recorded as the first repayment priority on your deed after closing.

What is HUD subordinate mortgage?

Subordinate Lender agrees to extinguish and release its lien on any and all of the Mortgaged Property in the event Senior Lender, HUD, or a designee of either acquires the Mortgaged Property pursuant to a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Is a subordination agreement a lien?

A subordination agreement refers to a legal agreement that prioritizes one debt over another for securing repayments from a borrower. The agreement changes the lien position. A lien is a right allowing one party to possess a property of another party who owns a debt until the debt is dissolved.

What lien has the highest priority?

A first lien has a higher priority than other liens and gets first crack at the sale proceeds. If any sale proceeds are left after the first lien is paid in full, the excess proceeds go to the second lien—like a second-mortgage lender or judgment creditor—until that lien is paid off, and so on.

What is the effect of subordination?

Engelkamp and Rummer (2002) demonstrated that auditorily presented subordinate causal sentences are better retained than coordinate sentences. This subordination effect was explained by suggesting that subordinate sentences are merged more easily in memory than coordinate sentences.

Is a mortgage a voluntary lien?

The most common examples for voluntary liens are mortgages on a home and liens placed on cars that are financed. Voluntary liens can be placed on any type of property with value. The point of the voluntary lien is for a lender to secure collateral for a debt or service rendered.

Why do banks issue subordinated debt?

Banks issue subordinated debt for various reasons, including shoring up capital, funding investments in technology, acquisitions or other opportunities, and replacing higher-cost capital. In the current low interest rate environment, subordinated debt can be relatively inexpensive capital.

What is the difference between first lien and second lien?

Second-lien debt is borrowing that occurs after a first lien is already in place. It subsequently refers to the ranking of the debt in the event of a bankruptcy and liquidation as coming after first-lien debt is fully repaid. These debts have a lower priority of repayment than do other, senior, or higher-ranked debt.

Mortgage Subordination Explained

Putting something in a lower-ranking position is defined as the act of subordinating something else. In the end, mortgage subordination is just a ranking system based on the liens that are secured by your property. Alien is a legal arrangement that gives the lender the power to seize your property if you fail to pay your loan payments on time. The sequence of subordination is established based on the type of loan secured by your real estate investment. You will discover that mortgage subordination comes into play when you have more than one outstanding lien on your property, even if you just have one house mortgage and no other liens on your property.

Consider the following scenario: a borrower finds themselves in financial difficulty and defaults on their mortgage.

Following that, any monies that remain after paying off the principal mortgage will be used to pay down the subordinate debts.

Understanding Subordination Clauses

You will almost certainly be subjected to a subordination clause when you obtain a mortgage loan from a lender. It is under this provision that the lender effectively indicates that their lien will take precedence over any other liens that have been issued on the property. A subordination clause is designed to safeguard the lender in the event of a failure on your loan. In the event of a default, the lender would have the legal authority to seize the property and use the proceeds to pay off the outstanding sum on the loan.

Consequently, only after the major lender has been satisfied will the subordinate liens have an opportunity to recuperate their expenses.

Thus, the financial status of the subordinate lenders is significantly worse than the principal lender’s financial position.

Understanding Mortgage Subordination

The mortgage procedure is filled with a slew of jargon that is difficult to understand. It’s easy to get the impression that you’re going to need a dictionary to grasp the terminology everyone is using. A few of the new vocabulary concepts you’ll need to learn are DTI, LTV, and amortization. Despite the fact that subordination only shows up in a few scenarios during the mortgage process, it is still beneficial to be aware with what it implies and how it may be important when it comes to securing home finance.

To begin, it may be beneficial to have a rudimentary understanding of what subordination is.

You carry out your responsibilities, but the team leader is ultimately accountable for ensuring that everyone is rowing in the same direction as the boat.

Priority is given to the decisions made by the leader. From this fundamental notion, we can now proceed to apply the concept of “subordination” to mortgages, which is the next step.

What Is a Subordinate Clause in a Mortgage?

When it comes to mortgages, subordination clauses relate to the component of your agreement with the mortgage company that states that their lien takes precedence over any other liens you may have on your property. Rewind a little bit since we have a vocabulary phrase within a vocabulary description here. I realize this is a bit meta. A lien is essentially something that is placed on a piece of property that states that someone has the right to seize the property if you fail to make the payments on a debt that you owe to them.

Other types of liens, on the other hand, may be present.

Take, for example, the case of someone who had solar panels installed but still owed money on them.

In terms of payout priority, every other lien is subordinate to the first lien.

How Subordinate Financing Impacts Your Mortgage Options

If you have subordinate liens on your house, it may affect your ability to qualify for mortgage financing in the future. Depending on the mortgage investor and the lien, you may or may not be able to qualify for a new property or obtain a mortgage in the future in various circumstances. Consider the following scenario: you owe money on several overdue tax liens. In order to qualify for an FHA loan while refinancing, the IRS liens must be placed in a subordinate position to the mortgage financing.

No other mortgage investors will lend to you if you have outstanding tax liens on your property.

It is possible that there may be constraints on the timing of balloon payments, amongst other things.

Subordinate Mortgage Loan Modification

For those who have struggled with financial difficulties in the past, a modification of your subordinate mortgage may be available to you. This might be beneficial since it can be utilized to assist you in getting back on your feet. If, on the other hand, you’re applying for a new main mortgage, your lender will need to be aware of the modification so that they can account for the appropriate amount in your monthly debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Providing a subordination agreement with the modified loan or a copy of the modified loan showing your payment amount will be required if the amount you are paying does not match the amount appearing on your credit record.

Rates and Second Mortgages

If you’ve been thinking about getting a second mortgage, it’s vital to remember that because the second mortgage is subordinate to the first mortgage and the primary mortgage is paid off first, second mortgages are more hazardous for both the lender and the mortgage investor to take out. For accepting the risk, the lender will charge you a higher interest rate than you would be able to pay on a traditional main mortgage. If you’re considering a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit, it’s absolutely something to think about.

If this is something you’re interested in, you can learn more about your options online at Rocket Mortgageor by calling (800) 785-4788 and speaking with one of our Home Loan Experts.

What Is a Subordination Clause?

A subordination clause is a clause in a contract that indicates that the present claim on any debts takes precedence over any other claims that may arise in the future as a result of other agreements that are entered into in the future. Subordination is the act of giving up one’s position of precedence.

Breaking Down Subordination Clause

Whenever a house is foreclosed on and sold for cash, the initial mortgage lender has first dibs on the revenues of the transaction. All of the remaining funds are utilized to pay down debt, such as a second mortgage, and so on. The lower down the mortgage tier a claimantsit is, the less chance it has of collecting the full amount of its loan debt. A lender may require a subordination clause in order to change the priority of a loan in the case of failure; otherwise, loans take precedence in the order in which they were received.

  • These clauses are most frequently seen in mortgage contracts and bond issuance agreements, among other places.
  • This assures that if other bonds are issued in the future, payment will be made to the initial bondholders before the company pays any other debt that has been issued after the original bondholders.
  • Subordination provisions are most frequently encountered in mortgage refinancing agreements, where they serve a practical purpose.
  • If a homeowner refinances his primary mortgage, this effectively results in the cancellation of the first mortgage and the issuance of a new one.
  • Most first lenders ask that the second lender furnish and sign a subordination agreement, committing to maintain its previous secondary position as a result of this shift in priority.
  • However, if the borrower’s financial condition has deteriorated, or if the value of the property has decreased considerably, the second mortgage creditor may be reluctant to implement the subordination clause.
  • If repayment becomes a problem, as it would in a bankruptcy case, the subordinate debts would lag behind the initial mortgage and might not be paid at all if the situation continued.

Subordination of Mortgage – definition & explanation

Dictionary of Real Estate Terminology

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Definition of ‘Subordination of Mortgage’

In the event that there are two mortgages on a property, and one of them (the first one) is subordinated to the other, a Subordination of Mortgage must be completed and signed (the second one).

What does Subordination of Lease mean:

Mortgage subordination is prevalent when a property owner wishes to refinance the first mortgage on the property and the second mortgage. A Subordination of Mortgage, which would specify which lending firm would receive its money first in the event that the borrower defaulted on the mortgage, might be requested by the business funding the initial mortgage from the property owner and signed by both parties. The equity in the property is one of the most important factors to examine when contemplating second mortgage subordination from the borrower’s perspective, as it must be determined whether the value of the property will be sufficient to support the additional borrowing.


As an illustration, consider the following sample from one of the homes examined on PropertyShark: References: PropertyShark is your one-stop shop for all things real estate! Create a free account and we’ll cover the cost of your first property report. Begin your search for a property today! To be clear, the purpose of this glossary is to provide real estate professionals and home buyers with a fundamental understanding of various technical terms related to legal rights over real property. Disclaimer: All terms can be found in public databases such as ACRIS.

Subordination Clause Real Estate: How They Work in 2021

When it comes to lending mortgages, lenders take on a number of risks. Taking into consideration the complexities of the real estate market, property transfers, liens, and other financial concerns might develop at any time. As an alternative to putting their financial interests in the hands of chance, individuals can employ a subordination clause in real estate to ensure that their repayment rights take precedence over any other arrangements. What you should know about subordination clauses in real estate is discussed in the following article:

What Is A Subordination Clause In Real Estate?

Subordination provisions in real estate, also known as dependent clauses, are contractual agreements that specify that present debt claims shall take precedence over claims for future debts made by the same or other parties. Subordination, in its most basic definition, is the action of one party ceding priority to another party by deferring to them. They’re most commonly found in the context of mortgage notes and commercial real estate transactions, among other things.

Real Estate Subordination Clause Meaning

Subordination provisions in real estate contracts often refer to liens that have been lodged against a property. They designate a chronological precedence to one party, which is then passed on through the ranks to the next in line. To change the priority of a lien, you might require all of your borrowers and lessees to sign a subordination provision along with their other agreements.

Subordination Clause Examples

Subordination clauses are difficult to understand. Regulations governing their usage are in place at the state and federal levels.

You should always obtain legal guidance before implementing them into your approach since they may be quite effective if utilized appropriately. Consider the following subordination clause examples to have a better understanding of how they function: On our site, you may meet various lawyers.

Subordination Clause in Mortgage Note

Generally, subordination provisions in mortgage notes establish the circumstances around your mortgage arrangement, stating that the lender’s claim takes precedence over any other liens on the property. Remember that if a borrower fails on a mortgage, the first lienholder is the one who receives payment first, before any other lienholders. In the majority of circumstances, the principal lender is the one who receives first priority treatment. For a clearer understanding of how subordination provisions in mortgage notes function, consider the following illustration:

  • In this scenario, John intends to purchase a property, and his bank offers to give him the money necessary to do so on the condition that they receive first priority in repayment. In order to protect its interests, John’s bank employs a subordination clause. In the span of three years, John defaults on a number of credit cards. The credit card firms that John owes money to have successfully filed a legal lawsuit against him for restitution. Consequently, the civil court places a lien on John’s home. As a result of the subordination provision, John must pay off his lien to the lender before paying off his other creditors.

Subordination Clause in Commercial Real Estate Lease Agreement

Subordination provisions in commercial real estate lease agreements establish the lease’s precedence over the mortgage on the property. If the commercial property owner fails to make payments on their mortgage, the tenant will almost certainly experience severe business interruptions as a result of the default. If the lease is subordinate and second in importance to the mortgage, then the lender has the authority to remove the renter at any time for any reason. Here’s an example of a subordination clause to help you better grasp what you’re reading:

  • The ABC Company leases a building from the XYZ Corporation. A subordination provision in the lease was added by XYZ Corporation at the time of signing the lease, stating that the lease takes precedence over the mortgage
  • XYZ Corporation is still making mortgage payments to its bank. A year after taking out the mortgage, XYZ Corporation fails to make mortgage payments, and the bank takes possession of the property. A second priority overrided the lease, and the bank decided to cancel the agreement
  • ABC Company must now locate a new site.

Keep in mind that continuing to lease commercial buildings is often in the best interests of the lender. This enables them to collect money on a property that would otherwise be unoccupied and unmortgaged. However, lenders may not be able to participate in this sort of relationship due to a lack of resources, which may result in different consequences.

Who Benefits From A Subordination Clause in Real Estate?

The lender is the party who stands to gain the most from a subordination provision in a real estate transaction. However, if you decide to pursue a second mortgage, the subordination clause ensures that the first lender’s repayment and contract rights are given precedence. Typically, subordination clauses are used while refinancing a property, which is the most prevalent situation. When a loan is refinanced, the previous loan is paid off in full, and the loan arrangement is restructured with a new loan source at a lower interest rate.

Therefore, the claimant must consent to them prior to the refinancing procedure being able to commence.

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Other Important Real Estate Clauses

It is only one of the numerous phrases that may be found in real estate contracts, which include purchase agreements, sale and purchase agreements, real estate purchase agreements (also known as real estate purchase agreements), and land contracts. Besides the requirements listed above, a full real estate contract would typically include additional terms to safeguard the interests of the lender, borrower, and insurer.

Other essential real estate agreements can range from subrogation clauses to release clauses, and they may include the following:

Subrogation Clause

When a subrogation provision is in place, one party has the authority to pursue the claim of another party. They are most commonly associated with insurance firms that operate in the real estate industry. Insurance companies have the right to pursue a third party if they are responsible for property damages, such as a fire or water damage, while still making payments on the property’s mortgage note.

Acceleration Clause

When the terms and conditions of a mortgage are not satisfied, lenders might utilize an acceleration clause to accelerate the repayment of the loan. They describe the situations that cause the lender to seek acceleration, such as non-payment, bankruptcy filings, and improper property transfers, as well as the remedies that the lender has to use to get the acceleration. When the acceleration clause is activated, lenders are required to issue a notification letter to mortgage holders.

Alienation Clause

Alienation provisions, also known as due-on-sale clauses, mandate that the mortgage noteholder return the whole balance of the loan, plus interest, before the property may be transferred to another buyer. Alienation clauses are common in mortgages. They outline the terms and circumstances linked with the borrower’s contractual obligations as well as the conditions under which they are released. Alienation provisions are largely beneficial to lenders since they prohibit unauthorised property ownership transfers from occurring.

Defeasance Clause

Defeasance clauses are provisions in mortgages that say that the mortgage borrower will get the property title or deed of trust after meeting all of the terms of the loan agreement. They normally detail the finalization of the mortgage as well as the handling of any secured collateral that has been agreed upon. Most states do not need you to add a defeasance provision in your contract in order for it to be valid.

Prepayment Clause

If a borrower pays down their mortgage in considerable amounts during the first five years of the loan, the lender has the right to charge them a prepayment penalty. These provisions are generally advantageous to lenders since they provide some level of interest revenue protection. Additionally, they must properly explain prepayment penalties when the borrower is about to close on the home loan.

Release Clause

Generally speaking, release provisions are the terms and circumstances that apply in the event that the mortgage holder pays off a portion of the mortgage. A release can also be utilized in a brokerage transaction if a certain offer is accepted but a release is necessary after that. The release clause is what grants the lender complete legal control over a property, including the power to foreclose, collect financial and insurance benefits, among other things.

Get Legal Help with Real Estate Subordination Clauses

Subordination agreements in real estate transactions, as well as the regulations that govern them, are intricate. When working with a legal practitioner, there are a number of issues and nuances that you should consider.

If you require legal assistance with subordination clauses in real estate, you should consult with a real estate attorney for guidance and counsel. Create a project on ContractsCounsel right away.

PrepAgent.com – Subordination vs Subrogation

  • As a result, if you are involved in any element of the real estate sector, you will undoubtedly come across the phrase “subrogation” sooner or later. Having your claim subrogated implies that you are somehow subordinate to the person who filed the claim, which is where the misunderstanding arises—you are not subservient to the person’s claim at all. So let us go through both of these. Subrogation can be found in a variety of documents, including leases, mortgages, insurance policies, guarantees, and other agreements. The term may appear in a document when a party agrees to “waive his right of subrogation” or when it is indicated that one party is “subrogated to the claims of another.” It is most commonly used in contracts. Simply put, the right of subrogation is the right to pursue a claim that has been filed against you by someone else. Recall that time when a bully at school caused you grief by breaking one of your bicycles, and your older brother stepped in to handle the matter for you? That is a kind of subrogation! He treated the dispute as if it were his own, and he was relentless in his pursuit of it. This can occur either explicitly by consent of the parties or automatically, as a result of the operation of law. Let’s take a look at a few real-life instances. Insurance Consider the following scenario: you own a building that is destroyed by fire due to the carelessness of a third party. Even if your fire insurance provider pays up your claim, it will be subrogated to your claim against the third party that was irresponsible in causing your fire. Thus, the insurance company is viewed as having taken over your claim against the irresponsible third party, and it may file a lawsuit against him to collect the money it paid you as a result of the fire damage. It’s similar to what your older brother did with the bully. GuaranteesSpeaking of brothers, imagine you agree to guarantee your brother’s loan in order for him to purchase a home. If you are compelled to repay the loan, you become a subrogee to the lender’s claim against your brother and become liable for the debt. Having an Investing Interest in Real Estate Assume that you have a financial stake in someone else’s real estate. It might be an easement, a leasehold estate, a debt or some other type of encumbrance of some kind. If the property owner permits the property taxes to become delinquent, you may elect to pay the taxes in order to safeguard your own interest in the property. However, by doing so, you also safeguard the interest of the owner by paying off a liability that the owner should have been responsible for. This means that you are subrogated to the rights of the taxation authorities and may take legal action against the fee owner in order to recover the taxes you have paid in the first place. Subordination, on the other hand, is rather different. It will come up in the context of loans. Subordination is a legal arrangement that establishes one debt as having a lower priority for collection than another obligation when it comes to collecting payments from a debtor. When a debtor misses on payments or files bankruptcy, the order in which obligations are paid is critically significant to determine. Do you remember your older brother? Now, a child at school has approached your brother and requested a ten-dollar loan. Your brother, on the other hand, just wants to lend $5. As a result, the youngster comes to you for the remaining $5. Obviously, he intends to pay back your brother first, increasing the likelihood that you will not be reimbursed. You are in a position of subordination to your younger sibling. In most cases, debts with a higher priority have a legal right to be repaid in full first, before obligations with a lower priority receive any reimbursement at all. Frequently, the debtor does not have sufficient means to satisfy all of his or her obligations, and lower priority debts may get little or no reimbursement. As a result, subordinated loans are far more risky, and lenders will demand a higher interest rate as compensate.

What Is a Subordination Agreement?

For example, if you wish to refinance your first mortgage but also have other liens or mortgages on your house, you may require one or more subordination agreements to modify the lien priority on your property. In most cases, the date on which a mortgage or other lien is entered in the county land records determines the priority of the lien. Although some liens, such as property tax liens, enjoy automatic supremacy over almost all earlier liens, this is not the case for other liens. Whenever a property has more than one lien against it, the priority of the liens determines the order in which they will be paid if the property is sold at a foreclosure sale..

A first-mortgage lien (one that you take out first and has been documented first in the county land records office) is accorded greater priority than a second-mortgage lien and will be paid before the second mortgage lien is paid.

Following a foreclosure sale, only a limited quantity of money is accessible.

As a result, the goal of a subordination agreement is to lower the priority of the new loan so that, in the case of a foreclosure, the lien is paid off first.

Why Other Lenders Usually Agree to Subordinate

The only way that refinancing transactions may be completed is if the second-mortgage holder agrees to subordinate. This is because conventional first-mortgage lenders will not consent to a refinance transaction unless they are assured first position on the loan. A subordination arrangement permits the new lender to take over as first lien holder on the loan. Junior lienholders will not automatically agree to be subordinated to a new first mortgage, but they will normally agree if the home’s equity is adequate to service both debts, as is the case in most cases.

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Example of How Subordination Agreements Work

Consider the following scenario: you wish to refinance your primary mortgage, which is in the amount of $300,000 with a 6.5 percent interest rate, in order to acquire a lower interest rate on your secondary mortgage. You also have a $50,000 Home Equity Line of Credit second mortgage on the home, which is secured by the property. Your house is worth $400,000, according to the market. When you refinance your first mortgage, you are essentially paying off your existing debt with a new one. After then, because it would be the oldest mortgage still recorded on the property, the second mortgage (the HELOC) would take over as the first mortgage again.

As a result, it requests that the HELOC lender subordinate, which the lender agrees to because the property has sufficient equity to service both loans.

Because the subordination agreement is signed, the HELOC lender agrees to relinquish its lien priority in favor of the new lender, regardless of whether the HELOC lien was recorded before the refinancing or after.

How to Get Help

In most cases, the refinancing lender will be in charge of acquiring any appropriate subordination agreements on the borrower’s behalf. Occasionally, though, the borrower is tasked with this responsibility. If you require a subordination agreement from a second mortgage holder, you should make contact with that organization. Explain that you’re refinancing your first mortgage and that the new lender need a subordination agreement in order to complete the transaction. If the second mortgage holder refuses to sign the agreement, you may want to consider engaging a real estate attorney to assist you with the transaction.

Subordination Clause

The subordination clause, also known as the subordinate clause in real estate, finance, and banking, refers to the order of priority in claims for ownership or assets. It is commonly seen in real estate, finance, and banking transactions. It is the legal agreement that determines the order of priorities in the form of a provision that is known as the subordination clause (within a contract). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a clause is a component of a real estate contract that designates a specific element of the deal.

What is the Subordination Clause?

The subordination clause (in real estate) determines the order of priority of financial claims in the event of a dispute (liens). So, what exactly does this mean? As a result of the subordination clause, the current claim is essentially given priority over any other claims that have previously been logged in the system. Financial claims or liens are usually subject to some sort of order. Consider the implications of this. If a residence is foreclosed on, a procedure must be in place to ensure that the relevant persons get compensated.

That is precisely what the subordination clause accomplishes; it sets a ranking structure for claims against the property in question, as explained above.

Who Benefits from a Subordination Clause?

It is the purpose of a subordination clause to preserve the interests of the original lender. A main mortgage is often used to cover the cost of acquiring a property; but, if there is a secondary mortgage, the provision assures that the original lender keeps the first priority in the transaction. To put it another way, the principal lender’s claim will take precedence over any other financial obligations. In the case of a house loan refinance, subordination provisions are frequently included.

According to theoretical logic, the new lender would be placed at the bottom of the priority list; yet, mortgage lenders insist that their loans be placed first in line. As a result, in order to refinance a house, the other claim holders must agree before the refinancing may proceed.

Exceptions to the Subordination Clause

Some financial claims or liens, for obvious reasons, cannot be reordered, and the proper parties will not always consent to a refinancing. For example, if a homeowner fails to pay their property taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may place an involuntary lien on the property. If the homeowner later decides to refinance, the IRS will make the final decision on whether or not to grant the refinance. They may say yes, but, once again, the final decision is in their hands.

What to Know for the Real Estate Exam

Important to know for the real estate exam is that, like with other clauses, you must remember what the subordination clause is in order to pass the test. Please keep in mind that the subordination clause defines the order of precedence of financial claims. You could be presented with a list of various contract provisions on the exam, and you’ll have to figure out which ones are which.

Subordination vs. Subrogation

Subordination vs. Subrogation: What’s the difference? Subordination refers to the act of giving up precedence to an expected future mortgage or lien, whereas subrogation refers to the act of substituting a creditor who succeeds to the rights of another creditor. Subordination and subrogation are two different concepts. An arrangement in which the owner of a prior superior mortgage agrees to subordinate or give up his or her priority position in favor of a current or expected future lien is known as a subrodination agreement.

  1. As a result, the subordination agreement modifies the customary rule that the earliest registered mortgage takes precedence.
  2. The absence of a subordination clause in all past loans or other agreements is a common reason why many interim lenders would not give any money.
  3. Consequently, if the borrower defaulted, the lender had the option to terminate the purchase deal.
  4. Creating and negotiating a subordination clause on behalf of a client might be deemed illegal legal representation by the broker.
  5. Consider the following example: A title company that compensates a loss within the terms of its insurance is subrogated to any claim for compensation brought by a buyer against a seller for a loss.
  6. When a payment is made from a state real estate education, research, and recovery fund to settle a judgment, the fund is deemed to be subrogated to the rights of the person who received the payment.

If the Department of Veterans Affairs provides advances to the mortgagee as a result of the veteran-delinquency, mortgagor’s the VA becomes subrogated to the mortgagee’s rights against the mortgagor to the extent of the advances.

Subordination Clause

Understanding the subordination clause is critical, whether of whether you are simply educating yourself or studying for your real estate test. When a house is put into foreclosure, it’s likely that mortgage lenders will demand a subordination provision be added to the loan. It aids in the determination of the priority of claims to a residence. Subordination clauses, their advantages and hazards, as well as the reasons for their occurrence, are discussed in this article.

What is a Subordination Clause?

Within the context of real estate, a subordination clause regulates the order of priority in claims against your ownerships or assets. These financial claims are referred to as liens in some circles. “To relinquish priority” is defined as “to give up one’s rights.” A clause, on the other hand, is a piece of a contract that is precise. This type of phrase can be seen in legal agreements. It is also referred to as a “subordinate clause” in some circles. They’re exactly the same! It is a grading system that has been put in place for claims against a piece of property.

When Do You Need A Subordination Clause?

There are a variety of instances in which a subordination clause may be required. First and foremost, some definitions:

1. Mortgages

A mortgage is a loan used to purchase a piece of real estate. A property may be expensive, and many individuals are unable to pay in full up front. The majority of people pay a little portion up front, then take out a house loan and pay it back over time. Mortgage lenders demand a payment plan as well as security to process a loan.

What About a Trust Deed?

A deed of trust fulfills the same function as a mortgage in terms of financing. It guarantees that debts are repaid in full. It also includes the addition of a third party: a trustee. The foreclosure procedure is initiated by the trustee, if at all. A deed of trust may be used in place of a mortgage in some instances. When a regular lending provider, such as a bank, is not employed, lenders turn to a deed of trust for assistance.

2. Foreclosures

The collateral for the loan is the property in question. If the borrower can’t repay a lender, the lender may repossess the residence. Eviction can happen, and the house would be on a foreclosure sale. The goal of a foreclosuresale is to sell the repossessed property in order to recoup the outstanding monies. It is possible that the actual procedure will begin after multiple consecutive failures to pay off debts. It also varies from lender to lender as well as from state to state, as previously stated.

3. Liens

Liens are defined as financial claims in the previous section. In order for the foreclosure process to be initiated, the lender must first get a lien against your home. It gives lenders a sense of security. In the event that a person decides not to pay, a simple written commitment or signature provides little influence in the eyes of the lender. Lenders can use liens to protect their rights to:a.) have their loans returned; orb.) take legal action to recover their cash if their loans are not repaid.

These financial claims are part of the public record and may be viewed by anybody. Other potential mortgage lenders will be able to examine a person’s current liabilities and obligations.

4. Home Equity

Home equity, according to the definition of real estate, is the percentage of a property that you personally own. If you took out a loan to purchase your property, the lender will have a financial interest in your home until you have paid off your debts. You are, nevertheless, still regarded as the property’s owner. Your equity is a significant asset that you should protect. It refers to the current market worth of your house. Renovations can cause equity to increase as a result of price appreciation.

What’s a Home Equity Loan or Second Mortgage?

Yes, it is possible to borrow against your equity! A home equity loan functions in the same way as a mortgage. The phrase “second mortgage” derives from the fact that the purchase mortgage is the first in line to be repaid in the event of a default on the loan and foreclosure. A second mortgage, like a first mortgage, is secured by your property. It has a predetermined payback period. If the homeowner is unable to pay off his or her obligations, the residence will be repossessed and sold.

How Does a Home Equity Loan Work?

Second mortgages are available as either a lump-sum payment or as a line of credit. With a lump amount, you can take out a one-time home equity loan that will be paid back over time. A second mortgage, like any other traditional mortgage, is frequently accompanied with set monthly payments and an interest rate that cannot be changed. A home equity line of credit creates a pool of funds from which you may borrow money anytime you need it. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is determined by the lender.

This type of house loan has an interest rate that is either fixed or variable in nature.

5. Refinancing

When you refinance your home, you are essentially replacing an existing mortgage on your property with a new one. For example, you can change the terms and conditions of a mortgage that is already in place. Interest rates and payment schedules might be included in the modification agreement, as well as other terms and conditions. All of these loan terms have been altered in order to be more attractive to the borrower. When the interest rate environment changes, it is common for people to refinance their homes.

Following a decrease in the interest rate, you may choose to contact your bank to discuss refinancing alternatives further.

The Subordination Clause: A Situation

Financing is the process of replacing an existing mortgage on your home with a new one. If you have a mortgage, for example, you can change the conditions of the arrangement. Interest rates and payment schedules might be included in the modification agreement, as well. Every one of these loan terms has been altered in order to make them more attractive to the borrower.

When the interest rate environment shifts, refinancing is a common occurrence. The cycle is, after all, irreversible. Following a decrease in the interest rate, you may choose to contact your bank to explore refinancing alternatives with the institution.

But It Isn’t That Simple

Consider the case of a homeowner who refinanced their original mortgage. The lien priority order is then changed as a result. Refinancing would result in the creation of a new loan, with the original loan being cancelled by the bank. When this happens, the second mortgage would take over as the principal mortgage. Do you recall the line of liens? Instead of the oldest and principal mortgage lender receiving payment first, the second mortgage lender now receives payment first. The first mortgage lender has been treated unfairly by this order.

A Subordination Clause Keeps Priorities in Check

In order to refinance, you must first go via your primary lender. That is, unless the second mortgage lender signs a subordination agreement, which they will not allow. The existence of this subordination agreement assures that the second mortgage remains its secondary status. The finance claims of the principal mortgage lender take precedence over all other finance claims at that point. Other mortgage lenders, on the other hand, may be of a different opinion. For example, a second mortgage lender may refuse to subordinate its loan to the first mortgage.

First, the subordination agreement must be approved by all other claim holders.

Exceptions to a Subordinate Clause

As previously stated, it is possible that the parties involved will not agree to a refinancing. The financial lien cannot be reordered at that point. The homeowner’s circumstance is another example of an exemption. They might also declare bankruptcy, which would place lien holders at even greater danger of losing their property. It is also possible that they owe back taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may then place an involuntary lien on the real estate property. The government’s tax officials issue an involuntary lien on the property without the owner’s permission.

Other Risks

The only situation in which a second mortgage lender can receive payment is when the profits of a foreclosure sale surpass the balance of the first loan amount owed. Remember that the primary concern with a subordination clause, whether in a mortgage or otherwise, is repayment. Repayment can also become a problem in a variety of different situations. Bankruptcy and unpaid taxes were cited as potential causes above, and they are applicable here. Once mortgage lenders are made aware of the circumstance, those who are farther down the lien position will refuse to approve the refinancing request.

This is one of the reasons why many lenders are reluctant to agree to a subordination provision in their loans.

Who Benefits From a Subordination Clause?

A subordination clause is designed to protect the principal lender first and foremost….

By placing other mortgage lenders in a subordinate position, they provide themselves the greatest amount of security in the event of a foreclosure. They are the first in line, according to the order of precedence.

What About the Other Mortgage Lenders?

This is beneficial to other mortgage lenders as well! After all, they have a voice in the wording of the provision. Depending on how beneficial the real estate scenario is, they may choose to sign the subordination clause. They should still have a fair chance of getting their money back. If, on the other hand, the homeowner’s financial status and the total real estate worth of the property have deteriorated, the situation is different. It is entirely within their rights to chose not to abide by the subordination clause in this case.

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Let’s Sum It Up

In the real estate industry, a subordination clause is included following a number of procedures. A homeowner may take out a number of different mortgages. It is possible to obtain a second mortgage or a home equity loan. They have the option of refinancing. Once a foreclosure has taken place, it may be required to include a subordination provision.

In Conclusion

Keep in mind that a subordination provision in a real estate contract defines the order of precedence of financial claims. Now that you have this information, you can make an informed decision about what is best for your house. With all we’ve discussed, you should be able to pass your real estate test as well. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Real Estate Definition of Subordination Clause by Crepedia

  • A subordination clause is a stipulation in a contract that permits one mortgage or lease to take precedence over another mortgage or lease that was made previously.

Exceptions to the Subordination Clause | Commercial Real Estate Finance and Leasing

What Is A Subordination Clause?

Subordination is a legal word that refers to the ranking of a claim on property in relation to another claim. A subordination clause is a phrase in a contract that places a claim on property second in priority to another claim on the same property that has been created in another agreement with a different party.

Why Is A Subordination Clause Important?

The importance of a subordination clause in commercial real estate is demonstrated by the fact that it is used in both real estate finance and leasing agreements. The reason for this is because both mortgages and leases create claims against real property. In the case of a debt default, the claims may come into conflict with one another. The subordination clause specifies and explains the precedence of these claims, as well as the conditions under which they are to be paid.

Subordination Clauses in Mortgage Agreements

In rare situations, a property may have more than one mortgage secured against it. In the case of default, a method must be devised for determining which mortgage takes precedence over the other loans in the situation. In the case of default, this clause specifies who will be paid first from the profits of the property’s sale, and who will not.

Subordination Clauses in Commercial Lease Agreements

Investors borrow money to purchase and refinance investment properties. Lenders are exposed to the risk of default by these investors. In the event that an investor fails to make payments on their mortgage, what would be the implications for the tenant? To recoup their money, the lender will try to foreclose on the property. But what about the tenant’s lease with the landlord, which is still in effect? When financing is required, commercial lease agreements may include a subordination provision that, in the case of a foreclosure, places the tenants’ interest in the property above the interest of the lender’s in the property.

If the lender forecloses, the renter will be evicted from their home, which creates an issue. The tenant has the option of seeking a non-disturbance agreement, which will allow the tenant to continue to use the space while adhering to the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Subordination Agreement

When it comes to obtaining repayments from a borrower, a subordination agreement is a legal arrangement that prioritizes one loan above another. The agreement alters the lien’s priority status. The right to hold property owned by another person that owes a debt is known as a lien, and it allows one party to remain in possession of the property until the obligation is repaid. This is referred to as subordinated debt, and this is referred to as superior debt. The debt that has been awarded a lower claim on assets is referred to as superior debt.

  • It has a higher level of security than any other type of debt, including subordinated debt.
  • bankruptcy Bankruptcy It is the legal position of a human or non-human organization (such as a corporation or a government agency) that has proven itself unable to pay its outstanding debts in the short term.
  • Furthermore, in the case of a company’s assets being liquidated, all creditors have priority over owners in terms of receiving payment for their claims.
  • Essentially, it means that the first recorded deed of trust will be recognized as superior to any subsequent deeds of trust that are registered.


  • When it comes to obtaining repayments from a borrower, a subordination agreement is a legal arrangement that prioritizes one loan above another. When the debtors do not have adequate cash to fulfill the loans, the subordinated debts may receive minimal or no payback at all. It is customary for property owners to refinance their initial mortgage before entering into a subordination arrangement.

How a Subordination Agreement Works

Debt subordination is prevalent when debtors attempt to get extra cash and new loan arrangements are put in place to accomplish this goal. Subordination agreements are typically used when property owners obtain a second mortgage on their home. Consequently, the second loan is designated as junior debt while the first loan is designated as senior debt. Senior debt has a greater claim priority than junior debt, and vice versa. To maintain their first-mover advantage in receiving debt repayments, the primary loan lenders will refuse to authorize the second loan unless a subordination agreement has been executed by both parties.

  • As a result, it may be more difficult for property owners to refinance their assets in the near future.
  • The principal and interest payments are made to the creditors.
  • However, interest can be found in the income statement as well as in compensation.
  • This guarantees that the creditors’ payments have a higher priority and are paid before the second mortgage is paid off completely.
  • Imagine if the corporation declares bankruptcy and is liquidated.

Approximately $500,000 will be paid to the senior debt with the remaining $50,000 ($550,000 – $500,00 = $50,000) being distributed among the subordinated creditors. Thus, because subordinated loans are more risky, creditors will need a higher rate of interest to compensate them for their risk.

Types of a Subordination Agreement

According to Section 2953.3 of the California Civil Code, all subordination agreements must have the following provisions:

  • Every agreement must begin with the words “SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT” at the top of the page. An explanation of why the security interest has become lower priority than a later or any other security should be included after the title.

The following are the two most typical forms of subordination agreements: ad hoc agreements and formal agreements.

1. Executory Subordination Agreement

Under the terms of an executory subordination agreement, the subordinating party agrees to have his or her interest subordinated to the security interest of a subsequent instrument. The imposition of such an agreement later on may be challenging due to the fact that it is only a promise to agree in the future. When a party refuses to sign the subordination agreement to subordinate his or her security interest, this might result in a contract claim breach being committed.

2. Automatic Subordination Agreement

It is possible to have the automatic subordination agreement in place while still having both the primary agreement and the subordination agreement being executed and recorded concurrently. A subordination agreement, for example, will often indicate that, upon recording of the concerned trust deed’s lien, it will be involuntarily subordinated to the lien of another trust deed unless the trust deed’s lien is expressly specified to be involuntarily subordinated.

More Resources

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  • Debt Settlement Agreements Debt Settlement Agreements In loan agreements, debt covenants are limits placed on the borrower (debtor) by lenders (creditors, debt holders, and investors) in order to limit the acts of the borrower (debtor). Mortgage that has been refinanced Mortgage that has been refinanced In the real estate industry, refinancing is the act of replacing an existing mortgage with a new mortgage that provides the borrower with more advantageous conditions. Senior and subordinated debt are two types of debt. Senior and subordinated debt are two types of debt. Prior to understanding senior and subordinated debt, it is necessary to understand how the capital stack is constructed. The capital stack is a ranking of the importance of various sources of finance. The terms senior and subordinated debt relate to the position of a company’s debt in the company’s capital stack. It is the senior debt that is paid out first in the case of a liquidation. Lien Accepted voluntarily Voluntary LienA voluntary lien is a legal claim on a piece of property that is granted by the owner of the property to another party as security for the repayment of a debt.

Subordinate Mortgages: Everything You Need to Know

Your house is often one of your most valuable investments, and there are a variety of ways in which you may use this precious asset to help you achieve your financial objectives. Subordinate mortgages, which can be obtained in the form of a second mortgage, equity loan, or home equity line of credit (HELOC), can be used to finance a variety of different sorts of projects. In order to enter into one of these complicated transactions, it is critical that you have all of the information you require.

What is a Subordinate Mortgage?

It is common for your house to be one of your major assets, and there are a variety of strategies for utilizing this important asset to help you achieve your financial objectives. Using a subordinate mortgage, which can take the form of a second mortgage, an equity loan, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you can finance a variety of projects.

It’s critical to obtain all of the information you need before entering into one of these complicated deals. This review of subordinate mortgages will assist you in better understanding the obligations, incentives, and laws associated with this financial activity.

What is a Subordination Clause in a Mortgage?

It is the subordination provision in your mortgage agreement that serves as legal documentation for this operation. In this section of your agreement, the mortgage company for your first loan specifies that your debt on their loan takes precedence over any other debts or liens you may have on your property, whether they are current or future, and that your debt on their loan takes precedence over any other debts or liens you may have on your property.

What is a Lien?

In addition to a mortgage, there are other types of debt that can be recorded against your house. A lien is another sort of security interest that is commonly used. A lien indicates that if you fail to make payments on a debt that you owe, someone else has the right to take possession of your home and sell it. Liens can be used to collect money owing to contractors for significant renovation projects, unpaid child support, and outstanding federal or state tax obligations, among other things. There are a variety of strategies for increasing the value of your house.

How Does a Mortgage Become Subordinate?

If everything up to this point appears to be easy and logical to you, you may be asking how or why your first mortgage could ever become subservient to another obligation in the first place. There are several instances in which your first mortgage may be relegated to the second position, either at your request (with the permission of your lender) or as a result of a legal need. Subordinate loans are mortgages that are recorded after your original purchase loan and are secured by your home. Lenders, on the other hand, may agree to “alter position” and make their loans subject to other obligations on an irregular basis.

You should be aware that your initial purchase loan may be made subordinate by law or regulation, even if your lender does not agree to it.

  • You will instantly become the principal lien on your property if you have a Federal tax lien for unpaid income taxes. This obligation will take precedence over your initial mortgage. If you sell your house or go into foreclosure, the first thing that will be paid is your federal tax bill
  • A mechanic’s lien is utilized by an unpaid contractor, subcontractor, worker, or material supplier to put a legal claim on your property in order to collect money owing to them. It is possible in some jurisdictions to have your initial mortgage obligation reduced to a secondary position in relation to their overdue payments. Keep in mind that the regulations governing mechanic’s liens differ significantly from state to state.

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How Will Subordination Affect my Financing?

Being saddled with subordinate liens on your property may not have much of an influence on your everyday life, but these obligations can have a significant impact on your capacity to obtain mortgage financing in the future. Depending on your lender and the specifics of the lien(s), you may or may not be able to qualify to purchase a new house or obtain another mortgage in the future, depending on the circumstances. In many cases, lenders will only consider lending to you if their loan is going to be in the primary position.

In addition, your lender will need to analyze these subordinate liens to ensure that the payments are consistent, that they are something you can afford, and that they do not feature negative amortization or other potential financial traps that might increase your risk of defaulting on your loan.

Subordination and Second Mortgages

Imagine if you gave money to a buddy and were informed that you were their last priority when it comes to repayment. How would you react if you were told this? Would you be willing to make the loan without hesitation, or would you take further precautions to protect yourself? Lenders have a similar perspective on things. If they are providing you with a loan (such as a second mortgage) that is subordinate to existing obligations, they consider the loan to be more risky than other types of loans.

It is as a result of this that you will almost certainly be charged greater interest rates on your subordinate mortgage than you would be paid on your principal mortgage.

Subordinate Mortgages and Refinancing

You may choose to refinance your mortgage at any point throughout your ownership of the property. The refinancing procedure is often straightforward, but the presence of subordinate mortgages, such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC), might add additional stages to the process. When you refinance, your new lender will want their mortgage to be treated as primary, and the HELOC to be treated as a subordinate credit line. To make this happen, the HELOC lender must consent, and the HELOC must be re-subordinated in order for it to be effective.

Don’t be Scared of Subordination

“Mortgage Subordination” may sound complicated, but it’s actually a basic process that allows lenders to provide homeowners with additional freedom when it comes to using the equity in their house to borrow against other assets. If you’re interested in learning more about your mortgage choices, call a PennyMac Loan Officer or apply online now to get started.

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