House Call


DEFINITION of 'House Call'

A brokerage house notification that the customer's equity in a margin account has fallen below the maintenance requirement level. If the client fails to immediately deliver the required margin by depositing more funds or securities into the account, his or her position will be liquidated. Also known as a "margin call".


House call limits are usually higher than the limits mandated by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a self-regulatory group, and the major exchanges with jurisdiction over these rules. For example, if a brokerage set its house call limits equal to the limits mandated by NASD, the brokerage would violate this mandate each time a client required additional margin. Thus, the house limit provides the brokerage with a cushion and is in addition to the initial margin requirements set by Regulation T of the Federal Reserve Board.

  1. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin ...
  2. Voluntary Liquidation

    A corporate liquidation that has been approved by the shareholders ...
  3. Margin

    1. Borrowed money that is used to purchase securities. This practice ...
  4. Initial Margin

    The percentage of the purchase price of securities (that can ...
  5. Margin Call

    A broker's demand on an investor using margin to deposit additional ...
  6. Leverage

    1. The use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital, ...
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