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".

BREAKING DOWN 'House 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.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the different types of margin calls?

    Learn the differences between margin calls and fed margin calls while reviewing the definitions of each and how to satisfy ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between initial margin and maintenance margin?

    Learn the difference between an initial margin requirement and a maintenance margin requirement and how these affect an investor's ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are my options when I get a margin call?

    Understand what a margin call means and the two primary options for meeting a margin call, such as depositing additional ... Read Answer >>
  4. What does it mean when I get a Fed margin call?

    Learn what a fed margin call is, what it means when you receive one and what steps you must take to satisfy the fed's requirements ... Read Answer >>
  5. How exactly does buying on margin work and why is it controversial?

    Learn how purchasing stock on margin works, and understand the risk associated with margin accounts that make the strategy ... Read Answer >>
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    Minimum margin is the amount of funds that must be deposited with a broker by a margin account customer. With a margin account, ... Read Answer >>
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