DEFINITION of 'Junk Fees'

Nebulous charges assessed at the closing of a mortgage that go to the originator or lender. These fees are hidden in the mortgage documents and are usually assessed as raw dollars rather than "points" or a percentage of the loan. Junk fees may or may not pay for an actual service to the borrower, but they typically are not known to the borrower prior to signing. Some common fees that may be considered junk fees include settlement fees, sign-up fees, underwriting fees, funding fees, translation fees and messenger fees.

Also known as "padding fees" or "garbage fees".

BREAKING DOWN 'Junk Fees'

The idea behind junk fees is that at the end of the mortgage signing process, the borrower is already committed to signing the loan and will not walk away from the table. Junk fees, however, may not necessarily be noted in the good faith estimate the borrower receives a few days prior to closing.

Most junk fees are nominal compared to mortgage points and other major closing costs.

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