Wraparound Mortgage – Definition

Cite this article as:"Wraparound Mortgage – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated October 7, 2019, last accessed October 27, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/wraparound-mortgage-definition/.


Wraparound Mortgage Definition

In economics, a wraparound mortgage is a unique financing option that allows a mortgage owner to get a second mortgage to support the payment of the original real estate mortgage plan. A wraparound mortgage is also known as an agreement for sale, a wrap loan, or an all-inclusive mortgage.

The original property buyer extends some form of junior mortgage to the second buyer, which serves as an additional payment plan to any mortgages that the property secures. Meaning, the wraparound loan will now comprise of the new loan from the buyer and the outstanding balance of the superior loan.

A Little More on What is a Wrap Around Mortgage

Under the wraparound mortgage, the buyer gives the seller a secured promissory note, which is a legal document acknowledging the debt. A wraparound mortgage is a subordinate financing plan where both parties are using one real property as insurance.

The new buyer makes payments to the seller in monthly installments, who then uses that money to pay his superior mortgage. Although the seller keeps paying for their superior mortgage, they are no longer the owner of the property. The new buyer receives the title deed after they sign their wraparound agreement.

A wraparound mortgage, not like other mortgage contracts, is a seller financing option, where, when the new buyer fails to make the payments, the seller has the right to take back the real estate property. The sellerā€™s lending institution can also foreclose on the property in case both parties completely default. To prevent the foreclosing, the seller should use the payments from the buyer to pay the lending institution.

Usually, the interest rates of wraparound mortgages are higher than normal mortgages. For example, a seller can be having a mortgage at a 5% interest rate. He/she decides to sell the property on a wraparound mortgage at a 7% interest rate, making a 2% profit on each monthly payment.

In a wraparound mortgage, the lending institution, the seller, and the buyer all agree on the loan payment plan. Since there is a transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer, the lending institution has a legal right to call superior mortgages due, if there is a due-on-sale clause on the mortgage.

Sellers who want to use the wraparound financing option need to find buyers who are willing to finance that kind of mortgage. Most lending institutions do not advocate for a wraparound mortgage, but some allow only when the superior mortgage is assumable.

Example of a Wraparound Mortgage

A seller wants to sell their real estate property for $200,000 because he is unable to pay off the remaining amount. The balance on his mortgage is $25,000, with a 3.5% fixed interest rate. After consulting with the lending institution, they allow him to use the wraparound mortgage option. He finds a buyer who agrees to pay $200,000 for the property. However, the buyer does not have all the money so, he puts down $10,000 and borrows $190,000 from the seller, under a wraparound agreement at a rate of 4.9%.

Both the buyer and the seller sign the mortgage agreement, and the seller transfers ownership to the buyer. The buyer pays the seller every month according to their agreement, and the seller uses that money to pay off his superior mortgage. Since the buyerā€™s interest rates are higher than the seller’s interest rate, the seller makes some profit out of the wraparound.

Ā Risks of using a Wraparound Mortgage

The due-on-sale clause on the mortgage is a risk that can destroy a wraparound agreement before it commences. If the initial contract between the bank and the seller has a due-on-sale clause, then the bank may call the mortgage due and requires the seller to clear the balance. In case the seller is unable to pay off the debt, the bank can foreclose on the property, and both the buyer and the seller will remain with nothing.

When a seller has more equity in a property, then the risks of issuing a wraparound mortgage becomes high. Meaning, when the buyer defaults on the payments, the seller will still have to pay the superior mortgage to the lender. Also, the buyer must pay a certain amount of legal fees so that he can foreclose on the buyer. The bank can foreclose on the seller in case he is unable to cater to the expenses.

For the buyers, their major risk factor is when the seller defaults on his mortgage payments. To lessen this risk, the buyer can craft the mortgage documents in a way that he can directly pay the sellerā€™s lending institution. By doing this, the bank credits the payments against the sellerā€™s payment agreements.

Benefits of a Wraparound Mortgage

An investor that has a bad credit history has the opportunity to purchase a real property under the wraparound financing option. Since a wraparound mortgage is a contract between the seller and the buyer, the two parties can negotiate interest rates amongst themselves and avoid using traditional methods. The decision-making process and the purchase process for a wraparound mortgage are generally fast.

Alternatives to a Wraparound Mortgage

  • Land contracts

A land contract and a wraparound mortgage have many similarities, but their major difference is the ownership transfer process. With land contracts, the buyer pays the seller small amounts until he clears all the payment. Once the buyer makes all the payments, the seller transfers full property ownership to the buyer.

  • Traditional mortgage financing

Various government-sponsored financing programs allow investors with poor credit histories to take a mortgage. The Federal Housing Administration (AHA) gives loans to investors who have credit scores of 580, and allow down payments of 3.5%. Most buyers, especially low-income earners and self-employed people, qualify for VA mortgages which have a 0% down payment.

Key TakeawaysĀ 

  • A wraparound mortgage is a seller financing method where the seller assumes the place of the lender bank.
  • The seller mostly uses the wraparound mortgage when he is unable to pay off the superior mortgage.
  • The seller makes profits when he mortgages a property at an interest rate higher than the original rate.
  • The buyer gives the seller a secured promissory note to acknowledge the debt.

References for Wraparound Mortgage




Academic Research on Wrap-Around Mortgage

The WrapAround Mortgage: A Critical Inquiry, Schrader, W. A. (1973). The Wrap-Around Mortgage: A Critical Inquiry. UCLA L. Rev., 21, 1529.

A Look at Florida’s Usury Laws and the Wrap around Mortgage, Musial Jr, A. J., & Zaritsky, H. (1972). A Look at Florida’s Usury Laws and the Wrap around Mortgage. Stetson Intramural L. Rev., 3, 209.

The WrapAround Mortgage: Cold Comfort in the Winter of the Due-On-Sale Clause, Schwarz, D. (1985). The Wrap-Around Mortgage: Cold Comfort in the Winter of the Due-On-Sale Clause. Ann. Rev. Banking L., 4, 429.

Selected Problems in WrapAround Financing: Suggested Approaches to Due-on-Sale Clauses and Purchaser’s Depreciable Basis, Guerin, S. M. (1980). Selected Problems in Wrap-Around Financing: Suggested Approaches to Due-on-Sale Clauses and Purchaser’s Depreciable Basis. U. Mich. JL Reform, 14, 401.

A Tax Policy Analysis of WrapAround Financed Installment Sales, Guerin, S. M. (1983). A Tax Policy Analysis of Wrap-Around Financed Installment Sales. Va. Tax Rev., 3, 41.

The WrapAround Deed of Trust: An Answer to the Allegation of Usury, Arditto, M. A. (1979). The Wrap-Around Deed of Trust: An Answer to the Allegation of Usury. Pac. LJ, 10, 923. A special form of second or junior mortgage granted against security of a property that is already mortgaged, whereby a new mortgagee assumes (that is, takes over) the obligation to pay interest and principal on the existing or inā€“placeā€™ mortgage (without assuming or extinguishing that mortgage, which retains its priority) and makes a further wrapā€“aroundā€™ advance to the mortgagor. “A junior mortgage that secures a promissory note with a face amount equal to the sum of the principal balance of an existing mortgage note plus any additional funds advanced by the second lender. Wraparound mortgages may be used in several forms. ā€¦ Typically, however, wraparounds are either purchaseā€“money mortgages, where the wraparound lender is either the real estate seller or a third party, or refinancing or nonā€“purchaseā€“money mortgages, where the lender is either the same lender that holds the first mortgage or a third party. See Arditto, The Wrapā€“Around Deed of Trust: An Answer to the Allegation of Usury, 10 Pac LJ 023 (1979), for a discussion of various types of wraparound mortgages.” Mitchell v. Trustees of U.S. Mutual Real Estate, 144 Mich App 302, 375 NW.2d 424, 428 (1985). The face value of the wraparound mortgage is equivalent to the amount outstanding on the inā€“placeā€™ mortgage, plus the additional funds advanced. The mortgagor undertakes to make payments to the new or subordinate mortgagee that are sufficient to cover that mortgageeā€™s cost of servicing the existing mortgage, plus the interest on the new advance. In turn, the wraparound mortgagee undertakes to make all payments to the first or inā€“place mortgagee. A wraparound mortgage may be taken out when an inā€“place mortgage is held at a favorable interest rate and, therefore, the mortgagor does not wish to refinance the entire mortgage arrangements. The interest rate, or blended rateā€™, on the wraparound mortgage is usually fixed at a rate between the inā€“place mortgage rate and the rate that would be charged if an entirely new advance was to be made. Sometimes called an overriding mortgageā€™, an ā€˜overlapping mortgageā€™, an allā€“inclusive mortgageā€™; or, if the loan is made by means of a deed of trust an allā€“inclusive deed of trustā€™. See also assumption, purchase money mortgage.

Foreclosing the Wraparound Mortgage: Practical Considerations And the Emergence of Texas Case Law, Goren, A. S., & Meyer, L. E. (1988). Foreclosing the Wraparound Mortgage: Practical Considerations And the Emergence of Texas Case Law. TEX. BJ, 51, 1051-1051.

Unwrapping the Wraparound Mortgage Foreclosure Process, Caraway, B. B. (1990). Unwrapping the Wraparound Mortgage Foreclosure Process. Wash. & Lee L. Rev., 47, 1025.

Usury Implications of Alternative Mortgage Instruments: The Uncertainty in Calculating Permissible Returns, Tanner, M. S. (1986). Usury Implications of Alternative Mortgage Instruments: The Uncertainty in Calculating Permissible Returns. BYU L. Rev., 1105.

When Wraparound Mortgages Return-The Time to Plan Is Now, Harp, R. K. (2004). When Wrap-around Mortgages Return-The Time to Plan Is Now. Prob. & Prop., 18, 42.

Mortgage drafting: Lessons from the restatement of mortgages, Whitman, D. A. (1998). Mortgage drafting: Lessons from the restatement of mortgages. Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J., 33, 415. The American Law Institute’s adoption of the Restatement (Third) of Property: Mortgages may have significant impact on the negotiation and drafting of mortgages. Rather than merely reciting the prevailing case law, the Restatement proposes approaches the American Law Institute believes are desirable as a matter of sound policy. This Article highlights key areas in which the new Restatement may affect mortgage drafting and suggests useful techniques for mortgage drafters.

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