Servicing is the process by which a financial institution (mortgage bank, servicing firm, etc.) collects interest, principal, and escrow payments from a borrower. In the United States, the vast majority of mortgages are backed by the government or government-sponsored entities (GSEs) through purchase by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae (which purchases loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)). Because GSEs and private loan investors typically do not service the mortgage loans that they purchase, the bank who sells the mortgage will generally retain the right to service the mortgage pursuant to a master servicing agreement.
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