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What is a Mortgage Pool?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Jan 22, 2024
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Mortgage pools are groups of mortgages that are used as the collateral or backing for some type of mortgage-backed security. In many cases, this group of mortgages that are used to back the security will carry similar interest rates and maturity dates. There is also the possibility that the mortgage pool will be composed of mortgages that carry a wide range of maturity dates. In addition, the interest rates may vary, both in amount and in the type of rate that is applied.

Investors can buy into the mortgage pool by investing in the security that is backed by that group of mortgages. In exchange for the investment, each investor receives a return that is based on the income generated from the payments received on those mortgages. This type of return is usually referred to as a pass-through rate, since it is connected directly with the return generated by each mortgage loan in the pool. Depending on the provisions that apply to the security, those payments may be received monthly, quarterly, or annually.

A simple mortgage pool will be composed of a group of mortgages that are very similar to one another. For example, the pool may include mortgages that are written on properties located in the same city or town. Those mortgages may all carry a fixed rate of interest, and be scheduled for payoff within four to six months of one another. With this model, managing the security that is backed with the pool is relatively uncomplicated, since there are fewer variables to consider.

There are examples of pools that include mortgage loans that are more eclectic. A mortgage pool may contain mortgages that carry both flexible as well as fixed rates of interest. In addition, the maturity dates of the mortgages may vary by a calendar year or more. Some pools will also include a combination of mortgages on commercial as well as residential properties.

A mortgage pool may be used to back a security issued by a government entity or a private organization. Laws and regulations related to the creation and sale of these securities vary somewhat from one country to another, including provisions on what type of return an investor can expect over the life of the security. For this reason, investors should work closely with a financial professional to determine if a particular mortgage-backed security is a viable investment for the particular investor, and is likely to yield a return that the investor feels is worth his or her participation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Magnette — On Jan 04, 2014
@Carpell: There's nothing inherently wrong with selling mortgage-backed securities as long as the practice is above-board and well-regulated.

I do agree with you that bankers, mortgage brokers and others who engage in fraudulent transactions to dupe unsuspecting investors should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully, in light of the banking meltdowns of 2008 and 2009, investors will show greater savvy and ask questions before investing in these products.

By Carpell — On Jan 03, 2014

Lots of bankers got rich packaging insolvent mortgages into pools and selling shares to investors without informing them of the potential risks. But how many of those crooked bankers ever went to jail? None, as far as I can tell. This sort of thing should be illegal.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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