Definition: The number of periods during which the borrower is restricted from prepaying the mortgage loan; typically expressed in years or months. In order to reduce prepayment risk, commercial mortgages commonly have lockout periods and/or prepayment premiums or yield maintenance. A prepayment penalty is paid by the borrower for any prepayments made on a mortgage loan if required under the loan documents. The premium is usually set at a fixed rate which, at times, decrease in steps as the loan matures. For example, a mortgage loan can have a premium of 5% for the first seven years and during the next five years the premium decreases at a rate of 1% per year (4% in year eight, 3% in year nine); after year twelve, there is no prepayment premium.