1. 1031 Exchange
A 1031 Exchange is an IRS provisions which allows the owner of a property to exchange their property for another of like-kind while deferring payment of state and federal capital gains taxes.
1. Abandonment of Homestead
A recorded document, executed by those claiming a homestead exemption, giving up said homestead. Not applicable to all states and procedure must be according to local statutes.
A summary; an abridgement. Before the use of photo static copying public records were kept by abstracts of recorded documents.
3. Abstract of Judgment
A summary of the essential provisions of a court judgment which when recorded in the county recorder’s office creates a lien upon the property of the defendant in that county, both presently owned or after acquired.
4. Abstract of Title
A compilation of the recorded documents relating to a parcel of land from which an attorney may give an opinion as to the condition of title. Still in use in some states but giving way to the use of title insurance.
To touch or border upon. A piece of land bordering on a street or an adjoining property is said to abut such street or property.
6. Acceleration Clause
Clause used in an installment note and Mortgage (or Deed of Trust) which gives the lender the right to demand payment in full upon the happening of a certain event, such as failure to pay an installment by a certain date, change of ownership without the lender’s consent, destruction of the property (see WASTE) or other event which endangers the security of the loan (see ALIENATION CLAUSE).
The right to enter and leave a tract of land from a public way. "Often-times the right to enter and leave over the lands of another."
The right of an owner to an increase in his property by natural means (such as a riparian owner’s right to an abandoned river bed, rights of alluvium and relict ion, etc.) or artificially by improvements.
9. Accommodation Recording
The recording of documents with the county recorder by a title insurance company, without liability (no insurance) on the part of the company, but merely as a convenience to a customer.
The gradual addition to the shore of bank of a waterway. The land generally becomes the property of the owner of the shore or bank except where statutes specify otherwise.
A written declaration by a person executing an instrument, given before an officer authorized to give an oath (usually a notary public), stating that the execution is of his own volition.
A measure, usually of land, equal to 160 square rods (43,560 square feet) in any shape.
13. Action to Quiet Title
A court action to establish ownership to real property. Although technically not an action to remove a cloud on title. The two actions are usually referred to as "Quiet Title" actions (see CLOUD ON TITLE).
A person appointed by a probate court to settle the affairs of an individual dying without a will. "The term is administration if such a person is a woman."
Money advanced by a Mortgagee (beneficiary under a Deed of Trust) to pay the mortgagor’s (trustor’s) obligations of taxes, insurance or other items necessary to protect the secured property.
16. Adverse Possession
A method of acquiring title by possession under certain conditions. Generally, possession must be actual, under claim of right, open, continuous, notorious, exclusive, and hostile (knowingly against the rights of the owner). Exact time (years) of possession and specific requirements (such as payment of property taxes) vary with the statutes of each state.
A written statement or declaration sworn to before an officer who has authority to administer an oath.
18. Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant
A document which establishes of record the death of a decease joint tenant and establishes vesting in surviving joint tenant(s).
19. After Acquired Title
Legal doctrine by which property automatically vests in a grantee when the grantor acquires title to the property after the deed has been executed and delivered.
20. Agreement of Sale
Have two separate meanings depending on area of the country. In some states it is synonymous with a purchase agreement (see PURCHASE AGREEMENT. In other states it is synonymous with a land contract (see LAND CONTRACT).
21. AKA - "Also Known As"
Used frequently, e.g., California Fair Housing Law aka Rumford Act.
22. Alienation Clause
A type of acceleration clause calling for a debt under a Mortgage or Deed of Trust to be due in its entirety upon transfer of ownership of the secured property. Also called a "due-on-sale" clause.
23. All-Inclusive Deed of Trust
A second or junior Trust Deed with a face value of both the amount it secures and the balance due under the first Trust Deed. The beneficiary under the all-inclusive collects a payment based on its face value and then pays the first beneficiary. It is most effective when the first has a lower interest rate then the second since the beneficiary under the all-inclusive gains the difference between the interest rates or the trustor under the wrap-around may obtain a lower rate than if refinancing (See WRAP-AROUND).
24. A.L.T.A. - American Land Title Association
An organization composed of title insurance companies which have adopted certain insurance policy forms to standardize coverage on a national basis.
A change either to correct an error or to alter a part of an agreement without changing the principle idea or essence.
Payment of a debt or obligation in equal installments over a given period so that at the end of the period the debt is completely extinguished (opposite of a balloon payments).
An opinion of value based upon a factual analysis. Legally, an estimation of value by two disinterested persons of suitable qualifications. An Appraisal is an evaluation of the property to determine "Fair Market Value" of the property. Often used by lenders to compare the value of the house to the amount being loaned.
28. Appraisal Report
A written report by an appraiser containing his opinions as to the value of a property and the reasoning leading to the opinion. The factual data supporting the opinion, such as comparables, appraisal formulas and qualifications of the appraiser, will also be set forth.
29. Approved Attorney
An attorney approved by a title insurance company as one whose opinions of title will be accepted by the company and relied upon for the issuance of title insurance policies.
Something belonging to something else, either attached or not, such as a barn to a house or an easement to land. The appurtenance is part of the property and passes with it upon sale or other transfer.
31. Arbitrary Map
A map drawn by a title company to be used in locating property in areas where legal descriptions are difficult and complex. Areas are arbitrarily subdivided usually by ownership at a given time into lots which are numbered. Recorded documents are then posted to these arbitrary lots by the same "arb" number.
32. Area Code
Code set by the County Tax Assessor referring to tax rate area which reflects everything that determines area tax multiplier which in turn determines individual taxes.
33. Assessed Value
Value placed upon property for property tax purposes by the tax assessor.
1. The estimating of value of property for tax purposes.
2. A levy against property in addition to general taxes usually for improvements such as streets, sewers, etc.
A public official who evaluates property for the purpose of taxation.
36. Assessor’s Parcel Number – A.P.N.
An arbitrary number given to each taxable parcel of land by the county for tax assessment purposes.
One who receives an assignment (pl. assigns).
A transfer to another of any property, real or personal, or of any rights or estates in said property. Common assignments are of Leases, Mortgages and Deeds of Trust but the general term encompasses all transfers of title.
39. Assignment of Rents Clause
A clause in a Trust Deed which gives the beneficiary the right to collect rents of the secured property in the event of a default.
40. Assignment of Rents and Agreement Not To Sell or Encumber Real Property
Outdated document which a creditor used to encumber a debtor’s real property. Does not carry non-judicial rights to sell.
One who makes an assignment.
42. Assumption of Deed of Trust (Assumption of Liability)
Agreement by a buyer to assume the liability under an existing note secured by a Mortgage or Deed of Trust. The lender usually must approve the debtor in order to release the existing debtor (usually the seller) from liability.
43. Assumption of Mortgage
An obligation undertaken by the purchaser of land to be personally liable for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage. As between the lender and the original borrower, the original borrower remains liable on the mortgage note.
44. Attorney in Fact
One who holds a power of attorney from another allowing him to execute legal documents such as deeds, mortgages, etc., on behalf of the grantor of the power.
45. Attorney's Opinion
A written opinion by an attorney that ownership of the particular parcel of land is as stated in his opinion.
An act of seizing persons or property by judicial order to bring them within the custody of the court. Most commonly the seizure of property to furnish security for a debt in connection with a pending action.
A sudden and substantial tearing away of land by water and the deposit of said land as an addition to the land of another owner. The original boundaries apply and ownership of the land in question remains in the original owner.
1. Balloon Loan
A short term mortgage, usually less than 10 years, that have some features of a fixed rate mortgage, but remaining balance to be paid in full, which may be accomplished by refinancing.
For example: A 10 year balloon loan for $150,000, amortized at a 30 year fixed rate loan at 6.5%, will have a balance of $128,112 that has to be paid off or refinanced at the end of the 10 year term.
2. Balloon Note
A note calling for periodic payments which are insufficient to fully amortize the face amount of the note prior to maturity so that a principal sum known as "balloon" is due at maturity.
Proceedings under federal bankruptcy statutes by which the property of a debtor is seized by the court and divided among his creditors. Voluntary bankruptcy is petitioned by the debtor, involuntary by the creditors.
4. Base Line
A survey line used in the government survey to establish township lines. The base line runs East and West through a principal meridian (line running North and South).
5. Beneficial Estate
An estate, the right to possession of which has been postponed, such as a devise under a will. More commonly, an estate, the legal ownership of which has not yet vested as under a land contract (an equitable estate).
6. Beneficial Interest
The equitable rather than legal ownership of property such as under a land contract.
1. One for whose benefit a trust is created.
2. In states in which Deeds of Trust are commonly used instead of Mortgages, the lender (mortgagee) is called the beneficiary.
8. Beneficiary’s Demand
Written instructions by a beneficiary under a Deed of Trust stating and demanding the amount necessary for issuance of a reconveyance whether a full or partial amount.
9. Beneficiary’s Statement
A statement by a lender under a Deed of Trust setting forth the pertinent information necessary to assume said Deed of Trust such as the unpaid balance, monthly payment and interest rate.
10. Binder of Commitment
An enforceable agreement that upon satisfaction of the requirements, which are, stated in the binder the insurer will issue the specified title insurance policy subject only to the exceptions stated in the binder. A binder sets forth status of title as of a particular date.
11. Blanket Deed of Trust
1. A Trust Deed covering more than one property of the trustor such as a Trust Deed covering all the lots of a builder subdivision.
2. A Trust Deed covering all real property of the trustor both present and future. When used in this meaning, it is also called a "general Deed of Trust".
In some states a part of a subdivision legal description such as Lot 1, Block 1, Tract 1.
13. Board of Equalization
State board charged with the duty to bring equitable uniformity to the various local property tax assessments.
1. An insurance agreement under which one party becomes surely to pay, within stated limits, financial loss caused to another by specified acts or defaults of a third party.
2. An interest bearing security evidencing a long-term debt, issued by a government or corporation, and sometimes secured by a lien on property.
15. Building (Restriction) Line or Setback
A line fixed at a certain distance from the front and/or sides of a lot or at a certain distance from a road or street, which line marks the boundary of the area within which no part of any building may project. This line may be established by a filed plat of subdivision, by restrictive covenants in deeds or leases. By building codes or by zoning ordinances.
16. Bureau of Land Management
The branch of government in change of surveying public lands.
1. CC&R’s – Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
A term used in some areas to describe the restrictive limitations which may be placed on property. In other areas simply called restrictions.
2. Certificate of Authenticity
Proof from the county seat that a person is authorized in that state as a notary public.
3. Certificate of Redemption
Evidence of redeeming (buying back) a property by the owner after losing it through a judicial sale. The time limit for redemption is set by statute.
4. Certificate of Sale
Certificate issued to the buyer at a judicial sale (such as a tax sale) which will entitle the buyer to a Deed upon confirmation of the sale by the court if the land is not redeemed within a specified time.
5. Certified Copy
A true copy attested to be true by the officer holding the original.
A term of land measurement being 66 feet in length.
7. Chain of Title
The chronological order of conveyance of a parcel of land from the original owner (usually the government) to the present owner.
8. Chains and Links – Measurements
In real estate measurements (surveying) a chain is 66 feet long or 100 links (each link being 7.92 inches). The measurement may change when used in fields other than surveying.
9. Chattel Mortgage
A lien on personal property (also called a Security Interest or Financing Statement).
10. Clear Title
One, which is not encumbered or burdened with defects.
11. Cloud on Title
An invalid encumbrance on real property, which if valid, would affect the rights of the owner. For example: "A" sells Lot 1, Tract 1 to "B". The Deed is mistakenly drawn to read Lot 2, Tract 1. A cloud is created on Lot 2 by the recording of the erroneous Deed. The cloud may be removed by Quitclaim Deed or if necessary by court action.
Often referred to as "settlement". The process of completing a real estate transaction during which deeds, mortgages, leases or other required instruments are signed or delivered. Additionally, the accounting between parties is made, monies disbursed and recording of all pertinent documents prepared.
Insurance in which more than one insurer shares a part of a single risk. Insurance with another of a risk. Coinsurance is usually affected by separate contracts of insurance by separate companies, each of which undertakes a fractional part of the whole risk.
Marketable real or personal property which a borrower pledges as security for a loan. In mortgage transactions, specific land is the collateral.
15. Color of Title
That which gives the appearance of good title but actually contains some defect. For example, a conveyance given without the grantor having good title.
16. Commercial Property
That which is designated by zoning ordinances as "commercial", not for residential use.
17. Commitment to Insure
A report issued by a title insurance company, or its agent, showing the condition of the title and committing the title insurance company to issue a form policy as designated in the commitment upon compliance with and satisfaction of requirements set forth in the commitment.
18. Common Area
The area owned in common by the owners of condominiums or planned unit development homes in a subdivision.
19. Community Property
Property owned in common by a husband and wife which has not acquired as separate property. A classification of property peculiar to certain states.
Properties used as comparisons to determine the value of a specific property.
Taking private property for public use through court proceedings.
In real property law some limiting restriction to a Grant or Conveyance of property stating that upon the happening or not happening or a stated event the estate shall be changed in some manner.
23. Conditional Sales Contract
A sale in which the title to property or goods remains with the seller until the purchaser has fulfilled the terms of the contract usually payment-in-full (see LAND CONTRACT).
24. Conditions and Restrictions
A common term used to designate the uses to which land may not be put and providing penalties for failure to comply. "Commonly used by land sub-dividers on newly plated areas.
A structure of two or more units in which the interior space of which are individually owned and the balance of the property (both land and building) is owned in common by the owners of the individual units. The size of each unit is measured from the interior surfaces (exclusive of paint or other finishes) of the exterior walls, floor and ceiling. The balance of the property is called the common area.
A person appointed by the court to protect and preserve the lands and property of an individual physically incapacitated or otherwise not able to handle his own affairs.
27. Constructive Notice
Notice given by publishing in a newspaper, recording or other method which legally notifies the parties involved but may not actually notify them.
28. Contingent Beneficiary
One who under the terms of a Will or Trust may or may not share in the estate upon the happening of an uncertain event. For example, "A" leaves property to "B" when "B" reaches age 30 stipulating that if "B" dies before age 30 the property goes to "C". "C" is the contingent beneficiary.
An agreement to sell and purchase under which title is withheld from the purchaser until such time as the required payments to the seller have been completed.
30. Controller’s Deed
A Deed issued by the state usually at the time property is sold due to tax delinquency.
The act of deeding or transferring title to another.
Transfer of title to land. Includes most instruments by which an interest in real estate is created, mortgaged or assigned.
A residential multi-unit building owned by and operated for the benefit of persons living within.
34. Corner Lot
A lot contiguous to two intersecting streets and for purposes of value having access to both streets.
Ownership of the same interest in a particular parcel of land by more than one person; e.g., tenancy in common, joint tenancy, tenancy by the entireties.
36. County Mortgage
A mortgage placed on property by the county to secure aid given to indigent persons. Usually paid upon sale of the property (also called Indigent Mortgage).
37. County Records
Public recorded documents by which notice is given of changes of title, liens and other matters affecting real estate.
Generally almost any written agreement. Most commonly in real estate, assurances set forth (express) in a Deed by the grantor or implied by law. For example, covenant against encumbrances, covenant, right-to-convey, etc.
One who is owed a debt.
40. Cul de Sac
The terminus of a street or alley. Usually laid out by modern engineers to provide a circular turnaround for vehicles. In French "the bottom of the sack."
41. Curbstone Appraisal
See DRIVE-BY APPRAISAL.
A complete title report issued within six months of the original report to the same customer.
3. D.B.A. – "Doing Business As"
An identification of the owner or owners of a business and the business name, not a partnership or corporation.
Money owing from one person to another.
One who owes a debt.
6. Declaration of Homestead
7. Declaration of Restrictions
A set of restrictions filed by a sub-divider to cover an entire tract or subdivision.
8. Declaration of Trust
A written acknowledgement by one holding legal title to property that the property is held in trust for the benefit of another.
9. Decree of Distribution
The final determination of the rights of heirs to receive the property of an estate.
The giving y an owner of private property for public use and the acceptance by the proper public authority. Most commonly the dedication by a builder of the streets in a subdivision.
Any one of many conveyance or financing instruments, but generally a conveyance instrument, given to pass fee title to property upon sale.
12. Deed of Reconveyance
13. Deed of Trust
An instrument used in many state in place of a mortgage. Property is transferred to a trustee by the borrower (trustor) in favor of the lender (beneficiary) and reconvened upon payment-in-full.
14. Deed Restrictions
Limitations on the use of property place in the conveyance Deed by the grantor which binds all future owners.
An omission or failure to perform a legal duty.
16. Default Judgment
A judgment entered against a party who fails to appear to defend against the action.
17. Defective Title
1. Title to a negotiable instrument obtained by fraud.
2. Title to real property which lacks some of the elements to transfer good title.
The person against whom a civil or criminal action is brought.
19. Deferred Payments
1. Payments to begin at a future time.
2. Installment payments.
20. Deficiency Judgment
The amount due on a note and mortgage if the foreclosure sale does not bring enough to cover the debt. The judgment is for the total amount and not for the deficiency.
21. Delayed Reconveyance
A reconveyance of a Deed of Trust which is issued and recorded after transfer of title and issuing of title insurance (not showing the Deed of Trust). Usually occurs when the lender is in another state and will not issue the reconveyance until paid-in-full.
The final and absolute transfer of a deed from seller to buyer in such a manner that it cannot be recalled by the seller. " A necessary requisite to the transfer of title."
A letter from a lender showing the amount due in order to pay off a Mortgage or Trust Deed.
A lease or conveyance for "life" or "years". Loosely used to describe any conveyance whether in fee for "life" or for "years".
25. Delinquent Taxes
See TAX DELINQUENCIES.
Real estate left by will.
27. Discount Points
The amount of money the borrower or seller must pay the lender to get a mortgage at a stated interest rate. This amount is equal to the difference between the principal balance on the not and the lesser amount, which a purchaser of the note would pay the original lender for it under market conditions. A point equals one percent of the loan.
28. Documentary Tax Stamps
Stamps affixed to a Deed showing the amount of transfer tax paid.
29. Documentary Transfer Tax
A state tax on the sale of real property based on the sale price or equity transferred being fifty-five cents for each five-hundred dollars of the taxable amount (also known as IRS tax).
30. Dominant Tenement
A parcel of land which benefits from an easement. For example, an easement exists over Parcel A for access to Parcel B. Parcel B is the dominant tenement and Parcel A is the servant tenement.
An estate for life to which a married woman by statute is entitled on the death of her husband owned during their marriage. Dower has been abolished by statue in some states. The reason for requiring a wife’s joining in the deed of any land by her husband is the release of her dower right.
32. Drive-By Appraisal
An appraisal in which the appraisers estimates the value of property from his knowledge of previous neighborhood sales comparison of the subject property to those sales and visual inspection of the outside of the house (also known as CURBSTONE APPRAISAL).
33. Due-on-Sale Clause
See ALIENATION CLAUSE.
Any building containing exactly two dwelling units. Most commonly refers to the units which are side-by-side with a common wall and roof.
1. Earnest Money
Advance payment of part of the purchase price to bind a contract for property.
A right created by grant, agreement, prescription or necessary implication which one has in the land of another. It is either for the benefit of land (appurtenant) such as right to cross "A" to get to "B" or "in gross" such as a public utility easement.
A term concerning a right to come and go across the land (public or private) of another. Usually part of the term ingress and egress.
4. Eminent Domain
A governmental right to acquire private property for public use by condemnation and the payment of just compensation.
Generally, construction onto the property of another as a wall, fence, building, etc.
A claim, lien, charge or liability attached to and binding real property. Any right to or interest in land which may exist in one other than the owner but which will not prevent the transfer of fee title.
7. Equitable Lien
A lien enforceable in a court of equity based on evidence of intent between debtor and creditor to create a lien on specific property of the debtor but a failure to legally create said lien.
8. Equitable Ownership or Title
Ownership by one who does not have legal title such as a vendee under a land contract, or technically a trustor under a Deed of Trust (legal title being in the trustee) (also called Equitable Title)).
The market value of real property less the amount of existing liens.
10. Equity Participation
A type of mortgage transaction in which the lender, in addition to receiving a fixed rate of interest on the loan, acquires an interest in the borrower’s land and shares in the profits derived from the land.
11. Equity of Redemption
The right to pay off the lien of a mortgage which is in default by payment of the principal interest and cost which are due. Often confused with the redemption period after the foreclosure sale which is a right established by statute.
A reversion of property to the state in the absence of an individual owner. Usually occurs when a property owner dies interstate without heirs.
Delivery of a Deed by a grantor to a third party for delivery to the grantee upon the happening of a contingent event. In some states all instruments necessary to the sale (including funds) are delivered to a third (neutral) party with instructions as to the delivery of the instruments.
The interest or nature of the interest which one has in property such as a life estate, the estate of a deceased, real estate, etc.
15. Estate for Life
See LIFE ESTATE.
16. Estate for Years
Any estate for a definite period of time, commonly a lease.
17. Et Al
18. Et Ux
19. Examination of Title
The interpretation of the record title to real property based on the title search or abstract.
In legal descriptions that portion of lands to be deleted or excluded. "The term is often used in a different sense to mean an objection to title or encumbrance on title."
21. Executor’s Deed
A deed, court approved, under which the grantor is an executor or one who is appointed under Will to carry out the terms of the Will. If female executor known as "Executrix Deed".
1. Fee Simple
An estate under which the owner is entitled to unrestricted powers to dispose of the property and which can be left by will or inherited (commonly a synonym for "ownership").
2. F.H.A. – Federal Housing Administration
A federal agency which insures first mortgages on residences enabling lenders to loan a very high percentage of the sale price.
3. FHLMC (Freddie Mac)
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, an affiliate of the Federal Home Loan Bank, which creates a secondary market in conventional residential loans and in FHA and VA loans by purchasing mortgages from members of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
4. Fictitious Deed of Trust
A Deed of Trust recorded by a trustee that discloses all the general terms and provisions contained in the Deed of Trust but does not relate to a specific transaction. It is used for reference only.
A person who bears a special relationship of trust, confidence and responsibility to others, such as a trustee or agent.
The delivery of real estate documents to a county/city recorder for recording.
7. Final Decree
A decree completely deciding all pending matters before a court and obviating the need for further litigation.
8. Final Judgment of Dissolution
A decree dissolving a marriage.
9. Financing Statement
A document prepared for filing with Register of Deeds or Secretary of State indicating that personal property or fixtures is encumbered with a debt.
10. First Mortgage
A mortgage having a priority first lien position over any other mortgage or lien on the same property.
Personal property which is attached to real property and is legally treated as real property while it is so attached. Fixtures not specifically excepted from an accepted offer to purchase or pass with the real estate.
12. FNMA – Federal National Mortgage Association – Fannie Mae
A private corporation dealing in the purchase of first mortgages at discounts.
A proceeding in or out of court to extinguish all right title and interest of the owner(s) of property in order to sell the property to satisfy a lien against it.
14. Free and Clear
Real property against which there are no liens especially voluntary liens (Trust Deeds).
An estate at least of duration of a lifetime, or of fee.
16. Full Appraisal
An appraisal which includes a full inspection of the property to ascertain a value.
17. Future Interest
A present interest but only a future right to possession and enjoyment of the land such as a remainder interest, reversionary interest, etc.
1. General Index – G.I.
A title insurance company term for the books used to find liens against individuals which may affect real property but which are not recorded against the property being insured such as liens against a buyer.
2. General Warranty Deed
A deed containing a covenant whereby the seller agrees to protect the buyer against being dispossessed because of any adverse claim against the land.
3. Gift Deed
A deed for nominal consideration.
4. GNMA (Ginnie Mae)
Government National Mortgage Association, a government corporation which provides a secondary market for housing mortgages and special assistance to mortgagee financing housing under special FHA mortgage insurance programs.
5. Government Lots
Irregular shaped parcels of land usually fronting on water which could not practically be divided into sections under government survey.
6. Government Survey
The survey from which our present system of townships, sections, etc. was developed.
To transfer an interest in real property either the fee or a lesser interest such as an easement.
8. Grant Deed
One of many types of Deeds used to transfer real property. Contains warranties against prior conveyances or encumbrances. When title insurance is purchased warranties in a Deed are of little practical significance.
One to whom a grant is made, generally the buyer.
One who grants property rights.
11. Guarantee of Title
A guaranty by an abstract company or title company that title is vested as shown on the guarantee. Backed only by the assets or reserves of the guarantor.
One appointed by the court to administer the affairs of an individual not capable of administering his own affairs.
One who might inherit or succeed to an interest in lands under the rules of law applicable where an individual dies without leaving a will.
2. Heirs and Assigns
Terminology used in deeds and wills to provide that the recipient receives a "fee simple estate" in lands rather than a lesser interest.
A Gap or space unintentionally left between, when attempting to describe adjacent parcels of land.
4. Holograph or Holographic Will
A will written and executed entirely in the handwriting of the testator.
5. Homeowners Tax Exemtion
A tax exemption given to property owners that use the property for their primary place of resident.
The dwelling (house and contiguous land) of the head of a family. Some states grant statutory exemptions protecting homestead property usually to a set maximum amount against the rights of creditors. Property tax exemptions for all or part of the tax are also available in some states. Statutory requirements to establish a homestead may include a formal declaration to be recorded.
A summary of the financial portion of the real estate transaction required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
1. Implied Warranties
The warranties inferred and not expressed in a Deed which uses the work "grant" to convey a fee estate.
Generally buildings but may include any permanent structure or other development such as a street, utilities, etc. (see ON-SITE IMPROVEMENTS and OFF-SITE
To secure against hurt, loss or damage to make compensation to for hurt, loss or damage.
4. Ingress and Egress
A right to enter upon and pass through land.
5. In Gross
Personal rather than attached to land. An easement in gross has no dominant tenement.
6. Inheritance Tax
A tax on the transfer of property from a deceased person based on the right to acquire the property rather than the property itself.
7. In RE
"In the matter of".
8. Installment Land Sales Contract
See LAND CONTRACT.
9. Installment Loan
A loan calling for payment of specified amounts or specified minimum amounts at specific intervals.
10. Institutional Lenders
Banks, savings and loan associations and other businesses other than individuals or companies that make loans infrequently to employees.
Any writing having legal form and significance such as a Deed, Mortgage, Will, Lease, etc.
12. Insurance of Title
Insurance as to whom owns a specified interest in designated real estate, and showing as exceptions to the insured interest the defects. Liens and encumbrances which exist as against that insured interest.
1. A share or right in some property.
2. Money charged for the use of money (principal).
14. Interlocutory Decree
A provisional or temporary decree pending some contingency before a final decree. Sometimes the contingency may be only the passage of time.
15. Interlocutory Decree of Dissolution
A temporary decree previous to the final decree of divorce. Not title transfer takes place until the final decree.
Without leaving a Will or leaving an invalid Will so that the property of the estate passes by the laws of succession rather than by direction of the deceased.
17. Involuntary Lien
A lien such as a tax lien, judgment lien, etc., which attaches to property without the consent of the owner rather than a mortgage lien to which the owner agrees.
1. Joint Tenancy
An interest taken by two or more joint tenants. The interest must be the same, accruing under the same conveyance, beginning at the same time and held under the same undivided right to possession. Upon the death of a joint tenant the interest passes to the surviving joint tenants without passing to the heirs of the deceased.
2. Judgment Lien
A lien against the real property of a judgment debtor; an involuntary lien.
3. Judgment or Jedgement
The decision of a court of law. Money judgments, when recorded, become a lien on real property of the defendant.
4. Judicial Sale
A sale made under court order by one court appointed rather than a voluntary sale by the owner or one appointed by the owner.
A general term which includes the ground and those things of a permanent nature such as trees, crops, oil and minerals in the ground unless specifically excepted.
2. Land Contract
An installment contract for the sale of land. The seller (vendor) has legal title until paid-in-full. The buyer (vendee) has equitable title during the contract term.
3. L.C.P. – Limited Coverage Policy
Offered by some title companies as al alternative to full coverage. Does not fully insure title but rather guarantees information.
An agreement by which an owner of real property (lessor) gives the right of possession to another (lessee) for a specified period of time (term) and for a specified consideration (rent).
An estate in realty held under a lease; an estate for a fixed term. Considered in many states to be personal property.
6. Legal Description
A method of geographically identifying a parcel of land which is acceptable in a court of law.
7. Legal Title
Usually title without ownership rights such as the title placed in a trustee under a Deed of Trust or the title in a vendor under a land contract.
8. Lender's Title Insurance
An insurance policy, which protects the lender against claims, and losses that may arise if the title is unmarketable or defective.
The party to whom a lease (the right to possession) is given in return for a consideration (rent).
The party (usually the owner) who gives the lease (right-to-possession) in return for a consideration (rent).
A collection, seizure, assessment, etc., such as a levy (assess and collect) taxes.
An encumbrance against property for money either voluntary or involuntary. All liens are encumbrances but all encumbrances are not liens.
13. Life Estate
An estate in real property for the life of a living person. The estate then reverts back to the grantor or on to a third party (remainder man).
In surveying a length of 7.92 inches.
15. Lis Pendens
A legal notice recorded to show pending litigation relating to real property and giving notice that anyone acquiring an interest in said property subsequent to the date of the notice may be bound by the outcome of the litigation.
16. Loan Policy
A title insurance policy insuring a mortgagee or beneficiary under a Deed of Trust against loss caused by invalid title in the borrower or loss or priority of the Mortgage or Deed of Trust.
17. Location Survey
Mortgage Location Surveys are normally required by the lender in order to obtain additional coverage against encroachments on the property.
Generally, any portion or parcel of real property. Usually refers to a portion of a subdivision.
19. Lot and Block Description
See RECORDED MAP.
20. Lot Book
An abstract of title showing all recorded instruments affecting title to a given piece of property.
21. Lot Split
The sale of a part of a pre-existing parcel of land. Lot splitting is generally regulated by local zoning ordinances.
The age at which a person is entitled to handle his own affairs.
2. Marketable Title
Title which can be readily marketed (sold) to a reasonably prudent purchaser aware of the facts and their legal meaning concerning liens and encumbrances.
3. Market Value
The highest price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller accept, both being fully informed, and the property exposed for a reasonable period of time. The market value may be different from the price a property can actually be sold for at a given time (market price).
4. Marshall’s Deed
See SHERIFF’S DEED.
5. Mechanic’s Lien
A lien created by statute for the purpose of securing priority of payment for the price or value of work performed and materials furnished in construction or repair of improvements to land and which attaches to the land as well as the improvements.
6. Merger of Title
A lesser interest in real property being merged (absorbed) into a greater interest. For example, a lessee purchases the property being leased. The interest as a lessee is merged into the interest as an owner thus ending the leasehold interest.
A circle or semi-circle around the Earth in a North and South direction always touching or passing through the poles. Used as a guide in surveying being placed twenty-four miles apart and running from a base line.
8. Mesne Assignment
Assignment from "A" to "B" to "C" to "D" would be described as passing from "A" by "mesne assignments" to "D".
9. Metes and Bounds
Description of land by boundary lines with their terminal points and angles. Originally, metes referred to distance, bounds to direction. Modernly, the words have no individual meaning of practical significance.
Data source used by title companies to find information about each parcel of real property in that county. Small photograph of records usually referenced by situs address, owner or tax parcel number.
11. Modification of Deed of Trust
A document that changes a term or terms within the body of the original Deed of Trust.
1. To hypothecate as security, real property for the payment of a debt. The borrower (mortgagor) retains possession and use of the property.
2. The instrument by which real estate is hypothecated as security for the re-payment of a loan.
The party who loans the money and receives the Mortgage.
The party who borrows the money and gives the Mortgage.
1. Non-judicial Foreclosure Sale
Sale by a trustee under a Deed of Trust or mortgagee under a power of sale of a Mortgage. There are not court (judicial) proceedings.
2. Notary Public
One who is authorized by the state or federal government to administer oaths and to attest to the authenticity of signatures. A federal authorization may extend the authority to the authenticity of certain documents and to act as a notary in foreign countries.
A unilateral agreement containing an express and absolute promise of the signer to pay to a named person, or order or bearer a definite sum of money at a specified date or on demand. Usually provides for interest and, concerning real property, is secured by a Mortgage or Trust Deed.
4. Notice of Action
A recorded notice that property may be subject to a lien or even that the title is defective due to pending litigation. Notice of a pending suit also called "LIS PENDENS".
5. Notice of Cessation
A notice stating that work has stopped on a construction project. Done to accelerate the period for filing a mechanic’s lien.
6. Notice of Completion
A notice recorded to show that a construction job is finished. The length of time in which mechanic’s liens may be filed depends upon when and if a Notice of Completion is recorded.
7. Notice of Default
A notice filed to show that the borrower under a Mortgage or Deed of Trust is in default (behind in payments).
8. Notice of Lis Pendens
See NOTICE OF ACTION.
9. Notice of Non-responsibility
A notice filed by an owner of property to show that work being done has not been contracted for by said owner. If properly done, mechanic’s liens will not attach to the property. Often done when a tenant contracts for work on property.
10. Notice of Rescission
A recorded notice to rescind a Notice of Default of a Mortgage or Deed of Trust.
11. Notice of Sub-Standard Property
A notice recorded by the county to indicate that owner of property has stated time to restore property to standard. If not done, the county will do it and assess the owner.
12. Notice of Trustee’s Sale
A notice recorded to show that a sale is to take place by a trustee under a Deed of Trust at auction pursuant to foreclosure proceedings.
1. Open-End Mortgage or Trust Deed
A mortgage or Trust Deed permitting the mortgagor to borrow additional money under the same mortgage with certain conditions usually as to the assets of the mortgagor.
A right which acts as a continuing offer given for consideration to purchase or lease property at an agreed upon price and terms within a specified time.
Rights to the use, employment and alienation of property to the exclusion of others. Concerning real property, absolute rights are rare being restricted by zoning laws, restrictions, liens, etc.
4. Owner’s Policy
Title insurance for the owner of property rather than a lien holder.
5. Owner's Title Insurance
A policy of title insurance usually insuring an owner of real estate against loss occasioned by defects in, liens against or other conditions rendering the owner's title to the property unmarketable.
A general term meaning any part of portion of land containing within a single description.
2. Partial Reconveyance
See PARTIAL RELEASE.
3. Partial Release
A release of a portion of property covered by a Mortgage. A sub divider will obtain a partial release as each lot is sold upon payment of an agreed amount. In areas where the sub divider is not usually the builder it may be necessary to sell groups of lots to obtain a partial release. In areas where Deeds of Trust are used instead of Mortgages a "Partial Reconveyance" is the document used.
Any division of real or persona property between co-owners resulting in individual ownership of the interests of each.
A document issued for the purpose of granting public lands to an individual.
6. Persona Property
Any property which is not designated by law as real property.
The party bringing a civil action against a defendant.
8. PLATT – PLAT MAP
A map dividing a parcel of land into lots as in a subdivision.
1% (one percent). When referring to Mortgages or Deeds of Trust, the term is used to describe the percentage of discount rather than interest (for which the word "percent" is used). The points are paid by the seller in F.H.A. and V.A. insured loans and by either buyer or seller (or both) in conventional loans.
10. Policy of Title Insurance
A contract indemnifying against loss resulting from a defect in title to the interest or lien in real property insured.
11. Power of Attorney
An authority by which one person (principal) enables another (attorney-in-fact) to act for him.
1. General Power authorizes sale, mortgaging, etc. of all property of the principal. Invalid in some jurisdictions.
2. Special Power specifies property, buyers, price and terms.
How specific it must be varies in each state.
12. Power of Sale
Clause in a Mortgage or Deed of Trust giving the mortgagee or trustee the power to sell the property in the event of default. There are laws which govern the sale which must be at public auction but there is no court action necessary (judicial foreclosure).
13. Preliminary Title Report
A report showing the condition of title before a sale or loan transaction. After completion of the transaction a title insurance policy is issued.
14. Prepayment Penalty
Penalty to the mortgagor for payment of the mortgage debt before if becomes due.
Amount of debt not including interest. The face value of a Note, Mortgage, etc.
That which comes first in time or importance. In regards to Liens, the time of recording establishes priority.
17. Promissory Note
A promise in writing and executed by the maker to pay a specified amount during a limited time, or on demand or at sight, to a named person, or on order, or to bearer.
Anything which is owned by someone. Property is classified a either real property or personal property.
19. Property Address
A way of naming a parcel of improved property. Place where mail or other communication reach a person.
20. Property Profile
A Property Profile is a description of your property showing ownership, real estate tax information, sales and loan information and comparables of similar properties.
21. PIF – Property in Question and OP – Other Property
Phrase used to designate that document referring to affects property in addition to the parcel in question that has been described by the specific legal description for the property address indicated on a report of title.
22. Property Tax
Generally a tax levied on both real and personal property. The amount of the tax is dependent on the value of the property.
23. Public Records
Usually at a county level, the records of all documents which are necessary to give notice. The records are available to the public. All transactions for real estate sales should be recorded.
24. Purchase Agreement
An agreement between a buyer and seller of real property setting forth the price and terms of the sale.
25. Purchase Money Trust Deed
A Deed of Trust given by the buyer to the seller as part of the purchase consideration as opposed to a hard money Deed of Trust.
1. Quiet Title
See ACTION TO QUIET TITLE.
2. Quitclaim Deed
A deed operating as a release intended to pass any title, interest or claim which the grantor may have in the property but not containing any warranty of a valid interest or title in the grantor.
A division of a state in the government survey being a six-mile wide row of townships running North and South and used in legal descriptions.
2. Real Estate
1. Land and anything permanently affixed to the land such as buildings, fences and those things attached to the buildings such as light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures or other such items which would be personal property if not attached. The term is generally synonymous with real property although in some states a find distinction may be made.
2. May refer to rights in real property, as well as the property itself.
3. Real Property
See REAL ESTATE.
An instrument used to transfer title from a trustee to the equitable owner of real estate. When title is held as collateral security for a debt. Most commonly used upon payment in full of a Trust Deed. Also called a Deed of Re-conveyance or Release.
5. Record Title
The aspects of title, which appear in the public records, as distinguished from unrecorded title aspects and interests.
6. Recorded Map
A map recorded in a county recorder’s office. May be a subdivision map or describe a non-subdivided parcel. Reference to a recorded map is commonly used in legal descriptions.
7. Recorder’s Office
The governmental office where instruments are recorded giving public notice.
Filing documents affecting real property as a matter of public record giving notice to future purchasers, creditors or other interest parties. Recording is controlled by stature and usually requires the witnessing and notarizing of an instrument to be recorded.
The process of canceling a defeasible title to land such as is created by a mortgage foreclosure or tax sale.
10. Redemption Period
A time period during which a Mortgage, Land Contract, Deed of Trust, etc. can be redeemed. Usually set by statute and after judicial foreclosure.
The act of an insurer transferring a portion of the risk to other insurers. The original insurer is sole insurer for a portion of the risk and shares the risk in the excess amount with the re-insurers. The first portion of the loss risk retained by the ceding company as its sole liability is called the "primary liability."
12. Re-issue Rate
A reduced rate of title insurance premium applicable in cases where the owner of the land has been previously insured in an owner’s policy by the insurer within a certain time.
An instrument releasing property from the lien of the Mortgage, Judgment, etc. When a Trust Deed is used the instrument is called a reconveyance. In some areas a "discharge" is used instead of a release.
14. Release Clause
A clause in a blanket encumbrance allowing for the "release" of certain parcels upon payment of a specified amount. For example, a builder mortgages an entire subdivision under one loan. As he sells each house the lender releases the lien upon that house upon a specified payment by the builder.
1. An estate which vests in one other than a grantor after the termination of an intermediate estate. For example, "A" grants land to "B" for life then the remainder to "C", his heirs or assigns. If "A" grants to "B" for life then back to "A" it is not a remainder but reversion.
2. The portion of a property remaining after a taking under eminent domain.
16. Release of Inheritance Tax Lien
Document recorded most often when right of survivorship exists thus giving notice that the property is not inherited. Therefore no lien can be place on the property.
An interest or estate in land in a person other than the grantor in which the right of possession and enjoyment of the land is postponed until the termination of some other interest or estate in that land.
18. Request for Notice of Default
A recorded request by a mortgagee or beneficiary under a Deed of Trust for notification of a recorded Notice of Default on a prior lien.
19. Request for Reconveyance
A request by a beneficiary under a Deed of Trust to the trustee requesting the trustee to reconvey the property (release the lien) to the trustor usually upon payment-in-full.
Immediately after registering, you will receive an automatically generated email confirming that you elected to receive email notices whenever documents are recorded against the entered BBL. If you do not receive this email within 15 minutes, please verify that you entered the correct email address. If the email address that you entered (per the confirmation screen) is incorrect, you should re-register to receive notice using the correct email address. If you had used the correct email address, please check your junk mail as the antispam and email filtering you may be running can potentially cause these emails to arrive in your junk email folder. To prevent future emails from doing the same, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list. If the email address that you entered is correct and the email is not in your junk email folder, you should call 311.
If you requested registration of notification for a BBL, then starting the day of the registration you will be notified via email when any deed, deed-related document, mortgage, or mortgage-related document is recorded against that BBL. The email will contain a reference to the document(s) recorded the previous day.
If you register by submitting a completed "Notice by Mail of Recorded Document" application, you will receive a confirmation of your registration by mail and receive notices by mail whenever documents are recorded against the entered BBL. If you do not receive the confirmation within two weeks, you should call 311.