Glossary

LAWYER IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

A

ABSTRACT OF TITLE

A summary of the public records affecting the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title insurance company officer creates the abstract of title by examining all recorded instruments (documents) relating to a specific piece of property, such as easements, liens, mortgages, etc.

ABUT

To touch or border upon. For example, a piece of land extending over a street or an adjoining property is said to abut such street or property.

ACCRETION

The act of adding portions of soil to the portions of soil already in possession of the owner by gradual deposition of natural causes.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

A formal declaration, admission or affirmation before a notary public or other qualified official, by the person signing a document that the person is doing so voluntarily and using his or her legal name and signature; popularly called notarizing.

ACT OF GOD [PROVIDENCE]

Manifestation of the forces of nature which are unpredictable and difficult to anticipate; the result of direct, immediate and exclusive operation of the forces of nature, uncontrolled or uninfluenced by the power of man and without human intervention, which is of such character that could not have been prevented or avoided by foresight or prudence. Example include lightning, earthquakes, and sudden illness or death of a person.

ACTUAL NOTICE

Information delivered in such a way providing legally sufficient assurance that actual knowledge of the matter is conveyed to the recipient. For example, delivery my mail.

ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES

The management and settlement of an estate of the testator (deceased).

ADVERSE POSSESSION

Acquisition of title to real property through continued occupation over a period of time (usually five years); title acquired in this way is not considered marketable until established by court proceedings against the owner of record.

ADJUSTABLE RATE LOAN OR ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE (ARM)

A loan with an interest rate that changes during the term of the loan. The loan payments generally increase or decrease with the change in the interest Rate. The interest Rate is based on one of several “index” options.

AFFIDAVIT

A written statement or declaration that is sworn to or affirmed before a person who has the authority to administer such oath or affirmation.

AGREEMENT

A legally binding contract made between two or more persons.

ALLODIAL TENURE

The absolute ownership of real estate which is subject to inheritance by the owner’s heirs or to disposition by the owner as he sees fit, as contrasted with the feudal system of ownership. Allodial tenure is characteristic of ownership in the United States.

ALTA

American Land Title Association.

ALTA Title Insurance Policy

American Land Title Association combination of various policies and endorsements that lenders usually require when making a loan; expands normal coverage to include unrecorded mechanic’s liens, unrecorded physical easements, facts not revealed by a physical survey, water and mineral rights, and the right of parties in possession such as buyers who have recorded claims and tenants.

ALLUVION

The increasing of land, especially along river banks, caused by the natural deposits and build- up of sediment. Such sediment is called alluvion.

AMORTIZE (DEBT)

A Payoff of debt in installments which includes both principal and interest over a certain term.

AMOUNT FINANCED

A required Truth in Lending Act disclosure for consumer loans. It is calculated by starting with the full amount borrowed (principal) and subtracting out the dollar amount of prepaid finance charges (finance charges the borrower is paying in advance).

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR)

A required Truth in Lending Act disclosure for consumer loans. It is a calculation of the cost of credit as a yearly rate and shown as a percentage. It is often higher than the interest rate because it incorporates prepaid finance charges that are not interest.

APPLICATION FEE

A fee charged by the lender or broker for the loan application.

APPRAISAL

A report that estimates the value of real estate.

ADVERSE INTEREST

Against the interest of some other person, usually so as to benefit one’s own interest.

ADVERSE PARTY

The party on the opposite side of litigation. For example, a Plaintiff and a Defendant.

ADVERSE POSSESION

A method of acquiring complete title to land against all others, including the record owner, through certain acts over an uninterrupted period of time as prescribed by statute.

ADVISORY OPINION

A formal opinion by judge, court, or law officer upon questions of law submitted by a legislative body, governmental official, or other interested party, but not actually presented in an adversarial proceeding.

APPRAISER

A person typically hired by a lender to provide an appraisal on the subject real property.

APPURTENANCE

Anything incidental or belonging to land that might be considered part of the property, such as an improvement or an easement for ingress and egress.

APPURTENANT

Belonging to.

ARBITRATION

A privately conducted trial to resolve a dispute agreed upon by both parties typically in writing prior to such dispute arising. Arbitration can be binding (in which case there is no appeal), or non-binding, in which an appeal may be permitted.

ARBITRARIES

“ARBS” a word used in the title industry which refers to simplified forms of land descriptions arbitrarily used in indexing in title plans in lieu of the more involved and complex descriptions contained in deeds, mortgages, and other real estate instruments.

ASSESSED VALUATION

Value placed on property by the county assessor as a basis for computing property taxes.

ASSESSMENT BOND

An obligation to pay for costs of local improvements such as sidewalks, sewers, or street lighting.

ASSIGNEE

The person who receives ownership of a contract by transfer by another (Assignor).

ASSIGNMENT

A transfer in writing of one’s interest in something, as to assign an interest in a promissory note and deed of trust.

ATTACH

The act of a sheriff or other court officer in taking possession of a person or property under the authority and direction of a writ or order issued by a court.

ATTORNEY IN FACT

One who holds a power of attorney (Grantee) for another (Grantor) allowing him or her to

execute legal documents and perform other powers on behalf of Grantor.

ATTORNEY’S OPINION

The written statement of an attorney setting forth what he believes to be the condition of a real estate title.

AVULSION

A change or shift in a water boundary resulting in loss of land by an owner and the acquiring of such land by another.

AZTEC RECOGNITION AGREEMENT

An agreement a bank draws up to give its lien first priority over the co-op’s lien in case the shareholder defaults. Also, the co-op corporation promises to notify the lender if the owner fails to pay maintenance or other fees to the co-op.

B

BACK TITLE LETTER

Also called “Back Title Certificate” in some areas, and “Starter” in others. When title has been previously examined up to a certain date by reliable examiners, title companies sometimes give subsequent examiners of such titles a letter which sets forth the condition of the title at the time of the previous examination and authorizes them to begin their subsequent examination with the terminal date of the previous examination.

BALANCE SHEET

A financial statement that gives an accounting picture or property owned by a company and of claims against the property on a specific date. Generally, a summation of assets is listed on one side and liabilities are listed on the other side. Both sides are always in balance.

BALLOON PAYMENT

A scheduled payment due at the end of a loan term that is substantially greater than the regular monthly payments. This may be a very large payment. It is designed to occur when the regular payments do not pay off all interest and principal owing (not fully amortized) on the loan over the term of the loan.

BARGAIN AND SALE DEED

Also called “Fee Simple Deed.” A deed of conveyance which presumes that the grantor holds title, but which makes no warranty with respect to the title.

BARTER

The exchange of goods or services without using money.

BENEFICIARY

A person who is entitled to receive funds or property under the terms and provisions of a will, codicil, trust, or insurance policy.

BEQUEATH

Gifting personal property by means of a will, which distinguishes it from devise, which is a gift of real property.

BILL OF SALE

The instrument by which title to personal property (not real property) is transferred.

BINDER

Written confirmation of insurance coverage provided by an insurer prior to issuance of the actual policy.

BOND

A written promise to pay to the bearer or owner a stated sum of money at a specified time, with interest usually represented by interest coupons attached to the bond. Also, a written commitment assuring the payment of a stipulated sum of money. A certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation guaranteeing payment to bearer of a specified sum of money plus interest on a specified future date.

BOOK AND PAGE

The location of a recorded document in an office of records referenced by separate book number and page number and within that book, documents are listed chronologically and alphanumerically. Frequently replaced by document number or official record.

BORROWER

A person who receives funds in the form of a loan with the obligation to repay the loan in full.

BROKER AGREEMENT (MORTGAGE BROKER AGREEMENT)

A contract between a borrower and a mortgage broker. It describes what the broker will do for the borrower and the terms of the agreement including compensation.

BROKER COMPENSATION OR FEE

The amount of money the broker will receive for finding a loan for a borrower. This may be an amount paid by the borrower, an amount paid by the lender or a combination of the two.

BUNDLE OF RIGHTS

A framework designed to help understand the concept of liens, encumbrances, and rights in title to real estate and how they are separate but interrelated.

C

CASH-OUT REFINANCING LOAN

A loan that refinances a prior mortgage and that provides additional cash to the borrower.

CAUSE OF ACTION

A claim in law asserting facts that give a person a right to judicial relief.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

Let the buyer beware. Expresses the rule of law that the purchaser buys at his own risk.

CEASE AND DESIST ORDER

An order of court or other body having judicial authority prohibiting the person or entity to which it is directed from undertaking or continuing a particular activity or course of conduct.

CERTIFICATE OF TITLE

Written opinion by an attorney that ownership of a particular property is as stated in his or her certificate.

CHAIN OF TITLE

The history of ownership of a parcel of real estate; each deed or other instrument transferring the title is called a link and these links make up the chain of title.

CHATTEL

Personal tangible property.

CHATTEL MORTGAGE

A conveyance of some present legal or equitable right in personal property, as security for the payment of money, or for the performance of some other act.

CLAIM

A right to assert a demand for payment of money due; or the surrender or delivery of possession of property or the recognition of some right.

CLEAR TITLE

Title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property.

CLOSER

An attorney or other person responsible for orchestrating a closing, often including drafting legal documents, receipting and explaining documents, handling funds, and meeting terms of the purchase agreement, lender requirements, and Title Company.

CLOSING

In some areas called “settlement” or “escrow.” Process of completing a real estate transaction during which deeds, mortgages, leases and other required instruments are signed and/or delivered, an accounting between the parties is made, the money is disbursed, the papers are recorded, and all other details such as payment of outstanding liens and transfer of hazard insurance policies are attended to.

CLOSING COSTS

A general term to describe the fees that a borrower will pay at closing. Sometimes called “settlement fees.”

CLOUD ON TITLE

An irregularity, possible claim, or encumbrance which if valid would adversely affect or impair the title.

CODICIL

A supplement to a will; an instrument of a testamentary nature, the purpose of which is to change or alter an already executed will by adding to and enlarging, subtracting from and restricting, or qualifying, modifying, or revoking the provisions of a prior existing will.

COMMITMENT OF TITLE

Similar to preliminary title report; guarantees that a title company will issue title insurance.

COMMON AREA

All the areas in a condominium or planned unit development that are not specifically reserved for the individual owners; includes walkways, parking lots, and yards.

COMPETENT

Legally qualified.

CONCURRENT ESCROW

Occurring simultaneously, at the same time; real estate exchanges often must be recorded concurrently.

CONDEMNATION

The taking of private property for public use.

CONDITIONS

Specifications detailed in a deed; they may cover such things as setbacks, types of dwellings, etc.

COMPLAINT

In a civil action, the first pleading of the plaintiff setting out the facts on which the claim for judicial relief is based.

CONFIRMATION OF SALE

Court approval of the sale of property by an executor, administrator, guardian, or conservator.

CONFORMING LOANS

Loans which conform to Fannie Mae guidelines.

CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE

Notice given to the general public by the county records.

CONTIGUOUS

Being in actual contact; adjoining or touching.

CONTRACT

A promise, or set of promises, for breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law recognizes a duty.

CONTRACT FOR DEED- (LAND CONTRACT)

An agreement to sell and purchase under which the legal title is withheld from the purchaser until such time as the required payments to the seller have been completed.

CONVEYANCE

The transfer of title to property from one person to another.

CO-OP

A unit in a large building operating as a cooperative corporation. Individual units are leased exclusively to purchasers. Buyers are issued shares in the corporation rather than receiving a deed to the property. Special restrictions limit the terms of purchase and use of the unit.

COPYRIGHT

The protection of the works of artists and authors giving them the exclusive rights to publish their works or determine who may so publish.

COUNTY ASSESSOR

One who sets value of property for taxation purposes.

COUNTY RECORDS

A system for recording documents in permanent books or records at the county court house; maintained by each county and provided by law. Open to public examination.

CO- TENANCY

Ownership shared by more than one person; tenancy in common and joint tenancy are both co- tenancy arrangements.

COUTERCLAIM

A counter-demand made by defendant against the plaintiff. It is not a mere answer or denial of plaintiff’s allegations, but rather asserts an independent cause of action.

COURIER FEE

This is a fee that may be charged to send documents or payments by courier, messenger or overnight mail service to various parties involved in the loan transaction.

COVENANT

An agreement or promise to do or not to do a particular thing; to enter into a formal agreement; to bind oneself in contract.

COVENANT NOT TO COMPETE

A contractual term or condition by which a party promises to refrain from conducting business or professional activities of a nature similar to those of the party in contract.

CREDIT REPORT

This is a report which is generated by a credit reporting agency (such as Trans Union, Experian or Equifax). It is supposed to show accurately the history of your on-time and late payments on mortgages, credit cards, rent, utilities, and other debts. It may also show how much you owe on your various debts and whether you have taken the maximum amount of credit available to you through credit card borrowing. Your credit reports are used, with other information, to generate a credit score that is supposed to reflect how good a credit risk you are.

COVENANT

A formal agreement or contract between two parties in which one party gives the other certain promises and assurances, such as covenants of warranty in a warranty deed.

COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, AND RESTRICTIONS

Often associated with condominium documents. Limitations sometimes put on the use and enjoyment of real property. This is done by agreements contained in deeds and other documents.

CREDIT SCORE

This is a number that is supposed to show the lender how likely you are to repay a loan– whether you are a good or poor credit risk. This score can be a very big factor in determining whether you will get a loan, from whom, and what interest rate and fees you will be charged for your loan. The score is generated by a mathematical formula that considers your credit reports and other factors. It may also be referred to as FICO score (Fair Isaac Company) or Beacon score or some other name-these are companies that create credit scores.

CURTESY

A right which a husband has in his wife’s property at her death. It does not prevail in all states.

CUT OUT

The term applied when a parcel or a portion of the property is taken or “cut-out” from a larger parcel on an arbitrary map.

D

DECREE OF DISTRIBUTION

The final declaration of the rights of heirs to receive the property of an estate.

DEDICATION

The setting aside of certain land by the owner and declaring it to be for some public use, accompanied by the acceptance of such use by the public. For example: streets, sidewalks, or parks.

DEED

A written document that transfers title to property; there are several different types; a warranty deed, the most common, warranting clear title; a gift deed is used to make a gift of property; a quitclaim deed is used to transfer an interest owned in a property and contains no warranties; a tax deed is used to convey title held by the state, and a deed of reconveyance is used to convey legal title back to the borrower from the trustee.

DEED OF RECONVEYANCE

A legal instrument that conveys title from a trustee back to the borrower under a mortgage once the mortgage has been paid off.

DEED OF TRUST

Security for a property loan; deed the property to a third party (trustee to hold until the loan is paid).

DEED RESTRICTION

A restriction contained in a deed which limits the use or occupancy of the real estate or the type, size, purpose, and location of improvements to be constructed on it.

DEFAULT

Failure to make good on a promise, such as failure to make payments on a note or to live up to the terms of a contract.

DEFECT

A blemish, imperfection or deficiency. A defective title is one that is irregular and faulty.

DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT

A personal judgment in a foreclosure action for whatever amount remains owing after the foreclosure sale of an encumbered property.

DESCRIPTION

A reference to certain maps, plats, and other instruments that are recorded with the county and serve to make property identification.

DEPOSITION

A method of pre-trail discovery which consists of a statement of a witness under oath, taken in question and answer form as it would be in court, with opportunity given to the adversary to be present and cross-examine, with all this reported and transcribed by a court reporter.

DEVISE

Granting real property by will; a devisee is the beneficiary to whom the property is willed and the devisor (more commonly called the testator) is the deceased person through whom the property is devised.

DISPOSSESS

To deprive one of their possession and use of real estate.

DIVEST

To deprive or take away a right or title.

DOCUMENT PREPARATION FEE

An amount of money that you may be charged by the lender for the preparation of mortgage loan documents. This charge will be shown on the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

DOCUMENTARY STAMPS

Tax applicable to property transfers and affixed to the grant deed; varies by county, and city; sometimes called a transfer tax.

DOMINANT ESTATE

The property for the benefit of which a right-of-way easement exists across another’s adjoining piece of land is said to be the dominant estate. The land across which the easement runs is said to be the servient estate.

DOWER

A right which a wife has in her husband’s property effective at the time of his death.

E

EASEMENT

A right of one person to make limited use of another’s property, for example, the right to cross a property and maintain a road or right-of-way to install and maintain public utility services.

EASEMENT APPURTENANT

Created for the benefit of a parcel of land; belong with the land.

EASEMENT IN GROSS

An easement that is not appurtenant to any one parcel; for example, public utility easement.

EGRESS

A means for departing from one’s own property without trespassing on another person’s property, as applied to an easement.

EJECTMENT

A legal action brought by one claiming a right to possess real property against another who possesses the premises adversely or who is a holdover tenant who remains beyond that termination of a lease but who is not merely a trespasser.

EMINENT DOMAIN

The government’s right to acquire private property for public, or quasi-public use through condemnation; requires full compensation.

ENCROACHMENT

Extension of an improvement onto the land of another.

ENDORSEMENT

Addition to or modification of a title insurance policy, which expands or changes the coverage of the policy, fulfilling specific requirements of the insured.

EQUITABLE RIGHTS

Rights established primarily by court decisions based upon principles of fairness, honesty, justness and morality, and not upon enacted law or common law.

EQUITABLE TITLE

Title of the purchaser under a contract of sale or the right to acquire the legal title.

EROSION

The depletion of land surfaces by forces of nature such as wind and water.

ESCHEAT

The government’s right to take property when someone dies with intestate and no heirs.

ESTATE

The degree, quantity, nature and extent of a person’s ownership interest in a property.

TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY

An estate or interest in real estate predicated upon the legal fiction that a husband and wife are one person. A conveyance or devise to them vest title in them as one person. Upon the death of either husband or wife, full title passes to the survivor.

ESTOPPEL

A legal restraint which stops or prevents a person from contradicting or reneging on his previous position or previous assertions or commitments.

ET AL

And others.

ET UX

Abbreviations of Latin “et uxor” meaning “and wife.”

ET VIR

A Latin term meaning “and husband.”

EVICTION

An actual expulsion of the tenant out of all or some part of the leased premises and involving a physical ouster or dispossession from the very thing granted.

EQUITY

Although you have full fee simple title in your entire home, your equity in your home increases or decreases over time depending upon decreasing or increasing the indebtedness secured by your home and the increase or decrease in your home’s market value. You can calculate your equity by taking the market value of your home and subtracting out the debt that is secured by your home. For example, if your house is worth $150,000 and you owe $65,000 on a first mortgage and $15,000 on a home equity line of credit. You would take $150,000 – $80,000 (65,000 + 15,000) to arrive at $70,000 in equity.

EXAMINER

The title examiner.

EXECUTE

To give validity by signing documents so that an intention may be completed.

EXECUTOR

The personal representative named in a will to carry out the provisions of the will.

EXPERT WITNESS

A witness having special knowledge of the subject about which he is to testify.

F

FEES (MORTGAGE)

This is money you pay or is charged to you up front to get a mortgage loan. You may pay fees in cash or finance them (or a portion of them) as part of the loan. If you finance fees, your loan balance will increase, and your equity will be lower. The fees appear on the Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 Settlement Statement. Many of these fees are negotiable or can be reduced if you shop around.

FEE SIMPLE

The greatest interest one may hold in real property; usually means ordinary ownership of real estate and is sometimes called fee title.

FICO

Credit scores calculated by Fair Isaac Company are often referred to as FICO normally an average of credit scores taken by 3 national credit bureaus.

FIDUCIARY

Someone entrusted with financial responsibility and duty of trust in someone else’s behalf.

FILING (REAL ESTATE)

Relates to the delivery of real estate instruments to a county recorder for recordings.

FILE AND USE

Title insurers in most states file rate schedules, policy forms, and endorsement forms with the state insurance department. They may then use those rates and forms after a specified waiting interval; these filed rates are mandatory.

FINANCE CHARGE

The finance charge is a disclosure that appears on the Truth in Lending Act Disclosure Statement. It is intended to show the cost of your loan as a dollar amount. It includes (1) interest that will be charged over the life of the loan and (2) some up-front fees (prepaid finance charges). Prepaid finance charges include such items as mortgage broker fees, lender fees, points, and some closing agent fees. Any closing fees that are unreasonably high should also be included. You may also be required to pay other fees that will not be included in the finance charge.

FINANCE COMPANIES

These are companies that make loans which are generally at higher rates than are available from banks or credit unions.

FIRST MORTGAGE

A mortgage having priority as a lien over any other mortgage or lien on the same property.

FIXED RATE LOAN

A loan where the interest rate does not change during the term of the loan.

FIXTURE

Personal property which is permanently attached to real estate such as plumbing fixtures.

FLOOD CERTIFICATION FEE

A fee charged to determine if the property lies in a flood zone and whether flood insurance is required.

FORECLOSURE

The legal procedure by which a lender holding a mortgage on your house forces a sale of your house to obtain repayment of your loan. Foreclosure proceedings are typically started by a lender when you do not pay your loan on time. It might also be started if you fail to pay property taxes or insurance or keep other promises.

FOREIGN NATIONAL

Term used to describe a person who is not a citizen of the country in which they may be visiting or residing. Used for U.S. taxation purposes to mean someone who is not a U.S.

citizen.

FORFEITURE OF TITLE

Common penalty for the violation of conditions or restrictions imposed by the seller upon the buyer in a deed or other proper document.

FORGERY

The fraudulent signing of another’s name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check.

FREEHOLD

A life estate or a fee simple estate.

FRONT END RATIO

A ratio used in Fannie Mae mortgages which indicates a borrower’s ability to make mortgage payments. It is calculated as an individual’s monthly housing expenses divided by monthly gross income and is expressed as a percentage. Lenders use the front-end ratio in conjunction with the back-end ratio to approve mortgages.

FRONT FOOT

A unit of measurement, one foot in length, along the front boundary line of a piece of property which measurement, when assigned a dollar value, is a factor in determining the total value or sale price of the tract.

FULLY AMORTIZING

This describes a loan where the balance owed at the scheduled end of the loan is zero if all regular monthly payments are made as scheduled.

G

GENERAL PLAN RESTRICTIONS

Restrictions on the use of property imposed for the benefit of more than one parcel of property, usually a tract containing many lots.

GENERAL INDEX

An index (kept in the plant) of all matters affecting persons or corporations and their rights to do business and all matters of a general nature which cannot be entered on the Lot Books because no specific property is mentioned.

GENERAL LIEN

A lien filed against the name of an individual or corporation that attaches to all properties owned by the individual, both real and personal.

GENERAL WARRANTY

A warranty provision in a deed, mortgage, or other real estate instrument containing all of the common law items of warranty.

GIFT DEED

A deed granted out “of love and affection” rather than any material consideration.

GOOD FAITH

A total absence to seek an unfair advantage or to defraud another party; an honest and sincere intention to fulfill one’s obligations.

GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE

This document lists the estimated fees you will have to pay to get the loan. It also identifies who is expected to provide services and receive fees in connection with your loan, such as credit bureaus, appraisers, and closing agents.

GOVERNMENT RECORDING FEES AND TAXES

Fees and taxes required to be paid to the local government where your mortgage documents are filed.

GRACE PERIOD

In general, any period specified in a contract during which payment is permitted without penalty and beyond the due date of the debt.

GRANT

To convey title of property by means of a deed; a grantor conveys a property to a grantee.

GRANTEE

One to whom a grant is made.

GRANTOR

A person who transfers by a written instrument an interest in land.

GUARANTOR

One who guarantees satisfaction of a debt of another person or entity.

GUARANTEE

An agreement in which a guarantor guarantees the satisfaction of a debt of another person or entity.

GUARDIAN

A person who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of one who is legally incompetent to manage his own affairs.

H

HABENDUM CLAUSE

The provision in a deed which begins with the words “to have and to hold” and which, in effect, defines the quality of the estate or interest which is being conveyed to the grantee.

HEIR

A person who inherits or who is entitled to inherit property or assets of a deceased under the provisions of the testator’s will or by intestate succession (without a will).

HEREDITAMENTS

Any kind of estate, interest, or rights in real estate which can be inherited.

HIATUS

A separation, gap, or unaccounted for area. For example, a strip of land between two tracts where the two tracts do not adjoin because of faulty descriptions.

HOME EQUITY LOAN

A loan made to a current homeowner that is secured by the equity in the home.

HOMEOWNER’S ENDORSEMENT

An addition to a policy of title insurance that extends the normal policy to cover items other than those stated in the standard policy. This may include such items as mineral rights and mechanic’s liens.

HOMEOWNER’S/HAZARD INSURANCE

Homeowner’s or Hazard Insurance is insurance required to protect the mortgage lender against possible damage to your home. It can also protect the borrower. A borrower must obtain this insurance and bring proof of its existence to the loan closing.

HOMESTEAD

Property designated by the head of a family as his principal residence, which is protected by law from forced sale to pay debts. Land claimed by a settler under the National Homestead Act.

HYPOTHECATE

To give a thing as security without giving up possession.

HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD SPECIAL INFORMATION BOOKLET

This is a booklet published by HUD that describes important terms and provides information about the home buying and mortgage loan process.

HUD-1

Also called a “Settlement Statement” of all costs and fees in your closing.

I

IMPLIED

Presumed or inferred, rather than expressed.

IMPROVEMENT LIENS

Liens imposed by municipalities on real estate which have been directly benefited by municipal improvements such as the construction of streets, sidewalks, and sewer lines. Such liens secure payment of the proportionate costs of such improvements.

INCHOATE

Immature or not fully developed. An inchoate right of dower held by a wife matures and becomes exercisable only upon the death of her husband.

INDEMNIFY

To agree to make payments for a loss. To hold harmless from liability.

INDEMNITY

Insurance against possible loss, damage or liability. A policy of title insurance is a contract of indemnity.

INDENTURE

A deed or other real estate contract executed between two or more parties.

INDEX

An alphabetical listing in the public records of names of parties to recorded real estate instruments together with the book and page number of the record. The listing in abstract and title plants of recorded real estate instruments in groups according to land descriptions known as a geographic index. The alphabetical listing in abstract and title plants by names of the parties of all recorded real estate instruments, such as judgments, powers of attorney, will and probate proceedings. Such indexes are known by various names such as General Index, Judgment Index, and Name Index.

INDORSEMENT

The act of signing one’s name on the back of a check or other negotiable instrument, with or without further qualification.

INFLATION ENDORSEMENT

Coverage that may be added to the standard owner’s policy of title insurance; it adjusts the amount of coverage according to the cost-of-living index.

INGRESS

A means for entering one’s own property without trespassing on another person’s property, as applied to an easement.

IN GROSS

An easement created for the benefit of an individual apart from the ownership of the land; a public utility easement is one example. It is not assignable or inheritable.

INSTALLMENT NOTE

A note which provides that payments of a certain sum or amount be paid in more than one payment (installments) on the dates specified in the instrument.

INSTALLMENT CONTRACT

A contract in which the obligation of one or more of the parties—such as an obligation to pay money, deliver goods, or render services—is divided into a series of successive performances.

INSTALLMENT SALE

Also known as an agreement of sale or a land contract. This is a method of reporting capital gains by installments for successive tax years to minimize the impact of capital gains tax in the year of the sale.

INSTITUTIONAL LENDER

A lender which makes a substantial number of real estate loans, such as banks, savings and loan associations, and insurance companies.

INTEREST RATE

Cost of borrowing money expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed.

INTRODUCTORY RATE

Some loans have a lower introductory interest rate, which is in effect for a limited time. At the end of the introductory period, the interest rate will increase. It is also known as a “teaser rate.”

INSTRUMENT

A written legal document such as a contract, a promissory note, a deed, or a grant.

INSURABLE TITLE

A property title that a title insurance company is willing to insure.

INSURED CLOSING LETTER

A letter issued by a title underwriter to a lender or buyer accepting responsibility for certain closing (non-title) issues.

INTANGIBLE PROPERTY

Property that does not have intrinsic value, but represents value, such as stock certificates, bonds, promissory notes, and franchises.

INTERMEDIATE THEORY STATE

A state in which the security for the mortgage is based on the title theory or deed of trust, but that requires the lender to foreclose to obtain legal title.

INTER VIVOS TRUST

A living trust; inter vivos is a Latin expression meaning “among the living.” As opposed to a testamentary trust which means at time of death.

INTERVAL OWNERSHIP

Same as time share ownership, or partial ownership.

INTESTATE

Someone who has died with no will. The estate reverts to the next of kin. The distributive share for the next of kin is determined by intestate succession as delineated by state statute in that state’s probate Act.

J

JOINT PROTECTION POLICY

A title insurance policy insuring the interest of both the owner and lender.

JOINT TENANCY

One way for several persons to hold title to real estate; joint tenants own an undivided equal interest and have equal rights to use the entire property; they are said to have the right of survivorship, that is, they inherit the property automatically upon the death of the other joint tenant by operation of law. This right is the principal distinction between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common.

JUDGEMENT

A court’s final decree, generally resulting in a lien; may encumber the sale of a property and must be satisfied before it can be sold.

JUDICIAL

Of or pertaining to courts of law or the administration of justice

JUDGMENT CREDITOR

A creditor who has obtained a judgment against a debtor through which he can obtain a sum now due to him.

JUDGMENT DEBTOR

A person owing debt and against whom legal judgment for that debt has been entered.

JUMBO LOANS

Loans which exceed the Fannie Mae guidelines for loan size and amount. Jumbo loans may have different guidelines from a “conforming” loan.

JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE

Type of foreclosure that requires court proceedings. A mortgage foreclosure requires court proceedings while deed-of-trust foreclosures generally do not; state laws dictate.

JUNIOR LIEN

Any lien or mortgage that has less priority than another. May be a judgment or a second or third mortgage filed after another lien.

JURAT

Certificate of an officer, such as a notary public or magistrate who has witnessed someone’s signature to a sworn document; also, that part of an affidavit stating by whom, where, when, and before whom it was sworn.

JURISDICTION

The right and power of courts to interpret and apply the law. Also, the legal power of control over persons and property.

L

LATE CHARGE

A penalty you will have to pay if you do not make your loan payment on time. This usually is calculated as a percentage of the payment amount or a minimum dollar amount, such as 5% of the late payment or $25.

LEASEHOLD ESTATE

An estate created by a lease for a certain period of time; in contrast to a fee simple estate, it is a lesser interest.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION

A description of land recognized by law and based on government surveys, spelling out the exact boundaries of the entire parcel of land; should so thoroughly identify a parcel that it cannot be confused with any other.

LENDER

A company or person that makes mortgage loans, such as a mortgage banker, credit union, bank, or savings and loan. Your lender’s name will appear on your promissory note.

LENDER PAID COMPENSATION TO BROKER

This is also called the Yield Spread Premium. It is a Fee which the lender pays to the mortgage broker for obtaining the loan for his client.

LETTER OR INTENT

Customarily employed to reduce to writing a preliminary understanding of the parties. This letter is not a contract and does not constitute a binding agreement. Rather, it is an expression of tentative intentions of the parties.

LIEN

A legal claim upon property for the satisfaction of a debt; a money encumbrance such as a mortgage lien, a judgment lien, or a mechanic’s lien.

LIEN THEORY STATES

States in which the mortgagor (borrower) retains legal title to the property. The lender (mortgagee) has a lien on the property as security for the debt.

LIEN WAIVER

A document provided by a contractor, subcontractor, or materialman, showing that they have been paid for their work and are waiving rights to file a lien against the property.

LIFE ESTATE

Use of property exclusively during a person’s lifetime. This interest may be sold, encumbered, or leased, but only for the term of the life estate.

LINE OF CREDIT

Also called an “open line of credit” secured by your home. Often there are no closing costs involved or the lender offers to pay all closing costs. Use like a checking account, borrowing credit over time up to your credit limit.

LINEAL

Refers to descent by a direct line of succession in ancestry.

LIS PENDENS

Legal notice that litigation is pending on a certain property and that anyone obtaining an interest in the property after the notice date may be bound by the judgment.

LITTORAL RIGHTS

Rights to shoreline property on a large body of water, such as an ocean or lake.

LOAN APPROVAL/COMMITMENT

A lender’s agreement to make a loan on particular terms, including interest rates, fees, and charges.

LOAN TERM

Length of time until your loan is paid in full.

LOSS

As referred to in the title industry, damage suffered by a person resulting from defects or liens upon his title to real estate. This can be money paid by a title insurance company in settlement of policy claims.

LOT BOOK REPORT

A short title company report providing the property owner’s name, vesting, property’s legal description, and a plat map.

M

MARKETABLE TITLE

A “good” title, one where there is no reasonable doubt as to the interest held in land; one that can be readily transferred to another party.

MARKET VALUE

An average between the highest price which a buyer willing, but not compelled to buy, would pay and the lowest price a seller willing, but not compelled to sell, would accept.

MECHANICS LIEN

A lien where a subcontractor, laborer, or supplier of materials may put on real property after furnishing labor or materials to improve the property without being paid.

MEDIATION

A process of dispute resolution in which an impartial third party, a mediator intervenes in a dispute with the consent of the disputing parties and helps them negotiate an agreement. The role of the mediator is to assist the disputants, define and clarify issues, help reduce obstacles to communication, explore possible solutions, and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

MEETING OF MINDS

When all parties to a contract agree to the exact terms thereof.

METES AND BOUNDS

A description of land by measures and distances. It must have a known point of beginning, define the perimeter of a parcel, and return to the point of beginning to be legally acceptable.

MINERAL RIGHTS

Ownership of minerals found on a property.

MINOR

A person under 18 years of age.

MORTGAGE

A mortgage is a promise in which you agree to put up your home as security for a loan. The mortgage is the instrument which secures the Promissory Note, in which you promise to repay the loan at a certain date. The mortgage document allows the lender to force a sale of your home (foreclosure) if, for example, you fail to make payments, to pay property taxes or insurance, or keep other promises. In some states the mortgage document is called a deed of trust.

MORTGAGE BANKER

A lender other than a bank, credit union, or savings and loan, that specializes in making residential mortgage loans.

MORTGAGE BROKER

A person or company that obtains a mortgage loan for the borrower from another lender. A mortgage broker will not always be representing the borrower and will not necessarily be looking after the borrower’s best interests.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI or MI)

Insurance that may be required when a loan is greater than 80% of the value of the home. This insurance protects the lender in the event a borrower fails to make his or her loan payments. The borrower ordinarily pays the cost of MI or PMI in the form of monthly premiums added to the mortgage payments.

MORTGAGEE POLICY

A policy of title insurance insuring the holder of a mortgage against loss caused by the impairment or invalidly of the lien of such mortgage or because of defects in superior liens upon, or unmarketability of the title. The insurance amount is the amount of the mortgage.

MUNIMENTS OF TITLE

Deeds and other original documents showing a chain of title.

MUTUAL CONSENT

Approval of both parties to terms of a contract.

N

NEGLIGENCE

The omission or failure to use reasonable precaution, care or action.

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO CANCEL

Under federal law, you may be permitted to cancel or rescind a mortgage loan within a specified time, generally three days after you have signed loan documents in a refinance, second mortgage, or other mortgage loans which do not involve the purchase of a home. The lender is required to give the borrower notice in writing of this right to cancel or rescind and the deadline to cancel.

NEGOTIABLE

Capable of being assigned or transferred by endorsement of negotiable instruments such as checks, drafts, and notes.

NON-RECURRING CLOSING COSTS

Fees and costs that are paid only once usually at closing, such as title insurance or points.

NOTARY PUBLIC

Person who acknowledges oaths, such as the signing of a grant deed or deed of trust; must be duly appointed by the property authorities.

NOTICE OF COMPLETION

Document recorded to give constructive notice that a building job has been completed.

NOTICE OF DEFAULT

A formal recorded declaration that a default has occurred. This begins foreclosure proceedings.

NOTICE OF NON-RESPONSIBILITY

Notice recorded by an Owner of real property that he will not be responsible for payment of mechanics’ liens for work contracted by another.

O

OFFICIAL RECORDS

A master set of books kept by the county recorder in which copies of all recorded documents in that county are stored; may be microfilmed.

OFFSET STATEMENT

A statement by an owner or a lien holder concerning the liens against a property.

OPEN-END LOAN

A loan that permits the borrower to draw money from time to time up to a credit limit. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is an open-end loan secured by a home.

OPINION OF TITLE

An attorney’s written evaluation of the condition of title to real property, based upon a careful examination of the abstract of title.

OPTION CONTRACT

A binding promise in which the owner of property agrees that another shall have the privilege of buying the property at a fixed price within a stated period of time.

OWNER’S POLICY

A policy of title insurance usually insuring an owner of real estate against loss occasioned by defects in, liens against, or unmarketability of the owner’s title. The insurance amount is equal to the purchase price.

P

PARCEL

Land having a single legal description.

PARCEL MAP

A map of a given area designed, drawn, and labeled for the purpose of identifying parcels and distinguishing them from one another in a given area. This may be called a subdivision map or a plat map.

PARTIAL RECONVEYANCE

The release of part of someone’s interest in real property secured by a mortgage or deed of trust.

PARTITION

A lawsuit between joint owners of real estate in which the court either divides the property between them or orders the property sold and divides the proceeds between them.

PARTY WALL

A wall built along the boundary line of adjoining properties and shared by the respective property owners or tenants.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

This information on the Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement shows the amount of the first loan payment, the amount and number of the regularly scheduled payments (usually monthly), the amount of the final payment, and when all those payments are due. The actual payment due may be greater for a number of reasons, including taxes and insurance. If the loan has an adjustable rate, the actual payments will differ from the payment schedule.

PERIMETER

The boundary lines enclosing a tract or parcel of land.

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Which is not real property; curtains, furniture, appliances, and other items not attached permanently to the property.

PERSONALTY

This is considered personal property.

PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

A person who manages the affairs of another, either under a power of attorney or due to the incapacity of the principal either through death, incompetency, or infancy.

PER STIRPES

The essential characteristics of a distribution of an intestate estate per stirpes is that each distributee (son or daughter) takes in a representative capacity and stands in the place of their deceased ancestor (mother or father) and collectively inherit that share their ancestor would have received if living.

PLAT BOOK

One in a set of books in the public records in which maps, plats, and copies of surveys are recorded.

PLAT MAP

This is a map of a land, subdivision, or housing development.

POINTS

A fee charged by the lender as additional compensation for making the loan. One point is equal to 1% of the principal amount of the loan.

POSSESSION DATE

Day when the buyer actually moves into the property. This may be different from the close of escrow, closing date or recording date.

POWER OF ATTORNEY

The authority given one person by another to act on his or her behalf.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY

The charge which can be imposed if you pay off your loan before maturity. The Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement will show whether a loan has a prepayment penalty.

PRELIMINARY CERTIFICATE

Same as a Binder Certificate.

PRELIMINARY REPORT

A report showing the current status of a property and the condition under which a title company is willing to insure title as of a specified date.

PRESCRIPTION

Doctrine by which easements are acquired through long, continuous, and exclusive use of possession of property.

PRIME LOAN

A loan offered to borrowers with better credit history (sometimes called “A” loans). Prime loans generally are priced lower and cost the borrower less.

PRIORITY

Taking place in rank or order, taking precedence over in a real estate transaction. Priority is established by the order in which documents affecting a property are recorded and, also by the language contained in those documents.

PROBATE

The act of proving that an instrument purporting to be a will was signed and otherwise executed in accordance with legal requirements and determining its validity thereby.

PROCESSING FEE

A fee charged by lenders or brokers to prepare a complete loan application file. A processing fee may be charged to the borrower and shown on the Settlement Statement (HUD-1).

PROMISSORY NOTE

A legal contract in which the borrower promises to pay back the loan. The promissory note sets forth the terms and conditions that apply to the loan repayment, such as interest rate, when payments are due, where payments are made, what happens if payments are not made, etc.

PUBLIC RECORDS

The transcriptions in a recorder’s office of instruments which have been recorded, including the indexes pertaining to them.

PUBLIC TRUSTEE

A public official to whom title to real estate may be conveyed by trust deed to be held by him as security for repayment of a loan.

PURCHASE MONEY MORTGAGE

A mortgage given by a purchaser to a seller on the subject property to secure payment of part of the purchase price.

PURCHASE MONEY LOAN

A loan for the purpose of purchasing a home.

Q

QUASI

To some degree, almost, partially, somewhat.

QUIET ENJOYMENT

A covenant typically in leases provided by grantor promising that the tenant shall enjoy the possession of the premises in peace and without disturbance.

QUIT CLAIM DEED

A deed in which the grantor conveys to grantee grantor’s interest in the property; most commonly used between spouses and in partnerships. The interest being conveyed is only that which grantor possesses. It contains no warranties of clear title as in a Warranty Deed.

QUIET TITLE

An equitable action to determine all adverse claims to the property in question.

QUIET TITLE SUIT

A lawsuit brought by an owner of real estate for the purpose of canceling, wiping out, putting a quietus upon supposedly immaterial, inconsequential, and unenforceable claims and interest which cloud his title

QUIETUS

Final disposition, settlement, or elimination of a claim of debt.

QUORUM

The number of members of a governing body that must be present for the governing body to transact business.

R

RATE LOCK (LOCK IN RATE)

Refers to the agreement between the borrower and the lender or broker that as long as the loan is closed within a certain period of time (for example, 30 or 60 days), the interest rate on the loan will be set (locked) at an agreed upon rate. A rate lock agreement must be in writing or it will be unenforceable.

REAL PROPERTY

Term used to describe land and that which is permanently attached to the land; includes surface, subsurface, and air rights.

RECONVEYANCE

Transfer of title from the trustee back to the real owner of property; occurs when a loan has been paid in full. This releases the trustor (borrower) from any further liabilities for that debt.

RECORDATION

Process of placing a document on file with the county recorder for everyone to see. This is said to give constructive notice of the document’s existence. The claims against property usually are given a priority based upon the time and date when they are recorded.

RECORDING FEES

Fees charged by the local government to record loan documents (for example, the mortgage). These fees will be charged to the borrower and shown on the Settlement Statement (HUD-1).

RECURRING CLOSNG COSTS

Costs and fees that will be paid monthly or annually, such as interest, property taxes, and mortgage insurance.

REDEMPTION

Reclaiming real property from someone who has taken legal title to it.

REDEMPTION PERIOD

Period of time in which borrower may redeem his or her property.

REFINANCE

To pay off one or more existing mortgage loans by procuring a new mortgage loan.

RELEASE CLAUSE

A stipulation allowing for the release of a specific piece of property from a blanket lien that covers it and other property in exchange for a specific payment.

RELEASE OF DOWER

The deed or other instrument by which a wife releases her inchoate dower rights in land.

RELEASE OF LIEN

The instrument by which a lien is released from the real estate which it encumbers.

RELIEF

The redress or assistance awarded to a complaint by a court, especially a court of equity including such remedies as specific performance, injunction, and recession of a contract.

REMAINDER

That part of an estate in property which is left upon the termination of the immediately preceding estate (often a life estate of an estate for a term of years) and which does not amount to a reversion to the original grantor or the grantor’s heirs.

REMAINDERMAN

Person who holds a future interest that exists in favor of a party other than the grantor or his or her successors, as in a life estate relationship.

REPLEVIN

An action for the recovery of property taken, rather than for the value of that property which is a possessory remedy.

RESCIND (ALSO RIGHT OF RESCISSION)

To take back or cancel. If a borrower rescinds a mortgage loan, it is as if the mortgage loan never existed. Some borrowers have by law a right to “rescind” certain mortgage loans. Note: A Borrower is entitled to a refund all fees paid in connection with the loan if the Borrower exercises his right of rescission.

RESERVATION

A particular right withheld by a grantor when conveying property.

RESIDUARY ESTATE

That part of a testator’s estate which remains after all of the estate has been distributed through the satisfaction of all claims and specific legacies with the exception of the dispositions authorized by the residuary clause.

RESTITUTION

Act of making good or of giving the equivalent, any loss, damage, or injury.

RESTRICTIONS

Provisions in a deed or other instrument whereby an owner of land prohibits or restricts certain use, occupation, and improvement of the land.

RESTRICTIVE COVENANT

A promise included in an agreement restricting the use of real property of the kind of buildings that may be erected thereupon.

REVERSION

The return of an estate or interest to a grantor or lessor after the grant or lease has expired. Or, the interest retained by a fee simple owner of real estate after granting a terminable estate or interest in such property to another. For example, when a fee simple owner gives a lease to a tenant, the interest which the owner has left is known as the reversion. May also be a provision accompanying restrictive covenants in a deed, which provision stipulates that in the event the restrictions are violated, title to the property shall revert to the grantor.

RIGHT OF SUVIVORSHIP

A right created by joint tenancy that states that, upon the death of one owner, the other joint tenant immediately becomes the owner of the property by operation of law. Otherwise known as the right of survivorship.

RIGHT OF WAY

The right to cross or pass over a parcel of land; may be a right to use a road or driveway, a right to construct power lines through the property, or a right to put pipes underground.

RIGHT, TITLE, AND INTEREST

Term used in deeds to denote that the grantor is conveying all claims to a property.

RIPARIAN OWNER

One who owns the upland bordering on a stream or other body of water.

RIPARIAN RIGHTS

The many rights of a person in, to, and over the banks, bed, shallows, shore and water of a stream or body of water upon which his land border.

S

SATISFACTION

The payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation. May be an instrument executed by the holder of a lien, debt or obligation which acknowledges payment or fulfillment.

SEARCH

A careful exploration and perusal of the public records to find all recorded instruments relating to a chain of title of certain real property.

SECURITY

Property pledged to ensure payment of a debt.

SECONDARY MORTGAGE LOAN

A mortgage loan that is in addition to a mortgage that already exists on the home.

SECURITY INTEREST

An interest on real or personal property which secures the payment of an obligation.

SEISIN

An old English term meaning legal possession or the right to legal possession of real estate under a freehold title.

SEPARATE PROPERTY

Property that is held singly by either a husband or wife, described on a deed as sole and separate property.

SERVIENT ESTATE

Incident to an easement, the property upon or across which an easement exists.

SERVITUDE

A right or interest in a piece of real estate, which right or interest serves or benefits another unrelated property. For example, an easement across one piece of property which serves another piece of property is said to constitute a servitude regarding the property upon which it is located.

SETBACK

The minimum distance a building or other improvement must stand from property lines in accordance with local zoning ordinances and deed restrictions.

SETTLEMENT

Time at which property purchase is finalized, closing costs paid, deed exchanged, and money disbursed; also called closing and close of escrow.

SETTLEMENT AGENT (may also be called closing agent or settlement attorney)

The person who organizes and is in charge of the loan closing. The settlement agent is the person who can explain any document the borrower must sign.

SETTLEMENT STATEMENT

A mortgage loan closing form required by HUD that is often called a HUD-1. It provides details of all charges and payments made in connection with your loan and shows to whom they are distributed.

SETTLOR

One who creates a trust.

SPECIFIC LIEN

A lien filed against a specific piece of real estate that does not impact other real estate or personal property of the lienee. For example, a mortgage or deed of trust, or a mechanic’s lien.

SET-OFF

A counterclaim by defendant against plaintiff that’s grows from an independent cause of action and diminishes the plaintiff’s potential recovery.

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP

A business or financial venture carried on by single person and which is not a trust or corporation.

SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE

A legal doctrine that enables a court to compel someone to perform according to his or her agreement. A Statement of Identity form is often required by the title company from buyer and seller to ensure that items found in the title search apply to the individuals in question.

STAUTE OF FRAUDS

Statutory requirement that certain contracts be in writing to be enforceable.

STATUE OF LIMITATIONS

Law specifying time limits for initiating enforceable legal action.

STOCK CERTIFICATE

Written instrument evidencing a share in the ownership of a corporation.

STOCKHOLDER

A holder of one or more shares of the stock of a corporation.

STOCK OPTION

The granting to an individual of the right to purchase a corporate stock at some future date at a price specified at the time the option is given rather than at the time the stock is obtained.

SUBJACENT

A term applied to land or property lying contiguous to, but at a lower level than another piece of property.

SUBJECT TO

To take title without paying off the existing loan or deed of trust. The original borrower remains ultimately responsible for repaying the loan; and the buyer (new borrower) does not make formal agreement with the lender.

SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT

A written agreement that changes the priority of documents making one deed of trust subordinate to another.

SUBDIVISION

An area of land lay out and divided into lots, blocks, and building sites and in which public facilities are laid out, such as streets, alleys, parks, and easements for public utilities.

SUBROGATION

The legal doctrine under which the law substitutes one creditor or claimant for another. When a title insurance company pays a claim under a title insurance policy, it is entitled to step into the shoes of the insured with respect to any rights the insured may have against parties who warranted the title to him.

SURETY

A person who agrees to be responsible for a debt or obligation of another. It is the pledge or agreement by which one undertakes responsibility for the debt or obligation of another.

SURVEY

The map or plat drawn by a surveyor which represents the property surveyed and shows the results of a survey. It shows the location, boundaries, area, or the elevations of land and structures upon the earth’s surface by means of courses in relation to the North Pole, and the measuring of angles and distances by using techniques of geometry and trigonometry.

SUB PRIME LOANS

These loans are priced higher than prime loans, often much higher. Loans to borrowers whose credit is less than perfect will almost always be subprime loans. There are also other circumstances that lead to subprime loans, including high outstanding debt, unproven income, etc. Even borrowers with good credit may receive subprime loans for a variety of reason, including fraud, discrimination, failure to shop around, etc.

T

TACKING ON

Beginning a subsequent title examination in point of time and at the end of a previous title examination.

TAKE OFF

An abbreviated copy of the principal features of recorded instruments required for the purposes of indexation in an abstract plant or for purposes of making abstracts or examining titles.

TAX DEED

The instrument of conveyance when a government body sells a property to pay for arrears of taxes.

TAX DEFERRED EXCHANGE

A method of postponing capital gains when disposing of real property by trading one property for another of like kind.

TAX LIEN

The lien which is imposed upon real estate by operation of law which secures the payment of real estate taxes.

TAX SALE NUMBER

A number assigned to a property when property taxes are not paid on time. This identifies that property on the delinquent tax roll.

TAX SERVICE

A reporting service that notifies the lender in the event the borrower does not keep the property taxes current.

TENANCY IN COMMON

A form for taking title when two or more people buy property and own it together with divisible equal or unequal shares. If any one of the tenants in common dies, his or her interest passes to his or her heirs not to the remaining joint tenants. This is distinguished from Joint Tenancy which provides for an indivisible share with right of survivorship whereupon when one joint tenant dies title passes to the other joint tenant by operation of law.

TENANT AT SUFFERANCE

One who continues to hold possession of real estate after his authorized term of occupancy has expired.

TENANCY AT WILL

A tenant who occupancy of real estate is subject to the will of the owner.

TERM

The period of time during which loan payments are made. At the end of the loan term the loan must be paid in full.

TESTATE

Having made a legally valid will and leaving it at death.

THIRD PARTY

Usually applied to persons who are not principal parties to a contract or other instrument, but who have some right, interest, or duty which such contract or instrument affects. For example, where a sale contract between buyer and seller provides for the money and comments involved to be deposited with a title company pending the closing of the transaction, the title company becomes a third party in the deal.

TIME-SHARING

Partial interest in a property allowing exclusive use for a specific time period.

TITLE

Evidence of a person’s right to property.

TITLE AGENT

A representative of a title underwriter, one who writes the policies of the actual insurer or underwriter.

TITLE COMMITMENT

A document that reflects all of the title research done on property. Its purpose is to inform all parties of any encumbrances affecting the property and to commit to insure property subject to certain stated requirements.

TITLE COVENANTS

Covenants inserted in conveyances and in transfer of title to real estate for the purpose of giving protection to the purchaser against possible insufficiency of the title received.

TITLE DEFECT

Any possible or patent claim or right outstanding in a chain of title which conflicts with the claim of ownership or a material irregularity in the execution or effect of an instrument in the chain of title.

TITLE INSURANCE

A policy of indemnity issued by a title insurance underwriter or its agent that insures a buyer or lender against monetary loss or damage due to errors in the title as described in the policy and undeterminable facts that affect title such as fraud, forgery, unrecorded documents, unknown heirs, and many other factors.

TITLE INSURER

A company which insures the title to real estate.

TITLE PLANT

A geographically filed assemblage of title information which is to help in expediting title examinations, such as copies of previous attorneys’ opinions, abstracts, tax searches, and copies or take-offs of the public records.

TITLE SEARCH

A search and perusal of the public records for recorded instruments which affect the title to particular piece of land.

TITLE SEARCHER

One who searches titles.

TITLE UNDERWRITER

The title insurer who holds a statutory premium reserve and is responsible for claims on title under a title insurance policy.

TORRENS SYSTEM

A governmental title registration system that uses an instrument in the nature of a mortgage which secures the payment of a debt. Distinguished from a mortgage in that the title is transferred to and held by a trustee for the benefit of the holder of the debt.

TRANSFER TAX OR CHANGE

This is a government tax or charge that is usually based on a percentage of the property value or loan amount and imposed by state or local law. Many states do not require this charge for a refinance loan, but almost all require it for a home purchase. A transfer tax will be shown on the Settlement Statement (HUD-1).

TRUTH IN LENDING ACT (TILA)

This is a federal law designed to protect borrowers and to give them enough information to comparison shop for loans. TILA requires certain disclosures about the loan and when they must be given to the borrower. TILA also provides additional protections and prohibitions.

TRUTH IN LENDING DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

This is a very important document that federal law requires for all consumer loans. It provides key information to enable borrowers to shop around and compare loan terms from various lenders.

U

UNCLEAN HANDS

One of the maxims of equity embodying the principle that a party seeking redress in a court of equity (equitable relief) must not have done any dishonesty or unethical act in the transaction upon which he or she maintains the action in equity, since a court of conscience will not grant relief to one guilty of unconscionable conduct.

UNDERWRITER

An insurance company which issues insurance policies either to the public or to another insurer. The actual company that holds reserves to pay losses on title policies, as opposed to an agent, who sells the policies of the underwriter. Also, it can be the person responsible for evaluating risk of title defects and determining conditions to the commitment to insure.

UNDERWRITING

The analysis completed by a lender to determine the worthiness of a requested loan.

UNDERWRITING FEE

This is a fee charged by the lender to evaluate whether the borrower qualifies for a mortgage loan. An underwriting fee may be charged to the borrower and shown on the Settlement Statement (HUD-1).

UNDIVIDED INTEREST

Indivisible interest of a co-owner in a whole property owned in common as in property held in Joint Tenancy with right of survivorship.

UNDUE INFLUENCE

Influence of another destroying the requisite free will of a testator or donor which creates a ground for nullifying a will or invalidating an improvident gift.

UNJUST ENRICHMENT

Principle in law of contracts by which a person who has been unjustly enriched at the expense of another is required to make restitution to the other.

UNLAWFUL DETAINER

The act of retaining possession without right, as in the case of a tenant whose lease has expired.

UPC

Identification number for a specific property; also called assessor’s tax parcel number, account number, or folio number.

UP FRONT COSTS

These are costs or fees which are charged to the borrower at or before closing of the mortgage loan, such as loan application fees, appraisal fees, points, broker fees, credit report fees, real estate taxes, etc. Up-front costs can be paid in several ways: (1) they can be paid by the borrower in cash; or (2) they can be added to the loan amount and financed over the life of the mortgage.

USURY

Charging an interest rate above the maximum allowed by state law.

V

VENDEE

The purchaser under a sale contract of real estate.

VENDOR

The seller who disposes of something.

VEST

To bestow or confer upon as in the expression, “Title shall vest in …”

VESTEE

Current recorded owner.

VESTED INTEREST

An interest that if fixed or determined.

VESTING

The manner in which title to real property is held.

VOLUNTARY LIEN

Any lien placed on property with consent of or as a result of the voluntary act of the owner.

W

WAIVER

The release of a right to require something to take place such as the waiver of a contingency found in the purchase agreement.

WARRANTY DEED

Deed with written guarantees of clear title.

WAREHOUSING

The temporary funding and holding by a lending institution of mortgages originated by a mortgage broker until such time as the mortgage market improves or until the mortgage broker accumulates a sufficient amount of mortgages to interest a permanent mortgage purchaser.

WAY OF NECESSITY

An easement for a roadway which the owner of a landlocked tract is entitled to acquire across adjoining land in order to provide a means of ingress and egress with respect to landlocked property.

WRIT

A formal legal document issued by a court ordering or prohibiting the performance of some action.

WRIT OF EXECUTION

A direct command from the court to the sheriff to carry out the action required by the writ.

Y

YIELD SPREAD PREMIUM (YSP)

This is a payment made by a lender to a mortgage broker in connection with a borrower’s mortgage transaction. It is shown on the Settlement Statement (HUD-1), but often in a way that is difficult to understand. For example, a $1,000 yield spread premium may be shown as YSP POC 1000. Borrowers are often unaware that the YSP payment is being made. The payment of a YSP by a lender affects the interest rate charged to the borrower.

Z

ZONING

City or county regulations governing the use of property.

ZONING ORDINANCES

Laws passed by local governments regulating the size, type, structure, nature, and use of buildings. Often referred to as zoning laws and zoning regulations and divided into those which regulate the height or bulk of buildings within certain designated zones or districts and those which prescribe the type of buildings which may be constructed and the use to which buildings within certain designated zones or distracts may be put.

 





Legal Counsel P.A. vs.
Other Leading Law Firms

WE VALUE RELATIONSHIPS
Most of  our clients come to us by referral and word of mouth (not advertising).

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
The Legal Counsel team is committed to serving all clients with excellence and professionalism.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS
Over 20 years dedicated to the practice of law.

CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY
view your entire case, communicate with us 24/7, review billing statements, documents, etc. on our bank secure, online client portal.

Our goal is to provide our clients with superior representation, continuous client communications, advanced technology and a helpful, diligent support staff.

directory-lawyer-logo avvo-logo-michael-diglioavvo-logo-michael-diglio-2

ABOUT

Legal Counsel P.A. is a Central Florida based law firm providing legal services to both individuals and business throughout the State of Florida. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at (407) 982-4321.

LOCATION

CONTACT

  • Main Office

    13330 W. Colonial Drive, #110 Winter Garden, FL 34787

  • Orlando Office

    189 S. Orange Avenue, Ste. 1800 Orlando, FL 32801 (by appointment only)

  • Phone

    407.982.4321

  • Orlando Phone

    407.395.2653

  • Fax

    407.982.2587