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Real Estate Glossary
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ABSTRACT: An abbreviation of the cardinal aspects of all recorded deeds, mortgages, leases and other instruments affecting the title to a particular piece of land.
ABSTRACTING: The process of making and compiling an abstract.
ABSTRACTOR: The person or company engaged in making abstracts.
ABSTRACTOR’S CERTIFICATE: A certificate appearing at the end of an abstract in which the abstractor states the time period and scope of the search made for instruments among the public records. In some states it has the effect of limiting the abstractor’s liability.
ABSTRACT OF TITLE: Just a longer name for an abstract.
ABSTRACT PLANT: There are a hundred different types. Basically, it is an index of the recorded instruments in a county or political subdivision geographically grouped according to land description so that all of the instruments affecting a piece of land can be immediately found under the indexed heading of such land. (See also Title Plant)
ABUT: To touch or border upon. A piece of land bordering on a street or an adjoining piece of property is said to abut such street or property.
ACCRETION: A natural increase of land along the shores of a body of water.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: (1) Generally, the act of the maker or makers of a real estate instrument in going before a Notary Public or other judicial officer and acknowledging that they signed such instrument without fear or compulsion, and for the purposes expressed in such instrument. The laws making provision for acknowledgments incident to real estate papers were enacted to help prevent forgeries or undue advantage taken over the makers of such instruments. Forms and procedures incident to acknowledgments vary from state to state, some being considered probate procedures in which the probity or authenticity of the instrument is proven. (2) Generally, a form of certificate made by a notary public or judicial officer, appended to deeds, mortgages, leases and other real estate instruments, certifying that the maker or makers of such instruments appeared before the notary or judicial officer and acknowledged that they signed the instrument without compulsion or fear and for the purposes indicated in the instrument.
ADVERSE POSSESSION: The unauthorized occupation of land belonging to another, by a person who does not have the consent of the owner. Said occupier is said to hold possession adversely to the rights and interests of the owner. In most states, by operation of law, title to the land becomes vested in such occupier after a fixed number of years of peaceful occupancy.
AFFIDAVIT: A written statement made under oath before a notary public or other judicial officer.
AGENCY: An individual or corporation authorized to act for another person or corporation. The scope of an agency depends upon the authority given to the agent.
AGENT: One who, having received authority from another, acts in such other person’s behalf within the scope of such authority.
AGREEMENT: A legally binding compact made between two or more persons.
AMORTIZATION: This term has developed through French and Old English from the Latin words “mors” or “mort” meaning death or dead. It is the killing off of an existing debt by regular partial payments. The word “mortgage” is also derived from the same Latin root.
APPRAISE: From Latin “appretiare” meaning to set or fix a value. To judge or estimate the value of real estate.
APPRAISAL: The act, also the published results, of appraising.
APPURTENANT: Belonging to, or accessory to, or incident to a principal property.
ASSESSMENT: (1) The act of fixing the amount of taxes or special improvement charges. (2) The amount of taxes or special improvement charges. Special improvement charges are usually for the costs of streets, sidewalks, sewers, etc.
ASSIGNEE: For example, the person who receives ownership of a contract or a mortgage by transfer from another.
ASSIGNMENT: (1) The act of transferring ownership of something from one person to another. (2) The instrument or paper by which one person transfers ownership of a right or an object to another.
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.
ATTACHMENT: A legal remedy to aid collection of a debt, usually incidental to a lawsuit against the debtor wherein the court issues a writ of attachment under the authority and direction of which the sheriff seizes property of the debtor and holds same pending the outcome of the lawsuit, keeping the property available for sale to pay any money judgment entered in such lawsuit.
ATTORNEY’S OPINION: The written statement of an attorney setting forth what he believes to be the condition of a real estate title.
BANKRUPTCY: A proceeding in U.S. District court wherein assets of a debtor unable or unwilling to pay his debts are applied by an officer of the court in satisfaction of creditor claims.
BENEFICIARY: A person who is entitled to receive funds or property under the terms and provisions of a will or trust or insurance policy.
BINDER: (1) Sometimes called “Preliminary Certificate.” It is a preliminary report as to the condition of a title and a commitment to issue a title insurance policy in a certain manner when certain conditions are met. (2) Also, a deposit in escrow of a small part of the purchase price of real estate as evidence of good faith and to bind an agreement to purchase.
BOND: (1) 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. Coupons may be clipped as they mature and presented for payment. Bonds are sometimes in the form of Certificates of Indebtedness. Bonds are often secured by real estate mortgages. (See Promissory Note.) (2) A written commitment assuring the payment of a stipulated sum of money or the amount of damages in the event of an adverse happening. (3) 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.
BROKER: One who acts as an agent for another in negotiating sales or purchases in return for a fee or commission.
BROKERAGE: A fee or commission paid to a broker.
BUILDING LINE: (See Set-back Line.) A line inside the boundary lines of a piece of real estate beyond which no building may be constructed. Building lines may be established by municipal ordinances, restrictions and subdivision plats.
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE: A certificate issued by a title examiner stating the condition of a title. Usually more formal than an attorney’s opinion.
CHAIN OF TITLE: Beginning with a conveyance out of an original source of title such as a government, each succeeding deed, will or other medium which conveys and transfers the title to succeeding owners constitutes a link in the chain of title. The chain of title is the composite of all such links.
CHATTEL: Another name for personal property as distinguished from real estate. An article of movable property. Also, the term applied to slaves and women before their emancipation.
CLAIM: A right to assert, or the assertion of, a demand for payment of money due; or the surrender or delivery of possession of property or the recognition or some right. A demand for something as one’s rightful due.
CLOSING: In some areas called a “settlement”. The 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 STATEMENT: A summation, in the form of a balance sheet, made at a closing, showing the amounts of debits and credits to which each party to a real estate transaction is entitled.
COMMISSION: The amount due a real estate broker or mortgage loan broker for services performed in such capacity. The term also applies to regulatory tribunals such as Real Estate Commissions.
CONDEMN: (1) The legal declaration of a government that something is unfit for further use or existence, or constitutes a peril to life, health, safety or well-being of the public, and ordering its removal or destruction, such as declaring a building unfit for use and a menace to health and public safety and ordering its destruction, or to order the slaughter of diseased animals. (2) The selection of private property by a government or public service corporation for acquisition for public or quasipublic use.
CONDEMNATION: (1) The taking of private property for public or quasi-public use, with compensation to the owner, under the right of eminent domain. All governments and so-called public service corporations, such as railroads and electric companies, have the right to condemn and take private property. (2) The destruction by government of private property which imperils the life, health or safety of the public.
CONDITIONS: This term is first cousin to restrictions and reservations. It refers to provisions in deeds and other real estate instruments in which provisions make a particular right contingent upon the occurrence of some future event.
CONDOMINIUM: A group or complex of residential units in the nature of apartments wherein each unit is separately and individually owned, the unit owners owning together the commonly used appurtenances such as gardens, sidewalks, supporting and dividing elements, elevators, and hallways. It is also possible for condominiums to encompass business buildings, office buildings, and manufacturing plants.
CONTRACT: Same as “agreement”, but usually more formal.
CONVEYANCE: The transfer of title to property from one person to another.
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.
DEED: An instrument, of various forms, by which title to real estate is conveyed from one party to another.
DEFAULT: Failure to perform a promised task or to pay an obligation when due.
DEFECT: A blemish, imperfection or deficiency. A defective title is one that is irregular and faulty.
DEVISE: A gift of real estate made by a will.
DEVISEE: One who is given real estate under a will.
EARNEST MONEY: The advance, by a purchaser, or a small part of the purchase price as evidence of good faith.
EASEMENT: A right held by a person to enjoy or make limited use of another’s real property.
EMINENT DOMAIN: The right of a government to take privately owned property for public purposes under condemnation proceedings upon payment of its reasonable value.
ENCROACHMENT: The extension of a structure from the real estate to which it belongs across a boundary line and onto adjoining property.
ENCUMBRANCE: A claim, right, or lien upon the title to real estate, held by someone other than the real estate owner.
EQUITY: A system of jurisprudence supplementing the common law and enacted law under which justice, impartiality, and fairness is applied in circumstances not covered by enacted or common law.
ESCROW: Technically, this term strictly refers to a deed delivered to a third person to be held by him until the fulfillment or performance of some act or condition by the grantee. In title industry parlance it means the depositing with an impartial third party called the escrow agent (usually the title company) of anything pertaining to a real estate transaction including money and documents of all kinds which are to be disbursed and delivered to the rightful parties by the escrow agent when all conditions of the transaction have been met.
ESCROW AGREEMENT: A written agreement usually made between buyer, seller, and escrow agent, but sometimes only between one person and the escrow agent. It sets forth the conditions to be performed incident to the object deposited in escrow, and gives the escrow agent instructions with respect to the disposition of the object so deposited.
ESTATE: (1) A sizable piece of rural land usually with a large house and other pretentious improvements. (2) The whole of one’s possessions, especially all of the property, assets, debts, and liabilities left by a deceased or bankrupt person. (3) The nature and extent of an owner’s rights in real estate.
EXAMINATION: In title industry parlance, to peruse and study the instruments and muniments incident to a chain of title and to determine their effect and condition in order to reach a conclusion as to the status of the title.
EXAMINER: Usually referred to, in title industry parlance, as title examiner. One who examines and determines the condition and status of real estate titles.
EXCEPTION: In title industry parlance, a provision in a title insurance binder or policy which excludes liability regarding a specified title defect or an outstanding lien or encumbrance.
EXECUTE: (1) To create and make valid a real estate instrument. A deed is said to be executed when it is signed, sealed, witnessed and delivered. (2) To perform or do whatever is required.
EXECUTION: The act of executing. (See Execute.)
FEE SIMPLE: The highest degree of ownership which a person can have in real estate. An interest in real estate which gives the owner unqualified ownership and full power of disposition.
FIDUCIARY: A person who bears a special relationship of trust, confidence, and responsibility to others, such as a trustee or agent.
FILING: In title industry parlance, this term relates to the delivery of real estate instruments to a recorder for recordings.
FORFEIT: (1) Money or a right, which a person loses upon failure to perform an agreement, obligation, or duty. (2) The act of losing money or a right as described.
FORGED: Fraudulently executed, counterfeited.
FORGERY: The fraudulent signing of another’s name to an instrument such as a deed or mortgage or check.
FRAUD: A deception deliberately practiced in order to obtain an unfair or unlawful gain.
FRAUDULENT: Obtained, performed, or characterized by deceit or fraud.
GENERAL WARRANTY: A warranty provision in a deed or mortgage or other real estate instrument containing all of the common law items of warranty. Also known as a full warranty.
GRANT: A transfer of real estate, between individuals, by deed. A transfer of real estate from a sovereign by patent or royal decree.
GRANTEE: One to whom a grant is made.
GRANTOR: One who makes a grant.
GUARANTY: An agreement in which a guarantee or assurance of a state of facts or the performance of an objective or obligation is given.
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.
HABENDUM CLAUSE: That provision in deeds 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.
HAZARD: A danger, peril or risk. Incident to title insurance, it relates to the risk assumed under a title insurance policy.
HEIR: A person who inherits or who is entitled to inherit real estate by provisions of law or under the provisions of a will.
HOMESTEAD: (1) Property designated by the head of a family as his home, which is protected by law from forced sale to pay his debts. (2) Land claimed by a settler under the National Homestead Act. (3) Under some state laws, the real estate upon which one’s home is situated.
INDEMNITY: Insurance against possible loss or damage. A title insurance policy is a contract of indemnity.
INDENTURE: A deed or other real estate contract executed between two or more parties.
INDEX: (1) An alphabetical listing in the public records of the names of parties to recorded real estate instruments together with the book and page number of the record. (2) The listing in abstract and title plants of recorded real estate instruments in groups according to land descriptions, known as a geographic index. (3) The alphabetical listing in abstract and title plants, by names of the parties, of all recorded instruments which affect but do not describe particular real estate, such as judgments, powers of attorney, wills and probate proceedings. Such indexes are known by various names such as General Index, Judgment Index, and Name Index.
INSTRUMENT: Any written document by which something is done regarding rights or interests in real estate.
INSURER: One that insures, sometimes called an underwriter, such as a title insurance company.
INTERESTS: Estates, rights, or legal claims in and to real estate.
JUDGMENT: A conclusion or determination by a court of law usually awarding the payment of money or relief of some kind to one of the parties to a lawsuit.
JUDICIAL: Of or pertaining to courts of law or the administration of justice.
JURISDICTION: (1) the right and power of courts to interpret and apply the law. (2) The legal power of control over persons and property. (3) A geographical area in which a court has power and authority to act.
LAND: The solid ground of the earth as distinguished from the sea.
LEASE: An agreement granting the use or occupancy of land during a specified period in exchange for rent.
LEASEHOLD: (1) Property held by lease. (2) The estate or interest in real estate created by a lease.
LEGAL: (1) Relating to or concerned with the law. (2) The conformity with or permitted by law.
LESSEE: A tenant holding a lease.
LIABILITY: A legal obligation or responsibility for the payment of a loss or damages or a debt.
LICENSE: In title industry parlance, permission to go upon or use the land of another, the permission being a personal privilege and not constituting an interest in the land.
LIEN: The liability of real estate as security for payment of a debt. Such liability may be created by contract, such as a mortgage, or by operation of law, such as a mechanics lien.
LIFE ESTATE: An estate of ownership in real estate which exists only during the term of a certain person’s life.
LISTING: (1) Placing real estate with a broker for sale or lease. (2) A conditional agreement to pay a commission to the broker if and when he finds a qualified buyer or tenant.
LITIGATION: Legal proceedings, a lawsuit in which a dispute is submitted to a court for determination.
LOSS: (1) In title industry parlance, damage suffered by a person resulting from defects in or liens upon his title to real estate. (2) Money paid by a title insurance company in settlement of policy claims.
MARKETABLE TITLE: A title which a court of equity considers to be so free of material defects and liens that it will force the title’s acceptance by questioning purchaser. Also known as a merchantable title.
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.
METES AND BOUNDS: A land description in which boundaries are described by courses, directions, distances, and monuments.
MORTGAGE: (From the Latin Terms “mors” and “mort” meaning death or dead.) A temporary conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security for the payment of a debt which may be killed or cancelled by payment.
MORTGAGEE: The holder of a mortgage. The party to whom a mortgage is made.
MORTGAGEE POLICY: (Sometimes called a mortgage policy.) A policy of title insurance insuring the holder of a mortgage against loss occasioned by the impairment or invalidity of the lien of such mortgage or because of defects in, superior liens upon, or unmarketability of the title.
MORTGAGOR: A person who mortgages property. A person who executes a mortgage.
NEGLIGENCE: The omission of or failure to use reasonable precaution, care, or action.
NEGOTIABLE: Capable of being legally transferred by endorsement from one person to another, such endorsement carrying with it, without written provisions, implications of certain contractual obligations.
NOTE: See Promissory Note.
OPINION: In title industry parlance, referred to as title opinion. The conclusion and judgement of a skilled person as to the status of a title, based upon a title examination.
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.
PARTITION: In title industry parlance, 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.
PERIMETER: (1) The boundary lines enclosing a tract of land. (2) The length of the boundary lines enclosing a tract of land.
PERSONAL PROPERTY: Temporary or movable property as distinguished from real estate.
PERSONALTY: Personal property.
POLICE POWER: The inherent authority of a government to impose restrictions upon private property or private rights for the sake of public welfare, order, and security.
POLICY: See Owner’s Policy and Mortgagee Policy.
POWER OF ATTORNEY: A legal instrument authorizing one to act as another’s agent or attorney.
PREMIUM: (1) The amount payable for an insurance policy. (2) A sum of money or bonus paid in addition to the regular price.
PRINCIPAL: (1) A sum of money owed as a debt upon which interest is payable. (2) A person who empowers another to act as his representative or agent. (3) The person having prime responsibility for an obligation as distinguished from one who acts as a surety or endorser.
PROBATE: A legal procedure in which the validity and probity of a document, such as a will, is proven.
PROMISSORY NOTE: A written promise to pay or repay a specified sum of money at a stated time, or on demand, to a named person. In addition to the payment of principal, a promissory note usually provides for the payment of interest.
PROPERTY: (1) Something tangible or intangible capable of being owned and controlled. (2) Lands or chattels in which a person owns some right, title, or interest to the exclusion of all others.
PUBLIC RECORDS: The transcriptions in a recorder’s office of instruments which have been recorded, including the indexes pertaining to them.
PURCHASE MONEY MORTGAGE: A mortgage given by a purchaser to a seller on the subject property to secure payment of a part of the purchase price.
QUIET ENJOYMENT: (1) One of the common law warranties. (2) Assurance that one’s title, possession, or use of real estate will not be disturbed or disrupted by a legitimate cause or adverse right.
RATE: This term, when used in the title industry, usually refers to the rate for title insurance. In this sense it means the cost per dollar unit of title insurance. For example, the rate for a ten thousand dollar title insurance policy is (so many) dollars. A rate schedule is the respective costs of dollar units of title insurance listed on an ascending scale.
REAL ESTATE: Land, including all inherent natural attributes and any man-made improvements of a permanent nature placed thereon.
REAL PROPERTY: See Real Estate.
REALTOR: A copyrighted trade name, which can be legally used only by those persons belonging to the National Association of Real Estate Boards.
REALTY: Another name for real estate.
RECORDING: The act of a recorder of receiving and transcribing, in a book or on film of the public records, instruments affecting the title to real estate.
RECORDS: See Public Records.
RECORD TITLE: The aspects of a title, which appear in the public records as, distinguished from unrecorded title aspects and interests.
REDEMPTION: See Equity.
REINSURANCE: Insurance insuring an insurer. When an insurance company has issued a policy and does not want to be fully exposed to loss for the full amount of the policy, such company may purchase a reinsurance policy from another insurance company to insure that first company against a part or all of the loss which the first company may have to pay under its policy.
RELEASE: (1) To relieve from debt or security or abandon a right, such as the release of a mortgage lien from a part or all of the land mortgaged. (2) The instrument affecting a release.
RELICTION: The gradual recession of the water from the usual watermark.
RESTRICTIONS: Often called restrictive covenants. Provisions in a deed or other instrument whereby an owner of land prohibits or restricts certain use, occupation, and improvement of the land.
RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS: See Restrictions.
RIGHT: A power, privilege, prerogative, estate, or interest incident to real estate.
RIGHT OF WAY: (1) The right to pass over property owned by another, usually based upon an easement. (2) A path or thoroughfare over which passage is made. (3) A strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads, or power lines are built.
RISK: Exposure to loss. A title insurance company assumes the risk incident to a possible title loss when it insures the owner of the title.
SALE AGREEMENT: A contract entered into between a buyer and seller, setting forth the terms, provisions, and conditions of a sale of real estate.
SALES CONTRACT: See Sale Agreement.
SATISFACTION: (1) The payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation. (2) An instrument executed by the holder of a lien, debt or obligation which acknowledges payment or fulfillment. For example, a satisfaction of a mortgage sometimes is referred to as a satisfaction piece.
SEARCH: In title industry parlance, a careful exploration and perusal of the public records in an effort to find all recorded instruments relating to a particular chain of title.
SECURITY: Assurance against the default or non-payment of a debt or obligation which makes the enforcement of a promise or an obligation more certain than the personal commitment of the debtor or obligator. Usually the pledge of property.
SET-BACK LINE: See Building Line.
SETTLEMENT: See Closing.
SOVEREIGNTY: Supreme political power or authority.
SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED: A deed which warrants the title only with respect to acts of the grantor and the interests of anyone claiming by, through, or under him.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: A statute setting a time limit on the enforcement of a right or on the collection of a debt in certain cases.
SUBDIVISION: An area of land laid 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.
SUBORDINATION: Giving a lien or interest an inferior status. For example, an existing mortgage may be subordinated to the lien of a new construction loan mortgage in which case the construction loan mortgage becomes a prior lien.
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.
SUIT: Usually meaning a lawsuit.
SURVEY: (1) To determine 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 Star, and the measuring of angles and distances by using the techniques of geometry and trigonometry. (2) The map or plat drawn by a surveyor, which represents the property, surveyed and shows the results of a survey.
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 LIEN: The lien which is imposed upon real estate by operation of law which secures the payment of real estate taxes.
TENANT: (1) Usually one who holds possession of real estate under a lease. (2) In a broader sense, one who holds or possesses lands and tenements by any kind of title.
THIRD PARTY: A term 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 of real estate provides that the money and documents involved in the transaction will be deposited with a title company pending the closing of the deal, the title company becomes a third party to the transaction.
TITLE: (1) A combination of all the elements that constitute the highest legal right to own, possess, use, control, enjoy, and dispose of real estate or an inheritable right or interest therein. (2) The rights of ownership recognized and protected by the law.
TITLE ASSURANCE: Assurance of title afforded by abstracts, attorneys’ opinions, title insurance, and surveys.
TITLE COVENANTS: Covenants ordinarily inserted in conveyances and in transfers of title to real estate for the purpose of giving protection to the purchaser against possible insufficiency of the title received. A group of such covenants known as “common law covenants” includes: (a) covenants against encumbrances; (b) covenant for further assurance (in other words, to do whatever is necessary to rectify title deficiencies); (c) covenant of good right and authority to convey; (d) covenant of quiet enjoyment (See Quiet Enjoyment); (e) covenant of warranty. (See Warranty, also see Covenant).
TITLE DEFECT: (1) Any possible or patent claim or right outstanding in a chain of title which is adverse to the claim of ownership. (2) Any material irregularity in the execution or effect of an instrument in the chain of title.
TITLE EXAMINATION: See Examination.
TITLE EXAMINER: See Examiner.
TITLE INSURANCE: Indemnity against loss resulting from defects in or liens upon a title.
TITLE INSURER: A company which insures the title to real estate.
TITLE PLANT: (1) In many areas, synonymous with Abstract Plant. (See Abstract Plant.) (2) 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 a particular piece of land. (See also Abstract and Examination.)
TITLE SEARCHER: One who searches titles.
TITLE UNDERWRITER: Synonymous with Title Insurer.
UNDERWRITER: An insurance company which issues insurance policies either to the public or to another insurer.
USURY: (1) Any premium, profit, bonus, fee, or charge which is demanded, required, or extracted by a lender in excess of legal interest on money loaned.
VENDOR: The seller under a sale contract of real estate.
VOID: Binding on no-one, kaput, constituting a nullity. Something which is conclusively of no effect, the defect of which is not subject to being waived, revitalized or cured by confirmation or ratification.
VOIDABLE: Sufficiently defective to make void, the deficiency, however, being curable by confirmation or ratification.
WARRANTY: In a broad sense, it is an agreement or undertaking by a seller to be responsible for present or future losses of the purchaser occasioned by deficiency or effect in quality, condition, or quantity of the thing sold. In a stricter sense, it is the provision or provisions in a deed, lease, or other instrument conveying or transferring an estate or interest in real estate under which the seller becomes liable to the purchaser for defects in or encumbrances on the title. (See Title Covenants.)
WARRANTY DEED: A deed containing one or more title covenants. (See Title Covenants.)
WAREHOUSING: In title industry parlance, 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.
WILL: (1) An instrument executed by a competent person, in the manner prescribed by law, whereby he makes disposition of his property to take effect on and after his death. (2) A holographic will is a will entirely written and signed by the testator in his own handwriting. In some states some of the legal requirements regarding the execution of wills do not apply in cases of holographic wills. (3) A nuncupative will is one made orally before witnesses, usually during the testator’s last hours of life. Under English law, sailors and soldiers may make nuncupative wills any time during their military service.
WRIT: A formal legal document issued by a court ordering or prohibiting the performance of some action. There are at least a hundred different kinds of writs each covering a different action or subject. In most writs, an officer of the court, such as a sheriff, is directed to serve the writ or carry out its directions.