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Glossary Of Terms

Accelerate—This term often refers to a “acceleration clause” option that may or may not be in your mortgage or deed of trust that requires you to pay the entire loan balance if the loan is in default.

Affidavit—An affidavit is a sworn statement, usually given under oath and in the presence of a notary.

Appraisal—When your home is appraised, a licensed or authorized person will provide you with an estimate on the value of your home.

Appreciation—The amount your home’s value has increased since your purchase.

Assignment—The process of transferring property to be held in trust or used for the benefit of lenders.

Bid—The amount offered for a property that is for sale at auction.

Certificate of Sale—This document is given to the winning bidder at a foreclosure sale and states their rights to the property.

Clear Title—This indicates that the title to the property is not burdened by defects.

Credit Bid—This is a bid placed on behalf of the lender at a foreclosure sale and must be the same as or less than the balance of the defaulted loan.

Decree—An official judicial decision.

Deed—A document that allows the transfer of property ownership from one party to another.

Deed-In-Lieu Of Foreclosure—Voluntarily conveying the rights of a property from the borrower to the lender.

Deed Of Trust—A three party security instrument between the borrower, the lender and trustee, that conveys the legal title to property as security for loan repayment.

Default—When a borrow fails to make a payment as originally agreed in the promissory note, the mortgage or deed of trust is said to be in default.

Deficiency Judgment—This follows a foreclosure sale and requires the borrower to pay the remaining balance of the loan.

Equitable Title—The right to possession and the right to obtain the legal title if a preceding condition has been sufficiently met.

Equity—The net value of an asset. In regards to real estate, this is the difference between the mortgage amount on a property and the property’s current value.

Escrow—An item, money, or documents that are deposited with a third party and that are to be delivered once a condition is fulfilled. For example, a deposit paid by a borrower to a lender to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they are due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an escrow agent or attorney that are disbursed ones the sale of real estate is closed. In some areas of the country, escrows of taxes and insurance premiums are referred to as reserves or impounds.

Escrow Accounts—A segregated trust account where escrow funds are held.

Escrow Analysis—The occasional examination of escrow accounts in order to determine if the current monthly deposits will be enough to pay the taxes, insurance and other bills when they are due.

Fair Market Value—This is the value of a property if it would be sold on the open market.

Forbearance—The act of not taking legal action even though a mortgage is in arrears. A forbearance is usually only granted when the borrower makes arrangements considered satisfactory in order to pay the amount that is owed at a later date.

Foreclosure—The enforced sale of a property to repay the debt owned on it once in default status.

Free And Clear—Owning property without any debt.

Hazard Insurance—This form of insurance compensates the insured in case of damage or property loss.

Investment Property—A property other than the borrower’s primary residence, an investment property is one that is purchased to generate income from rental, tax benefits or a profitable resale.

Investor—A person or institution that invests in mortgages or mortgage-backed securities.

Judicial Foreclosure—A court action process by a court of law.

Landlord—The owner of the property which is leased or rented to a person or business, called the tenant, lessee or renter.

Lien—Charge on real or personal property in order to satisfy a debt.

Legal Description—A formal description of the property that is adequate enough for it to be located by reference to approved recorded maps and/or government surveys.

Lender—A bank, mortgage company, etc. who temporarily lends money on the condition that it is repaid with interest.

Lender Placed Insurance—Insurance placed on a property by a lender in order to protect their insurable interest on collateral securing a loan.

Loan Servicer—A function of a mortgage bank that includes the receipt of payments, customer service, escrow administration, investor accounting, collections and foreclosures. A loan servicer is also called a loan administrator.

Lis Pendens—A legally recorded notice that informs of a pending lawsuit.

Mortgage—A written pledge of property used for security for the repayment of a loan to the lender.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure—This foreclosure process is utilized when a mortgage or deed of trust includes a power of sale clause in which the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of the property to pay the balance on a loan in the case of default.

Notary—A public officer who is licensed in their state to certify the validity of any other person’s signature.

Notice Of Trustee Sale—This notice provides specific information regarding a loan in default and what future procedures that are about to take place. A notice of sale is required to be recorded in the county where the property is located and advertised in the security document as the state law dictates.

Partial Claim or Partial Release—You may qualify for a low interest or even interest-free loan to bring your loan current if you have insured your mortgage through an insurer, usually the Federal Housing Administration. The loan is repaid at a later date, usually when you pay off your first mortgage or sell the home.

Personal Property—Defined as temporary or movable property.

Posting—Publishing, announcing or advertising by attaching a notice to an object physically.

Postponement—In foreclosure sales, a postponement means to announce at the original sale or to post notices of a new date and time of the foreclosure.

Pre-Foreclosure Sale or Short Sale—This is an option that involves selling the home in order to prevent foreclosure. A lender may agree to accept less than what is owed on the home if you owe more than the home’s value. Always speak with a tax preparer to learn about the possible tax consequences for you regarding a short sale or pre-foreclosure sale.

Right Of Redemption—The borrower’s right to reacquire a property that was lost due to a foreclosure.

Reinstatement—A lump sum paid on a specific date that covers the full amount owed in addition to any past due monthly payments and fees.

Repayment Plan—In this arrangement, a borrower agrees to make additional payments to reduce past due amounts while continuing to make regularly scheduled payments.

Request For Notice—A legally recorded document which requires a trustee to send a copy of the Notice of Default or Notice of Sale about a specific deed of trust that is in foreclosure to the person or party who filed the document.

Subject To—Purchasing property that has an existing lien on the title without assuming any personal liability for paying those liens.

Title—Often refereed to as a deed, the title is evidence of a person’s right in real property.

Trustee—A neutral party that advertises the sale of a foreclosure property and also conducts the auction in order to sell it to the highest bidder.

Trustee Sale—An auction of real property by a trustee. A trustee sale is often known as a sheriff’s sale.

Work-Out—Also called a “restructure”, a work out is an alternative action to foreclosure that is beneficial to both lender and borrower. Work out options include loan modifications, short sales and various forms of forbearance.

Upset Bid—A higher bid placed on a property after a foreclosure sale than the one placed during an actual foreclosure sale.

Writ—A written mandatory process that is issued in the name of a judicial officer or court which commands the person it is intended for to do or to refrain from doing a specific act.