Below are a brief definition of words and phrases encountered in Escrow transactions. To find a term, click on the appropriate letter below:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 


ABSTRACT OF JUDGEMENT
A condensation or summary of the essential provisions of a Court Judgment

ABSTRACT OF TITLE
A list of, and full or abstract copies of, all documents affecting Title based on an examination of public records

ABUTTING OWNER
Owner whose land touches another parcel, i.e., a road, highway, or other parcel of land

ACCELERATION CLAUSE
A clause in an Installment Note permitting the Payee to declare the entire unpaid balance immediately due and payable upon the failure to pay an installment when due. Such a clause is subject, however, to a statutory right of reinstatement if the Note is secured by a Deed of Trust or Mortgage not being foreclosed by Judicial Process

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
An act of authenticating instruments conveying property or otherwise conferring right; a declaration by the Party executing an instrument that it is the Party's act and Deed; a form used by Notaries Public and other authorized Officials to verify the act of Acknowledgement

ADMINISTRATOR
A person appointed by a Probate Court as the representative of a Decedent's Estate where the Decedent left no Will

ADVERSE POSSESSION
Claims of ownership of property based upon open and hostile possession and occupancy. Issuance of Title Insurance requires Judicial determination

AFFIANT
A person who makes an Affidavit

AFFIDAVIT
A written declaration under oath

AGENT
A person who acts for another by proper authorization

ALIENATION
The voluntary parting with an interest in the ownership of Real Property

ALIENATION CLAUSE
A clause in a Note or Trust Deed permitting the Payee to declare the entire unpaid balance immediately due and payable upon subsequent transfer of the property. Also referred to as a 'Due on Sale' clause

AMORTIZATION
Provision for the payment of a debt or obligation by payment of principal and interest at stated periods for a stated time until debt is extinguished

APPRAISAL
An opinion as to the fair market value of property

APPURTENANT
Belonging to

ASSESSED VALUE
Value placed on property as a basis for Taxation

ASSESSMENTS
Special taxes imposed to pay for public improvements beneficial to a limited area

ASSIGNMENT
A transfer of all of an interest in Personal Property

ASSUMPTION
An agreement to undertake a debt or obligation contracted by another

ATTACHMENT
A seizure of property by Judicial Process during the Pendency of an Action

ATTORNEY-IN-FACT
An Agent authorized to act for another under a "Power-of-Attorney".

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BILL OF SALE
A written instrument evidencing the transfer of Title to Personal Property

BREACH
The violation of an obligation

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CERTIFICATE OF SALE
A certificate issued to the Purchaser at a Judicial Sale

CHAIN OF TITLE
A chronological list of recorded instruments affecting the Title to land

CHATTEL
Personal property

CHATTEL REAL
Interest in Real Estate less than freehold, such as an Estate for years

COLLATERAL
Any property pledged as security for a debt, e.g., the Real Estate pledged as security for the payment of indebtedness secured by a Mortgage or Deed of Trust

COLLATERAL ASSIGNMENT
The Assignment of a debt and the security therefore, such as a Note and Deed of Trust to secure the performance of an obligation by the Assignor. The Assignee holds Title for security purposes

COMMUNITY PROPERTY (not applicable in Utah)
Property acquired by husband or wife or both during marriage other than by gift,
or as an Heir, Legatee, or Devisee

COMPETENT
Legally qualified

CONDEMNATION
The exercise of the power of Eminent Domain, i.e., the taking of property for a public use upon payment of just compensation; also refers to Condemnation of unsafe structures under the Police Power

CONDITIONAL SALE CONTRACT
A contract of sale where Title remains in the seller until the conditions of the contract have been performed. (i.e. Utah's Uniform Real Estate Contract)

CONDOMINIUM
A Statutory Estate in land consisting of ownership of a divided interest, i.e., an individually owned airspace unit, in a multi-family or other structure; together with an undivided interest in the common areas

CONFIRMATION OF SALE
Court approval of the sale of property by an Executor, Administrator, Guardian, or Conservator

CONSERVATOR
A person appointed by the Probate Court to take care of the person and/or property of an adult person who is not competent to act for himself or herself

CONSIDERATION
The inducement for entering into a contract; it consists of either a benefit to the Promisor, or a loss or detriment to the Promisee

CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE
Notice given by the public records of a claim of ownership or interest in property. Generally, the law presumes that one has the same knowledge of instruments properly recorded as if one were actually acquainted with them

CONTIGUOUS
Being in actual contact; adjoining or touching

CONTINGENT
Dependent upon an uncertain event

CONTRACT
An agreement between two or more Parties to do or not to do a certain thing

CONVENTIONAL LOAN
A loan secured by a Mortgage or Deed of Trust, which is not insured or guaranteed by a Governmental Agency

CONVEYANCE
A written instrument transferring the Title to land or an interest therein from one Party to another

CORPORATION
An artificial being, created by law; and possessing certain rights, privileges, and duties of natural persons

COVENANTS
Agreements contained in Deeds and other instruments for the performance or non-performance of certain acts, or the use or non-use of property in a certain manner

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DECEDENT
A deceased person

DECREE OF DISTRIBUTION
An order of the Probate Court distributing property to persons entitled thereto

DEED
Written instrument by which the ownership of land is transferred from one Party to another

DEED OF TRUST
A written instrument by which Title to an interest in land is transferred by the Trustor to a Trustee as security for a loan or other obligation due a Beneficiary. Also called Trust Deed

DEFAULT
Failure to perform a duty or to discharge an obligation

DEFICIENCY JUDGEMENT
A personal judgment in a Judicial Foreclosure Action for the amount remaining due after a sale of the security

DEVISE
A disposition of Real property by will

DEVISEE
One who receives Real Property by will

DOMICILE
A person's legal residence

DOMINANT TENEMENT
The land benefited by an Appurtenant Easement

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EARNEST MONEY
A good faith deposit given to bind a contract between Buyer and Seller

EARNEST MONEY AGREEMENT
A written contract used when accepting 'Earnest Money' to bind an offer for property by a prospective Purchaser

EASEMENT
A limited right or interest in land of another that entitles the holder of the right to some use, privilege, or benefit out of or over the land (e.g., to install pole line, pipelines, roads, driveways)

EMINENT DOMAIN
The power to take private property for a public purpose upon payment of just compensation

ENCROACHMENT
The extension of an improvement onto the property of another

ENCUMBRANCE
A lien or charge on land

ENDORSEMENT
A writing on a negotiable instrument by which property mentioned therein is assigned and transferred. Also, a notation on an instrument to change, clarify, or enlarge its contents.
In insurance- A provision or rider added to the Insurance Policy to alter the terms of the Insurance Contract

EQUITABLE TITLE
Title of the Purchaser under a Contract of Sale (UREC) or the right to acquire the legal Title

EQUITY
Property value in excess of Mortgage and other liens

ESCROW
A transaction in which an impartial third party acts as Agent for both Seller and Buyer, or for both Borrower and Lender, in carrying out Instructions, delivering papers and documents, and disbursing funds
The holding of funds and/or documents by a neutral third party for the performance of a condition or conditions

ESTATE
The degree, nature, and extent of the interest a person has in Real Property

ET AL
And others

ET UX
And wife

ET VIR
And husband

EXCEPTION
A deduction, subtraction, or exclusion

EXECUTOR
A male person or a legal entity who is designated in a Will as the representative of a Decedent's Estate

EXECUTRIX
A female person or legal entity who is designated in a Will as the representative of a Decedent's Estate

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FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA)
A Federal agency, created by the National Housing Act of 1934, for the purpose of expanding and strengthening home ownership by making private mortgage financing possible on a long-term, low-down payment basis. The vehicle is a mortgage insurance program, with premiums paid by the homeowner, to protect Lenders against loss on these higher-risk loans. Since 1965, FHA has been part of the newly created Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

FHA INSURANCE
An undertaking by FHA to insure the Lender against loss arising from a default by the Borrower

FICTITIOUS DEED OF TRUST
A recorded Deed of Trust containing general provisions but naming no Parties and describing no property. It is used for reference only in a short form Deed of Trust

FIDUCIARY
One who holds something of value in Trust for another

FINANCING STATEMENT
A personal Property Security Instrument which replaced a Chattel Mortgage upon adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code

FIXTURE
A thing which was originally Personal Property but which has become attached to and is considered as part of Real Property

FORECLOSURE
A proceeding to enforce a lien by a sale of the property in order to satisfy the debt

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GARNISHMENT
A statutory Proceeding whereby property, money, or credits of a Debtor in possession of another are seized and applied to payment of the debt

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

GROUND LEASE
A lease of the land only

GUARDIAN
A person appointed by the Probate Court to care for the person and/or Estate of a minor or incompetent person

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HEIRS
The persons designated by law to succeed to the Estate of a Decedent who leaves no will

HOMESTEAD
A residential parcel upon which the Owner has recorded a 'Declaration of Homestead' pursuant to Utah law, which, to an extent, protects it against forced sale

HYPOTHECATE
To give a thing as security without parting with possession

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IMPROVED REAL ESTATE
Land upon which buildings have been erected

INCOMPETENT
Incapable of managing one's affairs

INDEMNITY AGREEMENT
An agreement to compensate another Party for a potential loss. A 'Hold-Harmless' agreement

INSTALLMENT NOTE
A Promissory Note providing for payment of the principal in two or more certain amounts at different stated time

INSURABLE INTEREST
An interest in property of such a nature that the occurrence of the even insured against would cause financial loss to the insured. Such interests may be that of an Owner, a Mortgagee, a Lessee, a Trustee, etc

INTERIM LOAN
A short-term loan under circumstances anticipating a subsequent long-term loan

INVOLUNTARY LIEN
A lien created by operation of Law

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JOINT TENANCY
Title held by two or more persons in equal shares with right of survivorship

JOINT VENTURE
A form of business organization composed of two or more natural or artificial persons to conduct a single enterprise for profit

JUDGMENT LIEN
A Statutory Lien created by recording an 'Abstract of a Judgment'

JUNIOR LIEN
A Subordinate Loan

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LEASE
A Contract for the possession of land in consideration of payment of rent

LEGACY
A gift of Personal Property by will, usually money

LEGAL DESCRIPTION
A description of Real Property sufficient to locate it by reference to Government Surveys or recorded maps

LIEN
A charge upon property for the payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. A form of encumbrance. Taxes, Special Assessments, and Judgments, as well as Mortgages, are liens. In addition, there are Mechanics' and Materialmen's Liens for furnishing labor or materials

LIFE ESTATE
An Estate measured by the life of a natural person

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
A Partnership composed of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners, whose contribution and liability are limited

LIS PENDENS
A recorded notice of the filing of an Action

LISTING
An employment contract between a Broker and his client

LOSS PAYABLE CLAUSE
An Endorsement to an Insurance Policy (Hazard) specifying Parties (Lenders) entitled to participate in proceeds in the event of a loss

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MARKETABLE TITLE
A Title free from reasonable doubt in Law and in fact

MECHANICS' LIEN
A Statutory Lien in favor of laborers and materialmen who have contributed to a work of improvement

MESNE
Intermediate, intervening

METES AND BOUNDS
Measurements and boundaries

MINOR
A person under 18 years of age

MONUMENTS
Objects or marks used to fix or establish a boundary

MORTGAGE
A two party security document pledging land as security for the payment of a debt or performance of an obligation

MULTIPLE LISTING
An organized Real Estate listing service under which Brokers pool their listings

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NOMINEE
A person designated to take the place of another

NOTARY PUBLIC
An official appointed by the Secretary of State to administer oaths, to authenticate Contracts, to acknowledge Deed, etc

NOTE
A written acknowledgement of a debt by a Borrower including a promise of payment in accordance with specified terms; an evidence of debt; the credit instrument. Also referred to as Promissory Note

NOTICE OF CESSATION
A notice that work has ceased; a notice recorded within the time periods which is specified by statute, limiting the time for filing Mechanics' Liens on a incomplete project

NOTICE OF COMPLETION
A notice recorded within the time period specified by statute, after completion of a work improvement, signaling commencement of the time period within which claims for Mechanics' Liens must be recorded

NOTICE OF DEFAULT
Recorded notice that a Default has occurred under the terms of a Deed of Trust

NOTICE OF NONRESPONSIBILITY
Notice recorded by an Owner of Real Property that he will not be responsible for payment of Mechanics' Liens for work contracted by another

NOTICE TO QUIT
Notice to a tenant to vacate

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OFFSET STATEMENT
A statement furnished to Escrow from a tenant regarding status of rental and his rights of possession; also, by an Owner of land subject to an encumbrance, as to the balance due

OPEN END MORTGAGE
A Mortgage (or Deed of Trust) which secures additional advances made by a Lender in addition to the original principal amount of the loan

OPTION
A right to require an act to be done in the future

OWNERSHIP
The right to the use and enjoyment of property, or an interest therein generally to the exclusion of others

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PARTNERSHIP (General)
An association of two or more persons as Co-Owners to carry on a business for profit.

PERSONAL PROPERTY
Movable property; all property which is not Real Property. Property consisting of Chattels as contrasted to Real Estate; e.g., furniture, car, clothing.

POLICE POWER
The power to enact laws and regulations necessary for the common welfare.

POWER OF ATTORNEY
A written authorization to an Agent to perform specified acts on behalf of this principal. May be a 'General Power' or a 'Limited Power'.

PRINCIPAL
One who employs an Agent to act on his behalf; or the chief or foremost Party in a particular transaction; or the amount of a loan exclusive of interest; or the assets consisting of a Trust Estate.

PRIORITY
That which is earlier or previous in point of time or tight, such as a first Deed of Trust is ahead of or has priority over a second Deed of Trust.

PRORATE
To divide, distribute, or assess proportionately.

PURCHASE MONEY MORTGAGE (Deed of Trust)
A mortgage (Deed of Trust) securing payment of all or portion of the Purchase Price of Real Property.

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QUIET TITLE
An Action to Establish Title to Real Property or to remove a cloud on Title.

QUIT CLAIM DEED
A Deed which conveys whatever present Right, Title or interest the Grantor may have.

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REAL PROPERTY
Land and buildings as opposed to Personal Property or Chattels.

RECONVEYANCE
A document extinguishing the lien of a Deed of Trust.

REINSTATEMENT
The curing of all Defaults by a Borrower, i.e., the restoration of a loan to current status through payment of arrearages.

RELEASE CLAUSE
A clause in a Deed of Trust providing for release of specified portions of the property upon compliance with certain conditions.

RESCISSION
The act of canceling or annulling the effect of a document

RESERVATION
The right or an interest retained by a grantor in a conveyance

RESERVE ACCOUNT
Funds collected by a Lender from a Borrower to guarantee payment of such items as taxes and Hazard Insurance Premiums when due

RESTRICTIONS
Limitations on the use and enjoyment of property

RIDER
A supplement to, and addition to, and Endorsement to a document

RIGHT OF REDEMPTION
A legally enforceable right provided by Law under certain conditions permitting the Owner to reclaim Foreclosed Property by making full payment of the Mortgage debt or the Foreclosure Sales Price, as applicable. The Right of Redemption exists for a specified period of time, known as the Redemption Period. Junior lien claimants may also have such right

RIGHT OF WAY
The right to cross over a parcel of land

RIPARIAN
Pertaining to the bank of a river

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SATISFACTION
Performance of the terms of an obligation

SECURITY
Collateral; property pledged to secure repayment of a debt

SECURITY AGREEMENT
Document now used in place of a Chattell Mortgage as evidence of a Lien on Personal Property. A Financing Statement may be recorded to give Constructive Notice of the Security Agreement

SEPARATE PROPERTY
Property acquired before marriage, and property acquired during marriage by gift, devise, descent, or bequest

SERVIENT TENEMENT
An Estate burdened by an Easement

SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE
A Legal Action to compel performance of an agreement

SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT
An agreement under which a lien is made inferior to another lien

SURVEY
A map of plat containing a statement of courses, distances, and quantity of land and showing lines of possession

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TAX DEED
A Deed issued to the Purchaser at a Tax Sale

TENANCY IN COMMON
Ownership of property by two or more persons in equal or unequal undivided interests without right of survivorship

TITLE
Evidence of a person's right or the extent of his interest in property

TOWNSHIP
Subdivision of the public lands of the United States; each township usually contains 36 sections; a section usually contains 640 acres

TRUST
A fiduciary relationship in which a Trustee holds Title to property for the benefit of others

TRUSTEE
The person to whom property is conveyed in Trust

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USURY
The charge of a greater rate of interest for the loan of money than is permitted by law

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VALID
Sufficient in law; effective

VEST
The give immediate, fixed right in property, with either present or future enjoyment of possession; also denotes the manner in which Title is held

VESTED INTEREST
As interest that is fixed or determined

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA)
An independent agency of the Federal government to administer a variety of benefit programs designed to facilitate the adjustment of returning veterans to civilian life. Among the benefit programs is the Home Loan Guaranty program designed to encourage Mortgage Lenders to offer long-term low-down payment financing to eligible veterans by guaranteeing the Lender against loss on these high-risk loans

VOID
Having no legal effect; null

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WAIVER
A relinquishment or abandonment of a right

WARRANTY
An assurance or undertaking that certain defects do not exist

WILL
A disposition of property effective upon the maker's death; often referred to as 'Last Will and Testament'

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ZONING
Governmental regulations relating to the use of property

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