TITLE INSURANCE GLOSSARY

Learn more about the closing process with title insurance terms.

A

Adverse Possession
a manner in which a person in possession of a property owned by someone else is granted a valid title when specified criteria are met (continuous, hostile, open and notorious, actual, and exclusive) and after a duration of time as outlined within the statute of limitations.

Appurtenance
an appendage or subordinate feature detached from the main structure that is also included in the property or assigned to a more important function than the principle property by law such as additional buildings or easements for a rights of passage through the property.

ALTA
the American Land Title Association is a national trade association that represents over 5,000 title insurance companies, title and settlements agents, real estate attorneys, and independent abstractors who conduct title examinations, searches, and closings to issue title insurance and protect real property owners and lenders from losses with title defects.

B

Back Title Letter
a letter issued by a title insurance company to the attorney of the buyer or seller advising on the condition of a property’s title as of a specified date.

Bargain and Sale Deed
a US real property law in which conveys property without covenants to a grantee, although does not guarantee a warranty on the conditions of the title.

Bundle of Rights
the various rights outlined in common real estate law as pertaining to property ownership and inherent rights of the property such as the right to use, the right to sell, the right to mortgage, the right to lease, the right to give away, the right to enter the property, in addition to the right to refuse these rights within specified limitations.

C

CFPB
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is responsible for overseeing laws and regulations that apply to financial products and services.

Certificate of Title
a document delivered by a state or municipal authority in which identifies the owner/s of real estate and acts as recorded evidence of rights to ownership to the property.

Closing
the final step of a real estate transaction in which the ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Curtesy
a husband’s right to marital property in the form of real estate upon the death of his wife.

D

Deed Restriction
a type of condition, covenant, or restriction on a property that limits the construction and use of a property in a specified way.

Defect
an encumbrance on real estate such as a lien, mortgage or judgment that restricts legal transfer of the title due to outside claims to the property.

Dower
a wife’s right to marital property in the form of real estate upon the death of her husband.

E

Easement
a right to non-possessive use of land or a real estate property in a specified and limited manner such as a utility company has over running water in pipes beneath the ground.

Encroachment
an intrusion on real estate property rights by way of building beyond specified land boundaries such as a structure that crosses into a separate plot of land or hangs over in assigned airspace.

Endorsement
specified provisions that enhance or restrict title insurance coverage most often needed when a custom policy is written or more detailed property protection provided.

Escrow
funds held by a third party on behalf of a transacting parties by a licensed and accredited escrow company..

F

Fade
a web design element that fades in (much like a powerpoint presentation between slides) when opening a page using a jquery script. This feature can be applied to a website by adding the script to the html code or theme.

First Mortgage
a mortgage that has primary claim or priority over all over liens on the property.

Fixture
a permanently attached fixture of real estate that must remain “fixed” as removal would permanently damage the property.

Flip
a web design element that flips (much like a digital book with pages) when navigating between pages using a jquery script. This feature can be applied to a website by adding the script to the html code or theme

Front Foot
a foot measured along the front perimeter of a property used to determine the price for commercial real estate.

G

General Lien
a restriction used to satisfy a debt due from the owner of a property that is not confined to the real estate value.

Gift Deed
the voluntary transfer of a real estate gift from owner to donee without the exchange of money and without purpose of illegal gains or tax evasion.

Grantee/Grantor
the “grantee” is the entity receiving the property or buyer, while the “grantor” is the initial entity in possession of the property or the lending institution/seller.

H

Habendum Clause
the clause in a deed that begins with “to have and to hold” and describes the grantee’s ownership rights and interests in the property.

Homeowners Insurance Endorsement
additional title coverage and customized endorsements for a property that are not offered by standard policies.

Homestead property
a legal exemption in which protects the value of land and the owner of the real estate from property taxes, creditors, and special circumstances that result in seizure and sale such as to satisfy a debt or in the event of the death of the primary property owner.

I

Improvement Liens
also known as a mechanic’s lien is a lien recognized for claims to compensation for improvements made on the land or property of another.

Indemnity
an agreement to provide compensation for damages or loss in which frees the holder from legal responsibility, liability or financial burden.

Inflation Endorsement
an endorsement that adjusts the value of title insurance according to cover the increased “cost of living” index and results in fees over a period of time.

J

Joint Protection Policy
a policy that insures the interests of both the owner and lender under the same title insurance policy.

Joint Tenancy
the possession of a property by two or more parties in which the share is passed to the remaining parties in the event of death.

Judicial Foreclosure
any type of foreclosure that results in a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale (auction) and is processed as the result of court intervention in response to unpaid debts or mortgages attached to the property.

L

Lien Waiver
a document supplied after a claim that confirms compensation for a debt and waives any future lien rights to the property.

Lis Pendens
a written notice of a “lawsuit pending” filed in regards to a piece of real estate property..

Littoral Rights
property rights concerning the access and use of real estate in and around bodies of water such as oceans, bays, seas, and lakes rather than rivers and streams (riparian).

M

Mockup
A mockup is a realistic representation or visual model of what the product will look like (in this case a website). The final result can look exactly like the mockup version or become a variation of it after revisions. While some people prefer to draw the mockups using graphic software, others add it straight in HTML/CSS.

Mortgage Policy
a portion of the title insurance policy that protects lenders from loss resulting from superior liens, defects, or the unmarketability of a title.

Mortgage Insurance
also known as a “mortgage-guarantee” or home loan insurance is a policy that protects lenders from losses and defaults on loan payments.

Muniments of Title
documents such as deeds and records used to show the chain of events such as past owners, transfers, and conditions for a specified title.

N

Non-recurring Closing Costs
one time only fees paid by the closing date such as title insurance premiums, endorsements to a title insurance policy, and recording, notary, and escrow fees.

Notary Public
a person in position to acknowledges oaths on behalf of the government, serve the public as an impartial witness by overseeing the signing of important documents, and certify legal documents such as deeds and contracts in a specified jurisdiction.

Notice of Nonresponsibility
notice on record that the owner of a property is not responsible for improvement/mechanic’s liens or contract work done on the property.

O

Official Records
a master set of books and archives kept by the county recorder that serves as a complete public record of the local area..

Offset Statement
a statement by an owner or lienholder in which conveys the existing balance due as the result of liens on the property for purchase.

Owner’s Policy
a title insurance policy issued for a one time fee during closing in which protects the home buyer’s interests should a title claim or defect arise.

P

Partition
rights to a property as the result of a lawsuit in which the court divides the property between parties or orders a property be sold and the proceeds divided.

Plat Book and Map
a set of books in the public records in which records property details, maps, and surveys of land measurements, subdivisions, housing developments, and boundaries.

Possession Date
date in which the buyer moves into the property in contrast to the “closing date” in which specifies the end date of the escrow transfer process or recording date.

Programmatic Marketing
is the algorithmic investing and sale of advertising space through the application of technology across the digital, television, and radio media inventory to reduce human-based methods, such as Google Adwords. The goal of programmatic marketing is to target the intended audience.

Q

Quiet Enjoyment
a covenant guaranteeing the possession, peace, and protection against hostile claimants and undisturbed use or enjoyment of a property by a tenant or landowner.

Quiet Title Suit
an action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought about in a court with jurisdiction over property disputes in order to “quiet” any challenges or claims to the title.

Quit Claim Deed
a type of deed used to transfer claim to a property that does not guarantee a warranty on the condition of the property, deed and title, and is most often used in the event of a divorce in order to divide rights to a property or as the product of inheritance when a family member transfers ownership to an heir.

R

Reconveyance
the transfer of real property as the result of total repayment of debts pertaining to the property, often in the form of a mortgage loan, in which grants the title to the owner.

Recurring Closing Costs
any additional policy premium that is paid at the time of sale but reoccurs over a specified duration as the cost of maintaining the property such as homeowner’s insurance dues and property taxes.

Release Clause
a release clause allows for the freeing of a portion of the property from mortgage after a significant amount of the debt has been repaid.

Reveal
a web design element that reveals graphics or text when scrolling up or down the page using a jquery script. This feature can be applied to a website by adding the script to the html code or theme.

Riparian Rights
property rights concerning the allocation and use of water such as streams and rivers contained within property lines.

S

Settlement
also known as the “closing” or the completion of the real estate escrow transaction and title issuance with a date set during the negotiation phase of the process.

Setback
the minimum distance from the edge of the property line in which structures or improvements must be built as specified by zoning ordinances and deed restrictions.

SOC Auditing
a service Organization Control Audits are reports by auditors for financial organizations used to regulate controls and compliance standards.

SOC1
a Service Organization Audit that regulates and reports on the internal controls of an organization’s financial operations

SOC2
a Service Organization Audit that regulates and reports on controls of security, processing integrity, availability, and confidentiality/privacy for a financial organization’s technological systems used when conducting transactions and administering financial services.

Subrogation
the legal right given to a third party granting them the ability to make a payment on behalf of another in order to satisfy a debt owed.

T

Title Commitment
a document supplied by a title insurance provider in which outlines a promise to issue a policy along with the total persons, liens, defects, and obligations attached to the specified property.

Torrens System
a land title system in which a person in possession of a title within the register of land holdings maintained by the state acts as an indefeasible title to those listed on record.

TRID
the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Estate Settlement Procedure Act (TILA-RESPA) Integrated Disclosure is a form designed to replace good faith estimates and protect the consumer’s interests in real estate transactions (effective October 3, 2015).

U

Underwriter
a company or entity that administers or accepts liability and guarantees the distribution of securities in the result of loss for a corporation or other issuing body.

UPC
a Universal Product Code is used for a specified property and designed for tracking; also known as the assessor’s tax parcel number, account number, or folio number.

User Flow
in graphic design, the user flow refers to the path a user will most likely take when navigating your page due to calls-to-actions, buttons, triggers, and links on the page. For instance, a user oftentimes arrives on a site via a landing page then navigates to other pages presented on the top menu, internal links, or buttons displaying CTAs.

Usury
the illegal act of lending funds with unreasonably high rates of interest above the maximum amount allowed by state.

V

Vesting
the manner in which rights to a property title are held and transferred, also known as vested interest, as the result of inheritance law and retirement plan law.

Voluntary Lien
any lien placed on a property with the consent of and as the result of the voluntary act of the owner such as a mortgage or financial claim as the result of borrowing money.

W

Warranty Deed
a type of property deed that guarantees a clear title transfer to the buyer of the property free from defects and protects from future losses if challenges or claims against the title arise.

Warehousing
a line of credit used by mortgage bankers to extend credit from a financial institution to a mortgage loan originator for the funding of mortgage loans.

Wireframe
A wireframe is a sketch or schematic framework of a website without graphics, images or colors, and displays the design like a blueprint. The primary goal of a drawing a wireframe is to demonstrate the functionality and layout for UX/UI prior to performing any graphic design work.

Writ of Execution
a court order enforcing a judgment of possession obtained by a plaintiff of a court to take possession of a property owned by a judgment debtor.

Z

Zoning Ordinances
regulations and laws that outline specific geographic areas for residential or commercial purposes and may also restrict construction such as lot size, placement, and height of structures built.

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