ABSTRACTING – The process of making and compiling an abstract.
ABSTRACTER – The person or company engaged in making abstracts.
ABSTRACTER’S CERTIFICATE – A certificate appearing at the end of an abstract in which the abstracter 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 abstracter’s liability.
ABSTRACT CONTINUATION – (Also known as Abstract Extension and also as Supplemental Abstract.) A partial abstract beginning at the terminal date of an existing abstract and showing instruments recorded between such terminal date and a subsequent date.
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.
ADMINISTER – To pay the debts and wind up the business of a deceased person’s estate. Also, to handle and dispose of properties of an estate by an executor, administrator or trustee in conformity with legal procedures and provisions of wills or trust instruments.
ADMINISTRATOR – A person appointed by a probate court to administer the estate of a person who dies intestate; that is without leaving a will.
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 – On 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.
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 ownerships in the United States.
ALLUVION – The increasing of land, especially along river banks, caused by the natural deposit and build-up of sediment. Such sediment is called alluvium.Glossary-3AMORTIZATION – 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.
ANNUITY – Derived from the Latin word “annus” meaning year. The annual or yearly payment of income. Such payments are made to individuals under certain types of insurance policies and sometimes under the provisions of wills and trust estates.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.
APPROVED ATTORNEY – A practicing lawyer whose examinations of title and title opinions are acceptable to a title insurance company as a basis for the issuance of its title insurance policies.
APPURTENANCE – A minor right or privilege that is incident to, but outside of, the principal property such as a right-of-way to a highway across the land of another. Water rights are also an example.
APPURTENANT – Belonging to, or accessory to, or incident to a principal property.
ARBITRATION – the process by which parties who cannot agree among themselves submit the dispute to the judgment of an impartial party.ARBS – An abbreviation of “arbitraries.” A title industry word, used primarily in abstract plants and title plants, which refers to simplified forms of land descriptions arbitrarily used in indexing such plants in lieu of the more involved and complex descriptions contained in deeds, mortgages and other real estate instruments. Arbitrary descriptions are often found in areas where land ownerships are highly irregular and are of all manner of shapes and sizes and are described by metes and bounds. Such tracts are usually laid out on an area map and each tract is given an arbitrary name or number. All instruments affecting a given tract are indexed under the arbitrary name or number.
ASSESSED VALUATION – The estimated value of property for tax purposes, usually fixed by the tax assessor
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.
ASSIGNOR – For example, the person who transfers ownership of a contract or mortgage 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.
AVIGATION EASEMENT – An easement over private property which abuts and extends out from the end of airport runways with said easement restricting the graduated height of agricultural crops, bushes, trees and other objects in the take off and landing path of aircraft.
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.