Words, Phrases & Definitions



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A

Abandonment - The surrender, relinquishment, disclaimer, or cession of property or of rights to property.

Abatement - To put an end to.

Ab Initio - From the beginning.

Ab Initio Mundi - From the beginning of the world.

Abstract - A brief summary.

Abstract of Judgment - A brief transcript of the essentials of a judgment.

Abstract of Title - A summary of the conveyances, transfers and other facts appearing of record and relied upon as evidence of title to real property.

Abutting - Touching or bordering a street, highway, or other public place.

Acceleration Clause - A clause in a note, trust deed, or mortgage advancing or hastening the date of maturity of the indebtedness or obligation upon the happening of a certain event.

Access Right - A landowner's right to have ingress to and egress from the property to a public street.

Accession - Addition to property by natural increase or growth or by installation of improvements.

Accommodation - An obligation assumed without consideration.

Accommodation Party - A person who signs a promissory note without receiving value.

Accommodation Recording - The recordation of an instrument without consideration and without assumption of responsibility for correctness or validity.

Accretion - A process by which land on a shore or riverbank increases gradually by the deposit of sand or soil upon the shore or riverbank.

Accrual - The growing or adding to.

Acknowledgment - A formal declaration before a duly authorized officer by a person who has executed an instrument that such execution is his or her act and deed.

Action - An ordinary proceeding in a court of justice by which one party prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection of a right; the redress or prevention of a wrong; or, the punishment of a public offense.

Action in Personam - An action in which judgment is sought against a person.

Action in Rem - An action in which judgment is sought against property to determine its status.

Actual Notice - Notice in fact or in reality to or by a party directly and personally.

Ad - At; to; before; near; for; of; until; within.

Ad Curiam - Before the court; to the court.

Ad Litem - During the pendency of the action or proceeding.

Ad Valorem - According to value.

Adjoining Owners - Owners of two or more parcels of real property that are contiguous to each other.

Adjudication - A judicial determination.

Administrator - Personal representative of the estate of an intestate decedent.

Administratrix - A woman administrator.

Administrator C.T.A. - An administrator with will annexed. The letters C.T.A. mean "cum testa-mento annexo" and are derived from Latin. If administration is granted but the decedent has made an incomplete will without naming executor(s) or if decedent names incapable persons or if executor(s) refuses to act, the administrator is an 'Administrator C.T.A.'

Advances - Money paid before proper time of payment.

Adverse Possession - Claim of ownership of property based upon open and hostile possession and occupancy.

Affiant - A person who has made an affidavit.

Affidavit - A written declaration under oath.

Affirmation - A declaration in writing under penalty of perjury.

After-Acquired Title - Title accepted by a grantor after his or her previous conveyance.

Agency - A relationship between two or more persons whereby one is authorized to act for another.

Agreement of Sale - An agreement entered into for the sale and purchase of property.

AKA - Also Known As

Alcalde - Spanish for mayor or chief magistrate.

Alienate - To transfer title to property.

Alienation - The transfer of title to property.

Alienation Clause - Provision in a note or in a security instrument calling for automatic maturity in the event of sale or transfer of title by borrower.

Allegation - A statement of fact in a pleading yet to be proved.

All-Inclusive Deed of Trust - A deed of trust securing payment of an obligation owing under a prior deed of trust.

Aliter - Otherwise.

Alluvion - Soil deposited by the process of accretion.

A.L.T.A. - American Land Title Association.

Amortization - Payment of principal and interest at stated periods for a stated time until debt is extinguished.

Ancillary - An addition to.

Ancillary Administration - Probate estate administration in a state other than the state of decedent's domicile.

Annexation - Addition to property or to territory.

Annuity - A yearly payment of money for life or for a term of years.

Annum - Year.

Ante - Before.

Antenuptial - Before marriage.

A Priori - From the past. From what goes before. Used in legal writing to indicate a cause and effect relationship.

Appearance - Presence of a party litigant before the court.

Appraisal - Statement of value.

Appraiser - A person qualified to determine property value.

Appurtenance - Anything incidental to or belonging to land considered a part of the real property.

Appurtenant - Belonging to.

Arbitrary (ARB) Map - A map made by a title company for its own convenience in identifying parcels of real property.

Assessed Value - Value of property for taxation purposes.

Assessments - Special taxes imposed to pay for public improvements beneficial to a limited area.

Assessor - County official who determines value of property for taxation purposes.

Assets - Property of value, property having an economic benefit.

Assign - To transfer all of an interest in personal property.

Assignee - One to whom property is assigned.

Assignor - One who transfers property by assignment.

Assumpsit - An undertaking to do an act or to make payment.

Assumption Agreement - An agreement to undertake a debt or obligation contracted by another.

Assumption Fee - The charge made by a lender when a buyer assumes seller's existing loan.

Assumption of Mortgage - An agreement in which buyer agrees to be liable for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage or deed of trust.

Attachment - A judicial process by which a creditor obtains a lien upon property of a debtor prior to adjudication of the debt.

Attestation Clause - The clause in a deed denoting the subscribing persons are witnesses.

Attorn - To accept and acknowledge a new landlord.

Attorney-In-Fact - An agent authorized to act for another.

Avulsion - Sudden tearing away of land by violent action of a river or other watercourse.

Ayuntamiento - Spanish for town council.

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