Abstract [ Of Title ] – A history of all transactions shown in the public records affecting a particular tract of land.
Acceleration Clause – A provision in a promissory note that specifies conditions under which the lender may advance the time when the entire debt which is secured by the mortgage becomes due.
Acknowledgment – A formal declaration before an authorized officer [ usually a notary public ] by a person who has signed an instrument that such signing is the individual’s act.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage [ ARM ] – Mortgage loans under which the interest rate is periodically adjusted, in accordance with some market indicator, to more closely coincide with the current rates.
Administrator – A person appointed by a court to take possession of the property of a person who died without leaving a will, to pay debts and to distribute the property to those entitled to it according to law.
Adverse Possession – The possession, by one party, of land belonging to another in a manner deemed adverse to the interest of the record owner.
Affiant – One who swears to or affirms the statement in an affidavit.
Affidavit – A written statement made under oath before a notary public or other judicial officer.
ALTA – (American Land Title Association) – The trade association of the title insurance industry, which has adopted certain insurance policy forms to standardize coverage on a national basis.
Appurtenance – A right or privilege that is attached to another property and is conveyed with it. See also easement and encroachment.
Assessed Valuation – The valuation placed upon land for purposes of taxation.
Assessment – The valuation of real estate for the purpose of taxes or special improvement charges. Special improvement charges are usually for the costs of streets, sidewalks, sewers, etc.
Assignment – The act of transferring certain interests in real estate from one party to another, like a mortgage or leasehold interest.
Assumption of Mortgage – An obligation undertaken by a new purchaser of land to be liable for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage.
Attorney – in-fact – A person who holds a power of attorney from another to execute specified documents on behalf of the seller of the power.