Glossary of Terms*
Abstract of Title: A brief history of transfers of a piece of land, including all claims that could be made against it.
Amortize: To liquidate a debt by regular usually monthly installments of principal and interest. An amortization schedule is a table showing the payment amount, principal and unpaid balance for the entire term of the loan
Warranty Deed: A deed conveying the seller's interest in real property to the buyer. The seller, also known as the grantor, certifies that the title on property being conveyed is free and clear from defects, liens and encumbrances. If a third party claims is not exempted specifically, the buyer (the grantee) may sue the seller for damages caused by the defective title.
Special Warranty Deed: A deed in which the grantor limits the title warranty given to the grantee to anyone claiming by, from, through, or under him, the grantor. The grantor does not warrant against title defects arising from conditions that existed before he owned the property.
Quit Claim Deed: A deed that conveys only that right, title, or interest that the grantor has, or may have, and does not warrant that the grantor actually has any interest in the property. The grantor under a quit-claim deed releases whatever interest he may have to the grantee.
Escrow: Money, property, a deed or bond put into custody of a third party for delivery to a grantee only after fulfillment of the conditions specified.
Foreclosure: A situation in which a homeowner is unable to make principal and/or interest payments on his or her mortgage, so the lender can seize and sell the property as stipulated in the terms of the mortgage contract.
Heir: A person who inherits or is entitled by law, or by the terms of a will, to inherit the estate of another.
Lien: The right to take hold or sell the property of a debtor as security or payment for a debt or duty.
Mortgage Note: Written promise to repay a mortgage loan plus interest. The mortgage gives the lender a security interest in the mortgaged property. The mortgage note is the promissory note stating the principal amount due, the rate of interest, and the terms for repayment of the funds advanced. The borrower signing the note, and any cosigners, are personally liable for repayment of the debt.
P.O.C. Paid outside of closing. Sometimes the lender requests this money before settlement.
Power of Attorney: A legal instrument authorizing one to acts as another's attorney in fact or agent.
PMI: Private mortgage insurance to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults.
Promissory Note: A written promise to pay or repay a specified sum of money at a stated time or on demand.
Easement: A right, such as a right of way, afforded to a person to make limited use of another's real property.
Variance: Permission granted by a zoning authority to a property owner to allow for a specified violation of the zoning requirements. Variances are generally granted when compliance is impossible without rendering the property virtually unusable.
*As referenced from: The Dictionary of Real Estate Terms, 6th Edition, Published by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. The Florida Manual for Title Insurance 4th Edition by Karen Koogler.