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Glossary of Foreclosure Terms

Banks will often shower you with confusing terms and legal language. It's important that you be an informed consumer. below is a list of commonly used terms that you should be familiar with when dealing with your lender and/lawyer. Of course, you could always hire a Foreclosure Mitigation Company to represent you and help save your home. We deal with these same lenders on a daily basis and know how to get the job done.

Acceleration Clause
A provision that allows the lender to demand the entire balance of the mortgage loan when the borrower
fails to make some installment payments.

Affidavit
A written statement, usually given while under oath or in the presence of a notary.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The annual interest rate covering the interest and other costs. The
Truth in Lending Act requires announcement of APR by lenders.

Appraisal
The process by which a licensed person gives an estimate of property value.

Appreciation
The difference between the increased value of the property and the original value.

Assignment
The transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of the creditors (lenders).

Balloon Payment
Large installment payment required at the end of the term of the mortgage note to pay off the entire
mortgage balance.

Bid
The amount for a foreclosed property for sale at auction.

Certificate of Sale
A document issued to the winning bidder at a foreclosure sale stating their rights to the property once
the borrowers redemption period has expired.

Clear Title
A title that is not burdened with defects.

Credit Bid
A bid on behalf of the lender at a foreclosure sale. The bid amount must be less than or equal to the
balance of the loan in default.

Decree
A judicial decision.

Deed
A signed document that shows ownership in property and allows the transfer ownership of property
from one party to another.

Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure
A voluntary transfer of title by the borrower to the mortgage company to avoid foreclosure action.

Deed of Trust
An instrument signed by a borrower, lender and trustee that conveys the legal title to real property as
security for the repayment of a loan. The written instrument in place of mortgage in some states.

Default
A mortgage is in default when the borrower fails to make the payments as agreed to in the original
promissory note.

Deficiency Judgment
A judgment against the borrower for the balance remaining after the property is sold at auction or
foreclosure sale.

Encumbrance
Mortgage, lien, tax, or any restriction on the use of land.

Equitable Title
The present right to possession with the right to acquire legal title once a preceding condition has been
met.

Equity
The value of real estate less the outstanding mortgages and debts pledged against the property.

Fair Market Value
The price a property would sell for on the open market.

Fee Simple
Common term used to indicate complete legal ownership of a property.

FHA
Federal Housing Administration under U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Foreclosure
The forced sale of property pledged as security for a debt that is in default.

Free & Clear
Ownership of property free of all indebtedness.

Grace Period
Period between the due and the overdue date during which no late payment penalty applies to the
mortgage payment.

Hazard Insurance
Insurance against the destruction of the property.

Judicial Foreclosure
A foreclosure that is processed by a court action.

Lien
A charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of a debt.

Legal Description
A formal description of real property so that one can locate it by reference to government surveys or
approved recorded maps.

Lender
A person who lends money for temporary use on condition of repayment with interest (i.e., the bank,
mortgage company, etc.).

Lis Pendens
A recorded notice of pending lawsuit.

Mortgage
A written pledge of property that is used as security for the repayment of a loan.

Non-judicial Foreclosure
Non-judicial foreclosure is when a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. A "power
of sale" clause is the clause in a deed of trust or mortgage, in which the borrower pre-authorizes the
sale of property to pay off the balance on a loan in the event of their default.

Notary
A public officer licensed by the state to attest to and certify the validity of signatures of others. A notary
is often referred to as a notary public.

Notice of Sale
A notice giving specific information about the loan in default and the proceedings about to take place.
This notice must be recorded with the county where property is located and advertised as stated in the
security document or as dictated by state law.

Personal Property
Property other than real property consisting of things temporary or movable.

Posting
To publish, announce or advertise by physically attaching a notice to an object.

Postponement
Postponement means to put off to a later time. In the case of a foreclosure sale, this is generally done
by announcement at the original sale or by posting notices establishing the new date and time the
foreclosure sale will take place.

Refinance
Paying off one mortgage loan by obtaining a new mortgage loan.

Right of Redemption
A borrower's right to reacquire property lost due to a foreclosure. This right allows the owner to recover
property lost to a foreclosure judgment, or sold after a foreclosure sale, within a certain period of time.
The redemption period varies among the states.

Request for Notice
A recorded document requiring a trustee send a copy of a Notice of Default or Notice of Sale
concerning a specific deed of trust in foreclosure to the person who filed the document.

Short Sale
A sale where the lender will agree to accept less than the full amount of the mortgage. This allows you
to sell the house to an investor or other buyer for a good price, while the lender recovers the bulk of the
amount due without having to pursue foreclosure proceedings.

Subject To
The purchase of a property with an existing lien against the title without assuming any personal liability
for the liens payment.

Title
The instrument that is evidence of a person's right in real property (i.e., a deed).

Trustee
A neutral party who advertises the foreclosure property for sale and conducts the auction to sell said
property to the highest bidder.

Trustee Sale (Sheriff Sale)
An auction of real property conducted by a trustee. Also known as a Sheriff's Sale.

Upset Bid
A recorded bid placed after a foreclosure sale has ended that is higher than the highest bid received at
the actual foreclosure sale.

Writ
An order or mandatory process in writing issued in the name of a court or judicial officer commanding
the person to whom it is directed to perform or refrain from performing a specified act.

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