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United States Foreclosure Law
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Glossary

Foreclosure: A foreclosure is known as the forced sale of a property pledged as security for a debt that is in default.

Acceleration Clause : A stipulation in a mortgage that the entire unpaid balance of the debt may become due and payable if a default of expressed conditions should occur.

Affidavit: A sworn statement written down before a notary or public official.

Appraisal: Professional service provided by a registered, licensed, or certified appraiser or real estate licensee to produce an estimate of value.

Appreciation: An increase in value

Assignment: A written instrument that serves to transfer the rights or interests of one person to another.

Auction: A method of selling real estate in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Also referred to as: public auction or auction sale.

Bid: An offered amount for a property for sale at an auction.

Certificate of Sale: A document given to the winning bidder at the completion of a foreclosure sale stating their rights to the property .

Clear Title: The title delivered at the end of a foreclosure sale, not burdened with defects.

Credit Bid: The lender's bid at the foreclosure auction, it must be less or equal to the balance of the defaulted loan.

Decree: A judgment by court.

Deed: A type of conveyance, a written instrument to transfer title to real property from one party to another.

Deed in lieu of Foreclosure: A non judicial procedure in which the mortgagor gives title to the mortgagee voluntarily.

Deed of Trust: A three party instrument that conveys legal title to real property as a security for the repayment of the loan. The three parties involved are the mortgagor, mortgagee and the trustee.

Default: Failure to comply with the terms of an agreement or to meet an obligation when due.

Deficiency Judgment: Judgment brought when a mortgage is foreclosed and the sale proceeds fail to cover the costs of the sale, taxes and the unpaid mortgage balance.

Equitable title: The right of a vendee to obtain absolute ownership of property to which the vendor has legal title; the present right to possession once a preceding condition has been met.

Fair Market Value: The most probable price that a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

Free and Clear: Title to real property that is absolute and unencumbered.

Judicial Foreclosure: A foreclosure processed by a court action.

Lien: A claim on property for payment of some obligation or debt.

Legal description: A series of boundary lines on the earth's surface used to locate a real property .

Lis Pendens: A recorded pending legal action.

Mortgage: A written agreement that pledges property as security for payment of a debt.

Non-judicial Foreclosure: A process in which a power of sale clause exists 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 notary or a notary public is a public officer licensed by the State to attest and Certify the validity of signatures of others.

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

Personal Property: Tangible and movable property other than real property. Also known as personalty or chattel.

Posting: To attach a notice to an object by the means of publishing, announcing or advertising.

Postponement: In the case of a foreclosure sale that is being put off to a later time, an announcement is being made at the original sale or by posting a notice establishing the new date and time for the new foreclosure sale.

Right of Redemption: The right to repurchase, repay, reacquire a property lost due to a foreclosure by paying the entire amount due.

Request of Notice: A recorded document that requires a trustee to 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.

Shadow Inventory: Properties that are in a stage of foreclosure process or have delinquent mortgages where the foreclosure process is imminent.

Subject to: The purchase of a property with an existing lien on the title without assuming any liability for the liens payment.

Title: The group of rights that represent ownership of real property and the quality of the estate owned; evidence of ownership of property; legal title.

Trustee: A person or party, either appointed or required by law to administer or manage another's property. In a foreclosure sale a trustee advertises, and conducts the auction sale.

Trustee Sale: An auction of real property conducted by a trustee. It is also known as a sheriff's sale.

Upset Bid: A recorded bit that is placed after the end of the foreclosure sale that is higher than the highest bid obtained at the auction.

Writ: A court order or mandatory process directing a party to do a specific act, usually to appear in, or report to a court of law or refrain from performing a specified act.

 

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