Abstract of Title

A condensed history or summary of all transactions affecting a particular tract of land.


The right to enter and leave a tract of land from a public way. Can include the right to enter and leave over the lands of another.


The slow build-up of lands by natural forces such as wind or water.


The act by which a party executing a legal document goes before an authorized officer or notary public and declares the same to be his or her voluntary act and deed.


A tract of land 208.71 feet square and containing 43,560 square feet of land.


A person appointed by a probate court to settle the affairs of an individual dying without a will. The term is "administratrix" if such a person is a woman.

Adverse Possession

A claim made against the lands of another by virtue of open and notorious possession of said lands by the claimant.


A sworn statement in writing.


A person or company that has the power to act on behalf of another or to transact business for another. Example: A title agent under contract with Title Agency to issue policies of title insurance.

Air Rights

The right to ownership of everything above the physical surface of the land.


American Land Title Association, a national association of title insurance companies, abstractors and attorneys specializing in real property law. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.


Anything so annexed to land or used with it that it will pass with the conveyance of the land.


Adjustable Rate Mortgage. See "Variable Rate Mortgage."


The imposition of a tax, charge or levy, usually according to established rates.


A public official who evaluates property for the purpose of taxation.


One to whom a transfer of interest is made. Example: The assignee of a mortgage or contract.


One who makes an assignment. Example: The assignor of a mortgage or contract.

Assumable Mortgage

A mortgage which, by its terms, allows a new owner to take over its obligations.


Legal seizure of property to force payment of a debt.

Attorney in Fact

One who holds a power of attorney from another allowing him or her to execute legal documents such as deeds, mortgages, etc., on behalf of the grantor of the power.

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