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Foreclosure Terms & Resources

Acceleration Clause

A provision that allows the lender to call 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.

Appraisal

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

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The annual interest rate covering the interest and other costs. The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to announce the APR.

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.

Clear Title

A title that is not burdened with encumbrances or defects.

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 transfer of title by the borrower to the mortgage company upon foreclosure.

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 Balance

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.

Equity

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

Fair Market Value

The price that property would sell for on the 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

Legal action taken by the lender when the borrower fails to pay monthly installments.

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.

Legal Description

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

Lien

A claim, or mortgage, on real estate for payment of debt.

Lis Pendens

Pending lawsuit.

Mortgage

A written pledge that uses real estate to secure repayment of a loan.

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.

Order Confirming Sheriff Sale

An order signed by the judge confirming the sale of foreclosed property.

Posting

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

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 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.

Title

A deed showing ownership to real estate.

Trustee Sale or Sheriff Sale

An auction of real property conducted by a trustee. Also referred to as a Sheriff’s Sale.

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