Title Insurance Dictionary-Glossary

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Earnest Money
Money given by a buyer to a seller as part of the purchase price to bind a transaction or assure payment. A good faith deposit.

Easement
The right to use the land of another for a specific limited purpose. Examples include utility lines, driveways, and INGRESS AND EGRESS. Easements can be temporary or permanent.

ECOA
Equal Credit Opportunity Act. ECOA is a federal law that requires lenders and other creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt from public assistance programs.

Economic Life
The estimated period of time during which a property can be utilized profitably.

Effective Age
For purposes of an appraisal, the physical age given to a building based on its present condition, which may be longer or shorter than its actual age.

Eminent Domain
The power of the state to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation.

Encroachment
The physical intrusion of a structure or improvement on the land of another. Examples include a fence or driveway over the property line.

Encumbrance
Any lien, liability or charge against a property.

Endorsement
A writing on a negotiable instrument by which title to a property mentioned therein is assigned and transferred. A notation added to an instrument after execution to change or clarify its contents. In insurance, coverage may be restricted or enlarged by endorsing a policy. In FHA loans, a notation placed on the note by the FHS indicating that the loan is insured under the National Housing Act.

Entitlement
The VA home loan benefit is called entitlement. Entitlement for a VA guaranteed home loan. This is also known as eligibility.

Equal Credit Opporunity Act (ECOA)
A federal law that requires lenders and other creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status or receipt of income from public assistance programs.

Equity
The difference between the fair market value and current indebtedness, also referred to as the owner's interest. The value an owner has in real estate over and above the obligation against the property. When you first buy a home, your ownership equals your down payment; your mortgage lender owns the rest. To figure out your equity, subtract the amount you owe on your loan from your home's current market value.

Equity Sharing
A form of joint ownership between an owner/occupant and an owner/investor. The investor takes depreciation deductions for his share of the ownership. The occupant receives a portion of the tax write-offs for interest and taxes and a part of his monthly payment is treated as rent. The co-owners divide the profit upon sale of the property. Compare, JOINT OWNERSHIP AGREEMENT.

Escheat
Property that reverts to the state when an individual dies without heirs and without a will.

Escrow
A bank account where you deposit money that will be used to pay charges that come with your purchase of a house. An escrow account is sort of a neutral area between you and your mortgage lender that stores money you've deposited until you need it to pay for certain aspects of your loan, like closing costs, taxes or insurance fees.

Escrow Account
The segregated trust account in which escrow funds are held.

Escrow Ageant
The person or organization having a fiduciary responsibility to both the buyer and seller (Or lender or borrower) to see that the terms of the purchase/sale (or loan) are carried out.

Escrow Analysis
The periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current monthly deposits will provide sufficient funds to pay tax, insurance, and other bills when due.

Escrow Company
An organization established to act as an escrow agent.

Escrow Contract
A three-party agreement between the buyer, seller, and the escrow agent specifying the rights and duties of each.

Escrow Overage or Shortage
The difference determined by escrow analysis, between the escrow funds on deposit and the escrow funds required.

Escrow Payment
The portion of a mortgagor's monthly payments held by the lender or servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due. Known is impounds or reserves in some states.

Eviction
Also know as Ejectment in some jurisdictions, the legal removal of former property owners, tenants or squatters from a foreclosed property.

Executed Sales of Contract
A contract where all the terms have been successfully completed by the buyer and the seller.

Executor
A person named in a will to carry out its terms and administer the estate. The feminine form is Executrix. Compare, ADMINISTRATOR.

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