Title Insurance Dictionary-Glossary

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T

Tax Lien
A claim against property for the amount of its due and unpaid taxes.

Tenants by the Entirety
A husband and wife own the property with the common law right of survivorship so, if one dies, the other automatically inherits. One may not sue the other to PARTITION the property. A creditor of one may not claim the property or the proceeds of sale. Compare, TENANT IN COMMON, JOINT TENANTS.

Tenants in Common
Two or more persons own the property with no right of survivorship. If one dies, his interest passes to his heirs, not necessarily the co-owner. Either party, or a creditor of one, may sue to PARTITION the property. Compare, TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY, JOINT TENANTS.

Term
The period of time between the commencement date and termination date of a note, mortgage, legal document, or other contract.

Testate
To die with a Will. Compare, INTESTATE.

Testator
One who makes out a last will and testament. The feminine form is Testatrix.

Title
The legal, written evidence that identifies the owner of a home or piece of property, and outlines that person's rights as owner. At the time of a home sale, the title passes from the seller to the buyer and the lender who is providing the buyer's home loan. The buyer gets the title when their home loan is paid back in full.

Title Insurance
A policy, usually issued by a title insurance company, which insures a home buyer against errors in the title search. The cost of the policy is usually a function of the value of the property, and is often borne by the purchaser and/or seller. Policies are also available to protect the lender's interests. Title insurance covers mistakes made during a TITLE SEARCH as well as matters which could not be found or discovered in the public records such as missing heirs, mistakes, fraud and forgery. Compare, CERTIFICATE OF TITLE.

Title Search
An examination of the public records, including court decisions, to disclose facts concerning the ownership of real estate. The title examiner prepares an ABSTRACT and the title agent prepares a BINDER, but decisions regarding the legal sufficiency of title or questions requiring legal interpretation must be resolved by a licensed attorney at law.

Total of Payments
The total of all payments made toward principal, interest, and mortgage insurance (if applicable) over the life of the loan.

Trust
A right to or in property held for the benefit of another. A trust may be written or implied. An implied trust is called a Constructive Trust.

Trust Deed
The instrument given by a borrower (trustor) to a trustee vesting title to a property in the trustee as security for the borrower's fulfillment of an obligation.

Trustee
One who holds property in Trust for another. Appointee of the Bankruptcy Court to act as a court officer in charge of a debtor's assets until such time as the court determines how those assets will be liquidated.

Truth-in-Lending
A federal law requiring disclosure of the Annual Percentage Rate to home buyers shortly after they apply for the loan. Also known as Regulation Z.

Two-Step Mortgage
A mortgage in which the borrower receives a below-market interest rate for a specified number of years (most often five or 7), and then receives a new interest rate adjusted (within certain limits) to market conditions at that time. the lender sometimes has the option to call the loan due with 30 days notice at the end of five or 7 years.

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