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Abstract (Of Title)

A summary of the public records relating to the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title insurance company reviews an abstract of title to determine whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before…

Acceleration Clause

Condition in a mortgage that may require the balance of the loan to become due immediately, if regular mortgage payments are not made or for breach of other conditions of the mortgage.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

An Adjustable Rate Mortgage have interest rates that fluctuate and are tied to one-year Treasury bills or a specific financial index. The intial interest rate is usually low, and then the rate bumps up between one and two points per…

Agreement of Sale

Known by various names, such as contract of purchase, purchase agreement, or sales agreement according to location or jurisdiction. A contract in which a seller agrees to sell and a buyer agrees to buy, under certain specific terms and conditions…

Amortization

A payment plan which enables the borrower to reduce his debt gradually through monthly payments of principal.

Appraisal

An expert judgment or estimate of the quality or value of real estate as of a given date.

Assumption of Mortgage

An obligation undertaken by the purchaser of property to be personally liable for payment of an existing mortgage. In an assumption, the purchaser is substituted for the original mortgagor in the mortgage instrument and the original mortgagor is to be…