Which search is right for me?

Search Type Current Owner Search Two Owner Search Full Search
Typical Uses Refinance, Checking for Clear Title, Foreclosure Auctions, Pre-Tax Auctions, Short Sales Bank Owned Properties, Foreclosure auctions, etc. Bank Owned Properties, Foreclosure auctions, Title Insurance, Purchases, Title Opinions and evidence for Marketable Title
Deeds Deeds going back to one out of family transaction (24-month chain of title with consideration of last full money value transfer) Deeds going back to two out of family transactions (24-month chain of title with consideration of 2 latest full money value transfer) Deeds chain-of-title going back to the state statute period (30-Years+)
Mortgages Pertinent pages of any open mortgages along with assignments and modifications Pertinent pages of any open mortgages along with assignments and modifications Pertinent pages of any open mortgages along with assignments and modifications
Lien Search Federal, State, and Municipal lien search on current owner(s) Federal, State, and Municipal lien search on current owner(s) and prior owner(s) Federal, State, and Municipal lien search on current owner and all prior owners in chain-of-title
Judgement Search Civil Judgement searches conducted on current owner(s) Civil Judgement searches conducted on current owner(s) and prior owner(s) Civil Judgement searches conducted on all current owner(s) and prior owner(s) in chain-of-title

What are pertinent pages?

Pertinent pages of a document (typically mortgage) include the borrowers name, lenders name, mortgage amount, effective date, maturity date, legal description, signatures and notary.

What is a full money value transfer?

A full money value transfer deed is a deed where the actual consideration amount (sometimes not publicly disclosed) is close to the actual value of the house.

What is an out-of-family deed?

An out of family deed is a deed where the grantor(s) and grantee(s) are not related to eachother.

What is a 24-month chain-of-title?

A 24-month chain-of-title means that the oldest deed in a certain file must be older than 2 years. If the house was sold 4 times within the last 24 months, all deeds must be provided and the last deed provided must be 24 months or older.

 Warranty Deed

A deed that guarantees a clear title to the buyer of real property.

 Quitclaim Deed

A deed that guarantees a clear title to the buyer of real property.

 Referee’s Deed

A deed that guarantees a clear title to the buyer of real property.

 Sheriff’s Deed

A document giving ownership rights in property to a buyer at a sheriff's sale (a sale held by a sheriff to pay a court judgment against the owner of the property). A deed given at a sheriff's sale in fore‐closure of a mortgage. The giving of said deed begins a Statutory Redemption period.

OR
A document giving ownership rights in property to a buyer at a sheriff's sale (a sale held by a sheriff to pay a court judgment against the owner of the property). A deed given at a sheriff's sale in fore‐closure of a mortgage. The giving of said deed begins a Statutory Redemption period.

 Trustee's Deed

A deed is the formal document used to transfer ownership of real estate from one person to another. Different types of deeds accomplish that objective in different ways, and are used in different types of real estate transactions. Warranty deeds are among the most common types of deeds used to convey land ownership, while trustee deeds are most often used in place of a mortgage deed in California and other states that allow no judicial foreclosures.

 General Warranty Deed

This deed offers the grantee or buyer the greatest amount of protection, because the grantor must make several guarantees about the property.

 Gift Deed

A Gift Deed is a legal document that describes voluntary transfer of gift from donor (owner of property) to done (receiver of gift) without any exchange of money. The donor must be solvent and should not use this tool for tax evasion and illegal gains.

 Commissioner’s Deed

A Commissioner of Deeds is an officer having authority to take affidavits, depositions, acknowledgments of deeds, etc., for use in the state by which the person is appointed. The office is similar to that of Notaries Public; thus, commissioners of deeds generally authenticate their acts with some type of official seal.

 Beneficiary Deed

A transfer‐on‐death (TOD) deed, or beneficiary deed, allows an owner of real property to execute a deed that names a beneficiary who will obtain title to the property at the owner's death without going through probate.

 Mortgagee’s Deed

A mortgage deed is a legal document that gives a mortgage lender a lien or security interest in a piece of mortgaged property. For example, if you take out a mortgage loan to purchase your house, you will sign a mortgage deed giving the lender a lien on your home.

 Survivorship Warranty Deed

Upon the death of one of the grantees, his or her interest in the property will pass to the surviving grantee(s) automatically and bypass the need for probate. The last surviving grantee of the deed gets complete ownership of the property and upon the death of the last survivor, the property will be subject to probate.

 Warranty Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is a deed instrument in which a mortgagor (i.e. the borrower) conveys all interest in a real property to the mortgagee (i.e. the lender) to satisfy a loan that is in default and avoid foreclosure proceedings.

 Mortgage

The Mortgage or Deed of Trust is a legal document in which the borrower transfers the title to a third party (trustee) to hold as security for the lender. When the loan is paid in full the trustee transfers the title back to the borrower.

Deed of Trust

A deed of trust or trust deed is a deed wherein legal title in real property is transferred to a trustee, which holds it as security for a loan (debt) between a borrower and lender. The equitable title remains with the borrower. The borrower is referred to as the trustor, while the lender is referred to as the beneficiary

 Assignment of Deed of Trust

If you own a home, you may have signed a trust deed that gives the mortgage lender a claim on the property. A default on the loan gives the lender the legal authority to foreclose on the loan and take possession of the house. An assignment of a trust deed conveys that claim to another party.

Assignment:

When a lender sells the loan, it assigns the trust deed to the buyer. “Assignment” means to convey a claim or a right to another party, known as the “assignee.” This is done by creating another legal document — the assignment of trust deed — and having it signed by both buyer and seller. The trust deed, and other documents associated with the loan, become the property of the buyer.

Document:

The assignment of trust deed is a short, usually single‐page document. The body text gives the names of the deed buyer and the property owner, the date of the original trust deed, and the legal description of the property for which the original deed was executed. It may also give the terms of the deed sale. The seller signs and dates the document, and has it notarized. The buyer then has the assignment of trust deed recorded with the registrar of the county where the property is located.

 Assignment of Mortgage

If you own a home, you may have signed a trust deed that gives the mortgage lender a claim on the property. A default on the loan gives the lender the legal authority to foreclose on the loan and take possession of the house. An assignment of a trust deed conveys that claim to another party.

Assignment:

When a lender sells the loan, it assigns the trust deed to the buyer. “Assignment” means to convey a claim or a right to another party, known as the “assignee.” This is done by creating another legal document — the assignment of trust deed — and having it signed by both buyer and seller. The trust deed, and other documents associated with the loan, become the property of the buyer.

Document:

The assignment of trust deed is a short, usually single‐page document. The body text gives the names of the deed buyer and the property owner, the date of the original trust deed, and the legal description of the property for which the original deed was executed. It may also give the terms of the deed sale. The seller signs and dates the document, and has it notarized. The buyer then has the assignment of trust deed recorded with the registrar of the county where the property is located.

 Consolidated Mortgage

A loan on real estate taken out to pay off and replace two or more loans on real estate, which might or might not be the same property. Borrowers are often motivated to combine multiple mortgages into one mortgage to obtain lower interest rates and thereby have lower monthly payments. or A loan for property that pays off old loans that may be on different properties. The combined mortgages are one and get a lower rate and payment.

 Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) works more like a credit card. You are allowed to borrow up to a certain amount for the life of the loan -- a time limit set by the lender. During that time you can withdraw money as you need it. As you pay off the principal, your credit revolves and you can use it again. A home equity line of credit (often called HELOC and pronounced Hee-lock) is a loan in which the lender agrees to lend a maximum amount within an agreed period (called a term), where the collateral is the borrower's equity in his/her house (akin to a second mortgage).

 Line of Credit Loan

Borrowers who use these products open a line of credit and tap into those funds as needs arise. As funds are repaid, the borrower can tap into the line of credit again and again without having to apply for new loans repeatedly. Interest is charged only on the amount of money borrowed.

 Loan Modification Agreement

Definition and Process:

A loan modification is a permanent restructuring of the mortgage where one or more of the terms of a borrower's loan are changed to provide a more affordable payment. With a loan modification, the lender may agree to do one of more of the following to reduce your monthly payment:

  • reduce the interest rate
  • convert from a variable interest rate to a fixed interest rate, or
  • extend of the length of the term of the loan.
  • Generally, to be eligible for a loan modification, you must:
  • show that you cannot make your current mortgage payment due to a financial hardship
  • complete a trial period to demonstrate you can afford the new monthly amount, and
  • provide all required documentation to the lender for evaluation.
  • Required documentation will likely include:

A forbearance agreement (short‐term relief to people experiencing temporary financial problems, usually due to a job loss or medical condition)

Repayment Plans

If you’ve missed some of your mortgage payments due to a temporary hardship, a repayment plan may provide a way to catch up once your finances are back in order. A repayment plan is an agreement to spread the past due amount over a specific period of time. Here’s how a repayment plan works:

  • The lender spreads your overdue amount over a certain number of months.
  • During the repayment period, a portion of the overdue amount is added to each of your regular mortgage payments.
  • At the end of the repayment period, you will be current on your mortgage payments and resume paying your normal monthly payment amount.
  • This option lets you pay off the delinquency over a period of time. The length of a repayment plan will vary depending on the amount past due and on how much you can afford to pay each month, among other things. A three‐ to six‐month repayment period is typical.

 Subordination Agreement

A legal agreement which establishes one debt as ranking behind another debt in the priority for collecting repayment from a debtor. The priority of debts is extremely important if the debtor defaults on payments or declares bankruptcy. Debts which have a higher priority have a legal right to be repaid in full before lower priority debts receive any repayments. Often, the debtor does not have enough funds to pay all debts, and lower priority debts may receive little or no repayment. Therefore, subordinated debts are much more risky, and lenders will require a higher interest rate as compensation.

 Consolidation, Extension and Modification Agreement

The NY CEMA is utilized for refinances in lieu of the traditional cancellation of the old Mortgage Note and release of the lien. The NY CEMA enables Borrowers with Mortgages secured by property located in New York to reduce the amount of Mortgage recording tax paid in connection with the refinance. Since tax on the outstanding Mortgage balance has already been paid, the Mortgage tax is waived on that amount.

 Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney specifies the authority the agent will have. The principal lists all the matters for which the agent will make decisions, sign documents or give instructions. Often, a limited power of attorney covers only a single process or matter; for example, a contract signing which the principal is unable to carry out due to absence or illness.

 Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows an agent to act on behalf of a principal. When a principal signs and grants a power of attorney, he grants either general or limited authority to the agent. The limited (also known as "specific") power of attorney restricts the scope to the agent's activities.

Easement:

A right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose
OR
A right of use over the property of another. Traditionally the permitted kinds of uses were limited, the most important being rights of way and rights concerning flowing waters. The easement was normally for the benefit of adjoining lands, no matter who the owner was (an easement appurtenant), rather than for the benefit of a specific individual (easement in gross).
OR
An easement is a right which the owner or occupier of certain land possesses, as such for the beneficial enjoyment of that land to do and continue to do something or to prevent or continue to prevent something being done, in or upon, or in respect of certain other land not his own." An easement is a non‐possessory right to use and/or enter onto the real property of another without possessing it. It is "best typified in the right of way which one landowner, A, may enjoy over the land of another, B". It is similar to real covenants and equitable servitudes; in the United States, the Restatement (Third) of Property takes steps to merge these concepts as servitudes. Easements are helpful for providing pathways across two or more pieces of property or allowing an individual to fish in a privately owned pond. An easement is considered as a property right in itself at common law and is still treated as a type of property in most jurisdictions.

The rights of an easement holder vary substantially among jurisdictions. Historically, the common law courts would enforce only four types of easement:

  • Right-of-way (easements of way)
  • Easements of support (pertaining to excavations)
  • Easements of "light and air“
  • Rights pertaining to artificial waterways

 Easement of Ingress and Egress:

The value of a piece of property depends upon many factors including location, size, permitted and ability to get to and from it. Real estate professionals use the terms ingress and egress when referring to the ability to enter and exit a piece of property. Determining if a piece of land can be accessed without trespassing on someone else’s property might not be readily apparent. Ingress is the right to enter one’s property, and egress is the right to exit it. Usually, the right to enter or leave property involves access to a public road. Property with at least one boundary line touching the road can freely access the road without crossing over land belonging to another person, but appearances can be deceiving when dealing with ingress and egress issues.

Easements

An easement is a negotiated agreement in which a property owner gives others the right to limited use and access to the land. A landlocked owner of property might negotiate an easement agreement with an adjoining property owner granting the right to cross over the adjoining land to access a public road. Easements can be as restrictive, such as allowing only for foot traffic, or as broad as the parties to the agreement decide. The easement agreement is recorded with the county clerk once it is reduced to writing and signed by the parties. Recording an easement gives notice to future owners of its existence and terms, so they will be obligated to abide by it. Failing to record an easement could result in the loss of a property owner’s rights to ingress and egress in the event of a sale or transfer of ownership of either parcel.

 Judgment

In law, a judgment is a decision of a court regarding the rights and liabilities of parties in a legal action or proceeding. Judgments also generally provide the court's explanation of why it has chosen to make a particular court order.
The phrase "reasons for judgment" is often used interchangeably with "judgment," although the former refers to the court's justification of its judgment while the latter refers to the final court order regarding the rights and liabilities of the parties. As the main legal systems of the world recognize either a common law, statutory, or constitutional duty to provide reasons for a judgment, drawing a distinction between "judgment" and "reasons for judgment" may be unnecessary in most circumstances.

OR
Official decision of a court given at the end of a trial. In civil cases, a judgment determines the respective rights and claims of the parties involved. In criminal cases, judgment includes the pronouncement of guilt (or its absence) and, if the defendant is convicted, the sentence. A judgment may also include the reasoning forming the basis of the court's decision. It may be cited as an authority, and treated as a precedent for other similar cases. Also called order. Also spelled as judgement.

 Dissolution of Marriage

A dissolution of marriage is a legal process that terminates the marital rights and responsibilities between spouses. It will substantially affect your financial and personal life. Issues commonly involved in a dissolution case are grounds for dissolution, classification and division of assets of the spouses, ongoing obligations to provide for a spouse after dissolution, the welfare of any children of the marriage, and tax consequences. These materials are intended for uncontested matters without complex issues.

 Deed of Reconveyance

A reconveyance deed is an official document from a mortgage holder releasing the debtor from the mortgage. It is evidence that the mortgage has been paid in full. The mortgage note is marked paid, the original mortgage is returned and a deed of reconveyance is issued to the home owner showing the mortgage has been paid off.
A deed of reconveyance must be recorded in the public records of the county where the property is located. If the deed of reconveyance is lost or destroyed, it creates a title nightmare and puts a cloud on the title because there is nothing to show that the loan has been paid.

 Claim of Lien

A claim of lien typically arises when lenders, creditors or service providers take action to place a lien on a specified piece of property to ensure payment of a loan or for services provided. A borrower or debtor will usually agree to the placement of a lien on a property he owns so he can get a loan. A claim of lien arises when a service provider renders services and does not receive the property owner's payment for such services. In these instances, a person asserting the claim must follow certain legal steps to place a lien on the owner’s property, often a home.
A valid claim of lien or a security interest on a certain piece of property entitles a person or company to take legal action to force a party to relinquish such property through a foreclosure proceeding. The law typically will require the lien holder to sell the property to satisfy payment of a debt. The lien holder must sell the property in accordance with the law, which usually requires him to conduct an auction or make the sale in a commercially reasonable manner. If the sale of property generates proceeds greater than the debt, then the lien holder must give remaining proceeds to the property owner.

 Mechanic’s Lien

A mechanic's lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property

 Marital Waiver

A waiver is the voluntary action of a person or party that removes that person's or party's right or particular ability in an agreement. The waiver can either be in written form or some form of action. A waiver essentially removes a real or potential liability for the other party in the agreement.

 Underground Easement

An underground easement simply gives the utility permission to perform work on your property and maintain its equipment. The property owner still retains ownership of the land.

 Notice of Motion

A formal notice to participants in litigation of an intent to seek specific relief in an action.
An advisory in writing, usually in a prescribed form, to all parties in litigation of an intent, at some specified or future time, of asking the Court to order specified relief. The notice of motion is written in the form of a request to the court to order something; often interlocutory relief.
it is a notice of a request to be made of the court.
The notice of motion ... notifies the defendant when and where he is to appear, and sets forth the complaint.
The party making the notice of motion can be referred to by their name in the litigation (plaintiff, petitioner, defendant and the like) or in reference to their standing as regards the notice of motion, the Applicant. Similarly, the person who is targeted by the notice of motion may be called the Respondent.
As with all requests to a court of law for intervention and relief as between parties to litigation, the notice of motion would normally require some supporting evidence, usually an affidavit.
Some jurisdictions require the notice of motion to specify a date and time of hearing. Other jurisdictions allow the evidence phase behind any notice of motion to play itself out before the party issuing the notice of motion can set it down for hearing, bring it to the court for a decision.
The motion is much like a motion made in the context of a business meeting in putting forward a proposed decision to be decided upon, except that in a court of law, the presiding officer and decision‐maker is the judge. Nor does a motion in the context of a notice of motion before a court of law, require a seconder.
Even if filed, a notice of motion is not a document with any judicial weight:

 Notice of Default

A notice of default is a notification given to a borrower stating that he or she has not made their payments by the predetermined deadline, or is otherwise in default on the mortgage contract. Other ways a borrower may be in default include not providing proper insurance coverage for the property, or not paying due property taxes as agreed. It dictates that if the money owed (plus an additional legal fee), or other breach(es) are not paid/remedied in a given time, the lender may choose to foreclose the borrower's property. Any other people who may be affected by the foreclosure may also receive a copy of the notification.

 Cancellation of Notice of Default

Cancellation, Forgiveness, and discharge of your loan means that you are no longer expected to repay your loan.

 Notice of Breach and Default and Of Election to Cause Sale of Real Property Under Deed of Trust

A notice of default is a notification given to a borrower stating that he or she has not made their payments by the predetermined deadline, or is otherwise in default on the mortgage contract. Other ways a borrower may be in default include not providing proper insurance coverage for the property, or not paying due property taxes as agreed. It dictates that if the money owed (plus an additional legal fee), or other breach(es) are not paid/remedied in a given time, the lender may choose to foreclose the borrower's property. Any other people who may be affected by the foreclosure may also receive a copy of the notification.

 Notice of Trustee's Sale

Legal document that notifies the public of the date, time and place of a foreclosure auction and the address of the foreclosed property in deed of trust states (non‐judicial). This document is referred to as a Notice of Foreclosure Sale in mortgage states (judicial foreclosure).

 Appointment of Successor Trustee

A substitution of trustee is a legal document filed when it is necessary to change a trustee. Two common situations where such a document can come up can be seen in the real estate industry and in the management of private trusts. In real estate, a trustee is appointed by a lender so in the event that a property needs to be foreclosed, the trustee can take charge of arranging the sale and forwarding the proceeds to the lender. With private trusts, trustees are appointed to manage the assets in the trust and distribute them as directed under the terms of the trust.
In many cases, when a trustee is appointed, a secondary trustee is named in the documents filed at the time. This person is named to take over in the event that the original trustee becomes unable or unwilling to do the job. If the secondary trustee needs to step up to assume duties, a substitution of trustee will be filed to formalize the change. Beneficiaries can also appoint an entirely new trustee to take over.

warranty_1

 Affidavit of Mailing and Compliance with Statutory Notice

A Standard Document for a lender's affidavit of compliance with the statutory mailing requirement of the Notice of Intention to Foreclose and of Deficiency After Foreclosure of Mortgage. This Standard Document contains integrated notes and important drafting tips.

 Notice of Pendency of Action

For the concept of staying proceedings, when a law suit is pending elsewhere, see Lis alibi pendens. In US law, a lis pendens is a written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest in it. The notice is usually filed in the county land records office. Recording a lis pendens against a piece of property alerts a potential purchaser or lender that the property’s title is in question, which makes the property less attractive to a buyer or lender. Once the notice is filed, anyone who nevertheless purchases the land or property described in the notice takes possession of it is subject to the ultimate decision of the lawsuit.

 Affirmation Cancelling Lis Pendens

When a homeowner becomes involved in litigation, such as in a foreclosure lawsuit, legal notices called "lis pendens" may be attached to the homeowner's property title. Lis pendens is a formal notice of pending legal action, such as you might see in an upcoming foreclosure lawsuit. When a legal action against a homeowner is dropped, dismissal notices and releases of lis pendens also are filed.

Voluntary Dismissal Notices:

Notices of voluntary dismissal inform the public that a plaintiff in a lawsuit is voluntarily ending the suit against a defendant. For example, mortgage lenders file voluntary notices of dismissal when they end their foreclosure lawsuits against borrowers. Your lender might be trying to foreclose you using the courts and files a lawsuit that it later ends when you work out a non‐foreclosure solution with it. Notices of voluntary dismissal are used to formally end lawsuits against defendants.

Lis Pendens Releases:

Lis pendens is a favored tool used by mortgage lenders when it comes to foreclosure. A lis pendens filed on a real property's title informs parties with an interest in that real property that a lawsuit involving that property is pending. Lis pendens are like property liens, and they can make properties unmarketable or non‐salable until they're removed. Notices of voluntary dismissal and release of lis pendens declarations are issued frequently when foreclosure lawsuits are dismissed.

Obtaining a Release

Homeowners whose mortgage lenders have dropped their foreclosure proceedings must insist that any lis pendens notices on their property titles be released. Until a lis pendens is formally released by the filing party, it can remain on a property's title. If a release of lis pendens isn't offered at the end of litigation by the party that filed it, other steps will need to be taken. Lis pendens can be eliminated through quiet title lawsuits, for example.

Eliminating Lis Pendens

Quiet title lawsuits are procedures used to remove property title defects, such as old liens and lis pendens notices. In certain cases, property titles can pick up defects over the years, such as lis pendens notices that were never removed when lawsuits ended. Quiet title lawsuits frequently result in liens and lis pendens notices being removed from property titles. Also, "release of lis pendens bonds" are available in states like California to restore a property title's marketability.

 Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale

Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower, who has stopped making payments to the lender, by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan.
Formally, a mortgage lender (mortgagee), or other lienholder, obtains a termination of a mortgage borrower (mortgagor)'s equitable right of redemption, either by court order or by operation of law (after following a specific statutory procedure).
Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the borrower the equitable right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. While this equitable right exists, it is a cloud on title and the lender cannot be sure that they can successfully repossess the property. Therefore, through the process of foreclosure, the lender seeks to foreclose (in plain English, immediately terminate) the equitable right of redemption and take both legal and equitable title to the property in fee simple. Other lien holders can also foreclose the owner's right of redemption for other debts, such as for overdue taxes, unpaid contractors' bills or overdue homeowners' association

 Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage

A Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) is an action to terminate the contract of marriage.

 Notice of Federal Tax Lien

A federal tax lien is the government’s legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt. The lien protects the government’s interest in all your property, including real estate, personal property and financial assets. A federal tax lien exists after the IRS:

 Water Service Notification

When it violates drinking water regulations or is providing drinking water that may pose a health risk. Such notifications are provided either immediately.

 Partial Deed of Re-conveyance

An instrument filed when a certain portion of encumbered real estate is released from a mortgage or a trust deed.

 Substitution of Trustee and Full Re-conveyance

A substitution of trustee is a legal document filed when it is necessary to change a trustee. Two common situations where such a document can come up can be seen in the real estate industry and in the management of private trusts. In real estate, a trustee is appointed by a lender so in the event that a property needs to be foreclosed, the trustee can take charge of arranging the sale and forwarding the proceeds to the lender. With private trusts, trustees are appointed to manage the assets in the trust and distribute them as directed under the terms of the trust.
In many cases, when a trustee is appointed, a secondary trustee is named in the documents filed at the time. This person is named to take over in the event that the original trustee becomes unable or unwilling to do the job. If the secondary trustee needs to step up to assume duties, a substitution of trustee will be filed to formalize the change. Beneficiaries can also appoint an entirely new trustee to take over.

Re-conveyance:

A substitution of trustee is often combined with a "re-conveyance." This document shows that a loan on property has been paid in full and the borrower now owns the property free and clear. If the homeowner refinanced his property with a new lender, the re-conveyance gives that lender a lien on the property until the second loan is paid off. The second lender becomes the substitute trustee, who holds the deed of trust until full and final payment on the loan.

 MAP

A diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.

 Legal description

Sales contracts, deeds, mortgages, and deeds of trust require a legal description of property that is legally sufficient to be binding, meaning that the description would allow a competent surveyor to delineate the exact boundaries of the property. The legal description of a property does not include the buildings on it — only the boundaries of the property. The legal description is also an important determinant in setting the property's price. Although the address is necessary to locate the property, it is not sufficient to identify the property. Indeed, addresses are often renamed over time and even physical boundaries can change course, such as that of a local creek. Note that because any property is necessarily limited in area, any description of that property must necessarily form an enclosed area.

 Legal description - Example