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Partial Release

A release of a portion of property covered by a mortgage. A subdivider will obtain a partial release as each lot is sold, upon payment of an agreed upon amount. In areas where the subdivider is not usually the builder, it may be necessary to sell groups of lots to obtain a partial release. In areas where deeds of trust are used instead of mortgages, a "partial re-conveyance" is the document used.

Participation Certificates

Mortgage securities, rather than mortgages. The advantage of the certificate is that it is readily marketable or pledgeable.


(1) Any division of real or personal property between co-owners, resulting in individual ownership of the interests of each. (2) A wall, sometimes moveable, and not load-bearing, used to divide a room or building.

Patent Defect

A defect plainly visible or as would be discovered by the exercise of ordinary care. A patent defect in a legal description is one, which cannot be corrected on its face, and a new description must be used.

Payment Cap

A maximum amount for a payment under an Adjustable Mortgage Loan, regardless of the increase in the interest rate. If the payment is less than the interest alone, negative amortization is created.


The payment in full of an existing loan or other lien.

Payoff Escrow

An escrow, specifically for the purpose of paying off an existing lien. Usually part of an existing escrow, and called a sub escrow.

Perfecting Title

Process involving the elimination of any adverse claims against a title.

Personal Property Loan

A loan, which is secured by both real and personal property. Law sets the minimum ratio of personal to real property. The credit of the borrower is a major consideration in making the loan.


Refers to principal, interest, taxes and insurance, the four major components of a usual monthly mortgage payment.

PITI Ratio

The principal, interest, tax and insurance payment to income ratio. Used in mortgage lending decisions.


The party bringing a civil action against a defendant.

Planned (unit) Development (PUD)

A subdivision of five or more individually owned lots with one or more other parcels owned in common or with reciprocal rights in one or more other parcels. The lots are generally small, being the exact size of the improvements, or slightly larger.


One percent. When referring to mortgages or deeds of trust, the term is used to describe the percentage of discount rather than interest (for which the word "percent" is used). The points are paid by the seller in F.H.A. and V.A. insured loans, and by either buyer or seller (or both) in conventional loans.


A fee charged by the lender to fund a loan, in addition to and separate from other fees charged. One Point equals one percent of the amount of the loan. Discount points are charged or are received based on the note rate the borrower selects. Additionally a one-point origination fee is typically charged by a lender to underwrite a residential loan.

Possibility of Reverter

The term shows no estate (interest) in property, but only the chance that an estate will exist at a future time. If a property were sold on the condition that it be used for a park, and, it not used for a park, would revert back to the seller, the seller would have a possibility of reverter.

Power of Attorney

An authority by which one person (principal) enables another (attorney in fact) to act for him. (1) General power - Authorizes sale, mortgaging, etc. of all property of the principal. Invalid in some jurisdictions. (2) Special power - Specifies property, buyers, price and terms. How specific it must be varies in each state.

Prescriptive Easement

The granting of an easement by a court, based on the presumption that a written easement was given (although none existed), after a period of open and continuous use of land.


The sum of money outstanding upon which interest is payable. Also refers to one who is served by an agent. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Insurance written by a private mortgage insurance company protecting the mortgage lender against loss occasioned by a mortgage default and foreclosure.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Insurance against a loss by a lender in the event of default by a borrower (mortgagor). The insurance is similar to insurance by a governmental agency such as FHA, except that a private insurance company issues it. The premium is paid by the borrower and is included in the mortgage payment.

Property Management

The branch of the real estate business dealing with the management of property. The property may be a rented house or a large office or industrial complex. The duties may range from merely collecting rents to complete management of all maintenance and may also include being leasing agent or sales agent.


The method used in dividing charges into that portion which applies only to a party's ownership up to particular date.



(1) A quarter section of a circle. (2) One of the quarters created by two intersecting roads or streets.


The process of reviewing a prospective borrower's credit and payment capacity prior to approving a loan.

Quantity Survey Method

Also called "price take-off" method. A process of arriving at an estimate of new construction costs by a detailed estimate of quantities of necessary building materials plus labor costs.

Quarter Section

One quarter of a section. A quarter-section (commonly called a quarter) contains 160 acres.

Question Of Law

Given the facts, what laws, it any, are applicable - decided by a judge, even in a jury trial.


Final disposition of a claim or debt.

Quitclaim Deed

A deed operating as a release, intended to pass any title, interest, or claim, which the grantor may have in the property, but not containing any warranty of a valid interest or title in the grantor.

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