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(1) Annexing a lien to one superior to it in order to gain the priority of the superior lien and defeat an intermediate lien. Generally not allowed. (2) Annexing periods of possession to add up to enough time for successful adverse possession. For example; A begins adverse possession, A dies and A's son takes up possession, adding A's time to his own. Not always allowed.

Take Out Commitment

Agreement by a lender to place a long term (take out) loan on real property after completion of construction.

Tax Base

The assessed valuation of real property, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine the amount of tax due.

Tax Deed

(1) Deed from tax collector to governmental body after a period of non-payment of taxes according to statute. (2) Deed to a purchaser at a public sale of land taken for delinquent taxes. The purchaser receives only such title as the former owners had and strict procedures must be followed to prevent attachment of prior liens.

Tax Lien

A statutory lien imposed against real property for nonpayment of taxes.

Tenancy In Common

An undivided ownership in real estate by two or more persons. The interests need not be equal. and, in the event of the death of one of the owners, no right of survivorship in the other owners exists.

Tenant At Will

One who holds possession of premises by permission of the owner or landlord, but without agreement for a fixed term of possession.

Title Plant

The information warehouse of a fide company in which it has accumulated and is constantly updating the records of properties in its area, which it can use to search title to real property.

Time Sharing

A concept of ownership increasing in popularity as real estate prices rise. The purchase of an undivided interest (usually in a resort area condominium) for a fixed or variable time period. For example: Fifty-two different purchasers buy one condominium: each agrees to possession for one week per year. Costs (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.) are shared equally. Possession may be fixed, or by reservation, by lease, license, etc. Some developers provide several projects in different parts of the world, so that a person owning one week in a project in Hawaii could elect to spend that week in a connected project in France or other area.


Originally a house in a city as opposed to a country estate. More recently the term is applied to certain types of row houses, whether planned unit developments or condominiums.

Transfer Tax

State tax on the transfer of real property. Based on purchase price or money changing hands. Check statutes for each state. Also called documentary transfer tax.

Treasury Bills

Interest bearing U.S. Government obligations sold at a weekly sale. The change in interest rates paid on these obligations is frequently used as the Rate Index of Adjustable Mortgage Loans.


A person who holds title in trust for the benefit of another. In a deed of trust, the trustee is the person named to hold title in trust for the benefit of the lender until the loan is paid off.

Trustee In Bankruptcy

One appointed by a bankruptcy court, and in whom the property of the bankrupt vests. The trustee holds the property in trust, not for the bankrupt, but for the creditors.


The borrower under a deed of trust. One who deeds their property to a trustee as security for repayment of a loan.


Unavoidable Cause

A cause which reasonable prudence and care could not have prevented, such as death, illness, papers lost in the mail, etc.

Underlying Financing

A mortgage, deed of trust, etc., prior to (underlying) a land contract, mortgage, etc , on the same property.

Undisclosed Principal

A principal whose identity is not revealed by an agent.

Uniform Laws

Laws approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Many have been adopted in one or more states. Among these are the Uniform Commercial Code, Uniform Negotiable Instruments Act, Uniform Partnership Act, Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, etc.

Uniform Settlement Statement

The Standard HUD Form 1 required to be given to the borrower, lender and seller at, or prior to, settlement.

Unilateral Contract

A contract under which one party expressly makes a promise, the other party, although making no reciprocal promise, may be obligated by law or may have already given consideration.

Unity Of Possession

In joint tenancy, the joint tenants must have equal rights to possession.

Unmarketable Title

Title which contains defects that would allow a purchaser to be released from his obligation to purchase.

Unrecorded Instrument

A deed, mortgage, etc., which is not recorded in the county recorder's office and, therefore, not protected under recording statutes. Valid between the parties involved, but not against innocent third parties.

Useful Life

(1) In appraisal for sale purposes, the true economic value of a building in terms of years of use to the owner. (2) For tax purposes, the life set for depreciation. At any time during that period, a new life could begin for a new owner.


Vacancy Factor

The estimated percentage of vacancies in a rental project. May be based on past records of the property, or a professional guess if a new project. Surrounding area buildings, it similar, may be used for comparison.

Variable Interest Rate

An interest rate which fluctuates as the prevailing rate moves up or down. In mortgages there are usually maximums as to the frequency and amount of fluctuation. Also called "flexible interest rate."


(1) The county (or other geographical division) in which an action or prosecution is brought for trial and which is to furnish the panel of jurors. (2) The county in which an acknowledgement (notarization) is made.


Denotes the manner in which title is held. Examples of common vesting are: Community Property, Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common.

Vital Statistics

Data regarding births, deaths, marriages, health records, etc., and usually kept by a governmental bureau. Federally, the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Voluntary Lien

A lien placed against real property by the voluntary act of the owner. Most commonly, a mortgage or deed of trust

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