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Common Terms

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – The process of establishing the fact that each signature on an instrument is genuine. An acknowledgement is a type of authentication most often performed by a notary public.

AFFIDAVIT – A sworn statement in writing made under oath or an affirmation before an authorized official.

ASSIGNMENT – A document, which transfers a loan or debt to another, which gives them the right to collect the outstanding balance owed on the debt.

ASSUMED NAME – A document that files or puts on record a business names of an individual, partnership, or corporation other than their own name. (This is also known as “doing business as” or “dba”)

CANCELLATION – A process by which the holder of and indebtedness on real estate removes or erases from record the indebtedness.

CERTIFIED COPY – A copy of a document that has the official seal of the office affixed upon it along with the signature of the Register of Deeds or one of her appointees, which certifies that the document is a true copy of the document on file in the Register of Deeds office.

CHAIN OF TITLE – The succession of conveyances, from some accepted starting point, whereby the present holder of real property derives his or her title.

CONSIDERATION – That which is received b the grantor in exchange for his or her deed.

COVENANT – A written agreement between two or more parties, in which lists or gives stipulation on how the real estate may be used or what may be built or put on the property. These are also commonly refereed to as restrictive covenants.

DEED – A written instrument that, when executed and delivered, conveys or transfers title to or an interest in real estate.

DEED OF RELEASE – A conveyance by the trustees after payment or partial payment for divesting themselves have the legal title or title to part of the property to the original owner. It releases part of the land or collateral from the Deed of Trust so that it may be sold or developed.

DEED OF TRUST – It is a written conveyance of real property that represents the security for the payment of a debt or the performance of some duty or obligation, all of which shall become void on payment of the debt or obligation. This is a three party document: the borrower, the beneficiary, and the trustee or trustees who hold the legal title or control of the property.

EASEMENT – A document in which the owner of property gives another the right to use the land for a specific purpose, such as for a right-of-way or utilities. This is most commonly used to give a person access to their property by crossing another’s property.

FILE – The act of physically placing a document in the custody of the Register of Deeds office for recording by delivering the document in proper form. The documents, which are accepted by the Register, are time stamped, assigned a unique document number, indexed, and then become an official public record.

FINANCING STATEMENT – An instrument filed with the Register of Dees in order to give notice of a security agreement regarding personal property. See also Uniform Commercial Code.

FORECLOSURE – A legal procedure whereby property used as security for a debt is sold to satisfy the debt in the event of default in payment of the mortgage. The foreclosure procedure brings the rights of all parties to a conclusion and passed the title of the mortgaged property to either the holder of the mortgage or a third party who may purchase the realty at the foreclosure sale.

GIFT DEED – A deed that is executed and delivered in which the grantor transfers title to the grantee without any payment or considerations.

GRANTEE – A person who receives title or interest in real property from the grantor.

GRANTOR – The person transferring title to or an interest in real property to a grantee.

INDEXING – To provide a system for all recorded and filed documents, which indicates where they can be found. The Pender County Register of Deeds Office uses the book and page system for indexing.

INSTRUMENT – A legal document, which affects some change in rights and interests; often related to real estate. Many different types of instruments are recorded daily in the office of the Register of Deeds.

LEASE – An agreement between two parties (grantor and grantee) where one contracts with the other to rent, use or possess, for a specified amount and period of times, real estate or buildings.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION – A description of a specific parcel of real estate complete enough for an independent licensed surveyor to locate and identify it.

METES-AND-BOUNDS DESCRIPTION – A legal description of a parcel of land that begins at a well marked point, and follows the boundaries, using directions and distances around the tract back to the place of beginning.

MODIFICATION – A document that alters, adds, or cancels some of the terms or stipulations but leaves the general purposes or effect of the document intact.

MORTGAGE – A pledge of real estate as security for the payment of debt. Also the document creating a mortgage.

MORTGAGEE – A lender in a mortgage loan transaction. The mortgagee receives the mortgage document and keeps it until the loan is satisfied.

MORTGAGOR – A borrower who uses his or her property as security for a loan.

PARCEL – A specific tract of real estate defined by a legal description and used for taxing purposes, among others.

PARTNERSHIP – A voluntary association of two or more persons who jointly own and carry on a business for profit.

PERSONAL PROPERTY – Items that do not fit into the definition of real property; moveable objects.

PLAT – A map of a town, section, or subdivision indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties.

POWER OF ATTORNEY – A written instrument authorizing a person to act as agent on behalf of another person which may or may not be limited to stipulations as set out in the instrument.

QUITCLAIM DEED – A deed, which is used to obtain a release from a person who is believed to have some interest in or claim to property. The grantor “quits” any claim he/she may have had without warranties or obligations.

REAL ESTATE – Land, including all things permanently attached thereto, whether by nature or by a person.

RECORDING – the act of entering or registering documents affecting or conveying interests in real estate in the Register of Deeds Office. Documents are recorded to enable the owner of an interest in property to give public notice of that ownership.

REVOCATION OF POWER OF ATTORNEY – A document, which removes or takes away the authority of a Power of Attorney.

SATISFACTION – A document acknowledging the payment of a debt which terminates the effectiveness of a security instrument such as a mortgage or deed of trust.

SUBDIVISION – A tract of land divided by the owner into blocks, building lots, and streets according to a rerecorded subdivision plat, which must comply with state regulations and the local subdivision ordinance.

SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT- To place in lower order, class, or rank. An agreement for a document to be placed in order behind or lower than a subsequently recorded document.

SUBSTITUITION OF TRUSTEE – A document through which the beneficiary, owner, or holder of the note replaces or appoints a new trustee on a Deed of Trust.

SURVEY – The process by which boundaries are measured and land areas are determined; performed by a licensed land surveyor.

TITLE – A legal action or document that justifies or substantiates ownership of property.

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE – A codification of commercial law, adopted in most states, that attempts to make uniform all laws relating to commercial transaction. In NC UCC’s are defined under Chapter 25, Article 9 of the North Carolina General Statutes to provide a method of giving notice of a security interest in personal property to interested third parties. To give notice of the security interest, a financing statement must be recorded.

VITAL RECORDS – According to NC Administrative Code vital records mean birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, and data related thereto; NOTE: Divorces are filed in the Clerk of Court’s Office and not in the Register of Deeds Office.

WARRANTY DEED – A deed in which the grantor fully warrants good and clear title, and guarantees that his predecessors have no interest in the title.

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