|Foreclosure Listings

Foreclosure Glossary (M-Z)

foreclosure glossaryMortgage:

A legal right to a property that a borrower gives to a lender as part of his promise to pay the loan back.

Mortgage States:

This term describes the U.S. states that use mortgages to secure a loan.

Mortgage Acceleration:

Lender's notice that the entire unpaid balance of a mortgage loan is due because the borrower

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didn't make his payments.


Is the same as a “vendor take-back mortgage”, wherein the vendee purchases a property using cash  in the payment of a part of the property involved and pays the rest through a structured loan payment scheme.

Non-judicial Foreclosure:

May also be referred to as “statutory” or “power of sale” foreclosure. This type of foreclosure does not go through the court system and is allowed if a mortgage or deed of trust contains a power of sale clause. It is usually faster and cheaper than judicial foreclosure. In non-judicial foreclosures, the lender and other lien holders claim the foreclosure sale proceeds in the same manner as they do in judicial foreclosures.

Notice of Default (NOD):

In non-judicial foreclosure, this is the official notice (can be a letter) that the lender sends to the borrower letting him know that that the lender plans to foreclose because he hasn't made his payments. The lender may tell the borrower how much he can pay to stop foreclosure and by when. Some states require that the Notice of Default be filed with the county clerk.


Is a document in writing that a lender sends a borrower calling his attention on his inability to pay for his loan dues and that there might some legal repercussions in the near future.

Notice of Pendency:

See Lis Pendens.

Notice of Rescission:

In deed of trust states, the lender gives the borrower this document when the borrower pays back his unpaid loan to stop a foreclosure. The trustee files this document with the county clerk.

Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NFS):

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

Notice of Trustee's Sale (NTS):

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 a Notice of Foreclosure Sale in mortgage states (judicial foreclosure).


The person who starts a lawsuit.

Power of Sale Clause:

Paragraph used in a deed of trust that allows trustees to foreclose without using the courts.


Document signed by the donor authorizing another person to act on the donor's behalf


The fastest and cheapest mortgage enforcement method open to lenders


Sale of a property by a delinquent borrower under an agreement with the lender


A pre-foreclosure is a property with late mortgage payments, and the lender has issued a Notice of Default (in non-judicial foreclosure) or a Lis Pendens (in judicial foreclosure) to the borrower. The borrower can still make payments and pay the loan amount due to stop a foreclosure. But, if payments are not made, the lender will move to foreclose.


The Notice of Foreclosure Sale (in judicial foreclosures) and the Notice of Trustee's Sale (in non-judicial foreclosures) are published in a newspaper for a period of time before the foreclosure auction. Each state has its own publication rules.

Publication Letter:

A letter from lender to trustee telling the trustee to prepare, publish and file a Notice of Trustee's Sale.

Real Estate Owned (REO):

This term describes a foreclosed property that a bank ends up owning if no one else buys it at a foreclosure auction.


In judicial foreclosures, the court appoints someone to hold the foreclosure auction. This person is the referee. The court typically chooses referees from a list of local lawyers.

Referee's Deed:

In judicial foreclosures, the legal document that gives ownership of the foreclosed property to the person who bids the highest amount of money at a foreclosure auction.

Reinstatement Period:

In deed of trust states, this period of time starts when the Notice of Default is filed with the county clerk and ends five business days before the trustee's sale.


It is the right of a certain personality to purchase a property before it is offered for sale to the public.

Right of Redemption:

A defaulting borrower can reclaim his foreclosed property up to the moment of foreclosure auction (or afterward, in certain states) by paying the lender back everything that is owed. Not all states allow this.

Service of Process:

A legal term that describes delivery of the foreclosure summons and complaint to the borrower.


To perform a periodic collection of the payments from a debtor until the accumulation of the whole amount of the debt is done.


A mortgage loan that is behind the first mortgage in terms of priority as this is registered on title after the first one. This will only be paid if there are funds left after the compensation of the first mortgage should there be a default or property sale.

Short Sale:

A term that describes the sale of a property for an amount less than the unpaid mortgage. This happens when a borrower cannot afford to keep making mortgage payments and cannot pay the difference between the sale price and the unpaid mortgage. The borrower gets the bank to agree to sell the property for less than what is owed – and the bank is “shorted.”


In judicial foreclosures, the legal document that notifies the borrower of the foreclosure action.


A recorded claim against a property by a government authority because of non-payment of taxes that have been evaluated.


A list of all properties in a certain area that is due for taxation which includes names of owners, municipal addresses, measured value for every property, official description and assessment roll number.


The selling of property done by a government body due to non-payment of taxes and done through either way of tendering or auction.

Title Search:

A search of county clerk records for all actions involving the foreclosed property. These actions may include judgments and unpaid taxes.


The term used to refer to one’s significant ownership in land.


A business or company that is into selling insurance policies that guarantee ownership to land.


Pledges of agreements put into instruments of transfer to give the purchaser an assurance of getting a good title.


A right against or opposing appeal in property or possession that involves the title of the owner who is registered.


A form of indemnity agreement that assures owner or mortgagee of a property for damages incurred by undiscovered defects or flaws in the title which will arise later.


A paper or file that states the current position of title to a possession or an asset.


An intensive probing done by a lawyer, qualified title searcher or title insurance company on intricate details such as public records that pertains to ownership of a property eliminating risks for proposed buyers or mortgagee in terms of a clear title, claims, mortgages or competing and adverse interest and probable liens.


An independent entity, usually a title company, which manages a lender's assets for the benefit of the lender. In deed of trust states, trustees hold title to real property in trust as security for repayment of a debt owed to the lender.


A sale carried out by a trustee who is most often the lender under the terms defined by the deed of trust.


A type of loan that is not guaranteed with collateral or other forms of security.


A secondary option for financing wherein a freshly loaned money is added to that of the value owed and charged on the on the property’s title. A second mortgage is treated as a guarantee for the new loan but the previous mortgage stays as it is. The interest rate is the sum of the rates chargeable to the old and new mortgages respectively.