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Datum
A horizontal plane from which heights and depths are measured.
DBA
Doing Business As. Business names or aliases filed with the county.
Debenture
Bonds issued without security.
Debit
On a closing statement, an amount charged; that is, an amount that the debited party must pay.
Debt
An amount owed to another.
Debt service
The total amount of credit card, auto, mortgage or other debt upon which you must pay.
Debt-service ratio
The measurement of debt payments to gross household income which may include, in addition to the main wage earner's salary, salaries of other wage earners, commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc.
Decedent
A person who has died.
Deceptive trade practices act
Part of the federal Consumer Protection Act originally passed in 1973 and made specifically applicable to real estate in 1975, specifically prohibiting a lengthy number of false, misleading and deceptive acts or practices. The Texas Supreme Court has defined a deceptive trade practice as one "which has the capacity to deceive an average, ordinary person, even though that person may have been ignorant, unthinking, or credulous."
Dedication
The voluntary transfer of private property by its owner to the public for some public use, such as for streets or schools.
Deduction
In tax law, an amount that you can subtract from the total amount on which you owe tax. Examples of federal income tax deductions include mortgage interest, charitable contributions and certain state taxes. For example, if Aimee receives an income of $60,000 in 1998 and pays $12,000 in mortgage interest during that same year, she can deduct $12,000 when she fills out her federal tax return, leaving an amount of $48,000 upon which she must pay tax.
Deed
A written instrument that, when executed and delivered, conveys title to or an interest in real estate.
Deed-in-lieu
A deed given by a mortgagor to the mortgagee to satisfy a debt and avoid foreclosure. Also called a "voluntary conveyance."
Deed in lieu of foreclosure
A deed given by the mortgagor to the mortgagee when the mortgagor is in default under the terms of the mortgage. This is a way for the mortgagor to avoid foreclosure.
Deed in trust
An instrument that grants a trustee under a land trust full power to sell, mortgage and subdivide a parcel of real estate. The beneficiary controls the trustee's use of these powers under the provisions of the trust agreement.
Deed of trust
An instrument of conveyance of title to property wherein the transferre will be holding the title to the property on behalf on another person.
Deed restriction
Clauses in a deed limiting the future uses of the property. Deed restrictions may impose a vast variety of limitations and conditions, for example, they may limit the density of buildings, dictate the types of structures that can be erected or prevent buildings from being used for specific purposes or even from being used at all.
Default
The nonperformance of a duty, whether arising under a contract or otherwise; failure to meet an obligation when due.
Defeasance clause
A clause used in leases and mortgages that cancels a specified right upon the occurrence of a certain condition, such as cancellation of a mortgage upon repayment of the mortgage loan.
Defeasanse
A clause in a deed, lease, will or other legal document that completely or partially negates the document if a certain condition occurs or fails to occur. Defeasance also means the act of rendering something null and void. For example, a will may provide that a gift of property is defeasable--that is, it will be void--if the beneficiary fails to marry before the willmaker's death.
Defeasible fee estate
An estate in which the holder has a fee simple title that may be divested upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a specified event. There are two categories of defeasible fee estates: fee simple on condition precedent (fee simple determinable) and fee simple on condition subsequent.
Deficiency judgement
Point levied against the borrower when a foreclosure sale does not produce sufficient funds to pay the mortgage debt in full.
Delinquency
Failure to make mortgage payments when mortgage payments are due. For most mortgages, payments are due on the first day of the month. Even though they may not charge a "late fee" for a number of days, the payment is still considered to be late and the loan delinquent. When a loan payment is more than 30 days late, most lenders report the late payment to one or more credit bureaus.
Delivery
The actual transfer of the deed, or an act of a seller showing intent to make a deed effective, without which, there is no transfer of title to the property.
Demand
The amount of goods people are willing and able to buy at a given price; often coupled with supply.
Density zoning
Zoning ordinances that restrict the maximum average number of houses per acre that may be built within a particular area, generally a subdivision.
Deposit
A sum of money given in advance of a larger amount being expected in the future. Often called in real estate as an "earnest money deposit."
Depreciation
(I) In appraisal, a loss of value in property due to any cause, including physical deterioration, functional obsolescence and external obsolescence. (2) In real estate investment, an expense deduction for tax purposes taken over the period of ownership of income property.
Descent
Acquisition of an estate by inheritance in which an heir succeeds to the property by operation of law.
Developer
One who attempts to put land to its most profitable use through the construction of improvements.
Devise
A gift of real property by will. The donor is the devisor, and the recipient is the devisee.
Disclosure
Revealing what previously was private knowledge. Any statement of fact that is required by law.
Discount
Difference between the face amount of a note or mortgage and the price at which the instrument is sold in the secondary market.
Discount point
A unit of measurement used for various loan charges; one point equals 1 percent of the amount of the loan.
Discount rate
(1) The rate charged member banks who borrow from the Federal Reserve System. (2) The rate used to convert future income into present value.
Dispossess
To oust from land by legal process.
Dominant tenement
A property that includes in its ownership the appurtenant right to use an easement over another person's property for a specific purpose.
Dower
The legal right or interest, recognized in some states, that a wife acquires in the property her husband held or acquired during their marriage. During the husband's lifetime the right is only a possibility of an interest; upon his death it can become an interest in land.
Down payment
A percentage of the purchase price the buyer pays in cash.
Dual agency
Representing both parties to a transaction. This is unethical unless both parties agree to it, and it is illegal in many states.
Due on sale
A clause in a mortgage agreement providing that, if the mortgagor (the borrower) sells, transfers, or, in some instances, encumbers the property, the mortgagee (the lender) has the right to demand the outstanding balance in full.
Due-on-sale-clause
A provision in the mortgage that states that the entire balance of the note is immediately due and payable if the mortgagor transfers (sells) the property.
Due-on-sale-provision
A provision in a mortgage that allows the lender to demand repayment in full if the borrower sells the property that serves as security for the mortgage.
Due-on-transfer provision
This terminology is usually used for second mortgages. See due-on-sale provision.
Duress
Unlawful constraint or action exercised upon a person whereby the person is forced to perform an act against his or her will. A contract entered into under duress is voidable.