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Escrow Terms & Phrases

Terms and Phrases is Lawyers Title's Glossary of definitions, meanings, and descriptions of significance for some of our industry's most often used terms and phrases.

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Range -- (1) A division of land in the government survey, being a six mile wide row of townships, running North and South, and used in legal descriptions. (2) Land used for grazing livestock.

Real Estate -- (1) Land and anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings, fences and those things attached to the buildings, such as light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures, or other such items that would be personal property if not attached. The term is generally synonymous with real property, although in some states a distinction may be made. (2) May refer to rights in real property as well as the property itself.

Real Estate Board -- A state license granted to one as a broker or salesperson, after passing an examination. Some states have educational requirements before the brokers' examination may be taken.

Real Estate Owned (REO) -- Most commonly refers to property owned by a lender from foreclosure of mortgages or trust deeds. The property is usually for sale.

REALTOR® -- A designation given to a real estate broker or sales-associate who is a member of a board associated with the National Association of Realtors® or with the National Association of Real Estate Boards.

Recital -- Setting forth in a deed or other writing some explanation for the transaction. For example: A deed may state that the property is being transferred in lieu of foreclosure.

Reconveyance -- An instrument used to transfer title from a trustee to the equitable owner of real estate, when title is held as collateral security for a debt. Most commonly used upon payment in full of a trust deed. Also called a deed of reconveyance or release.

Recordation -- Filing instruments for public record (and notice) with a recorder (usually a county official).

Recorded Map -- A map recorded in a county recorder's office. May be a subdivision map or describe a non-subdivided parcel. Reference to a recorded map is commonly used in legal descriptions.

Recorded Plat -- Subdivision map filed as a matter of public record.

Recorder's Office -- The county office where instruments are recorded, giving public notice.

Recording -- Filing documents affecting real property as a matter of public record, giving notice to future purchasers, creditors, or other interested parties. Recording is controlled by statue and usually requires the witnessing and notarizing of an instrument to be recorded.

Recording Fee -- The amount paid to the recorder's office in order to make a document a matter of public record.

Referral -- In real estate business, generally the act of a past client recommending a real estate broker or agent to one currently a buyer or seller. Also, any recommendation by one real estate agent of another for a referral fee.

Refinance -- (1) The renewing of an existing loan with the same borrower and lender. (2) A loan on the same property by either the same borrower or lender. (3) The selling of loans by the original lender.

Regulation Z -- Federal Reserve regulation issued under the Truth-In-Lending Law, which requires that a credit purchaser be advised in writing of all costs connected with the credit portion of the purchase.

Reinstatement -- (1) Payment of a note, mortgage, deed of trust, etc., to bring it from default to good standing. (2) Restoring the previously used entitlement of a veteran to enable the veteran to purchase property under a VA program. (Also called restoration of Eligibility).

R.E.I.T.(Real Estate Investment Trusts) -- A method of investing in real estate in a group, with certain tax advantages. Federal and state statutes dictate procedure.

Release -- An instrument releasing property from the lien of the mortgage, judgment, etc. When a trust deed is used, the instrument is called a reconveyance. In some areas, a "discharge" is used instead of a release.

Request for Reconveyance -- A request by a beneficiary under a deed of trust to the trustee, requesting the trustee to reconvey the property (release the lien) to the trustor, usually upon payment in full.

RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) -- A federal statute effective June 20, 1975, requiring disclosure of certain costs in the sale of residential (one to four family) improved property which is to be financed by a federally insured lender.

Restriction -- Most commonly used to describe a use or uses prohibited to the owner of land. Restrictions are set forth by former owners in deeds or in the case of a subdivision, a declaration of restrictions is recorded by the developer. A limitation on use of the property by law (zoning ordinances) may also be termed a restriction.

Revenue Stamps -- Formerly federal tax on sale of real property. Canceled and replaced by state tax stamps. The stamps (similar to postage stamps) are affixed to the conveyance instrument (deed), or a rubber stamp is used to show the amount of tax.

Right of Survivorship -- The right of a survivor of a deceased person to the property of said deceased. A distinguishing characteristic of a joint tenancy relationship.

Right of Way -- A strip of land, which is used as a roadbed, either for a street or railway. The land is set aside as an easement or in fee, either by agreement or condemnation. May also be used to describe the right itself to pass over the land of another.

Riparian -- Belonging or relating to the bank of a river or stream. Land within the natural watershed of a river or stream.

Riparian Owner -- One who owns land along the bank of a river or stream.

Riparian Rights -- Rights of an owner to riparian lands and water.

Rollover Loan -- A loan, which is periodically reviewed, adjusted (usually to reflect current interest rates) and extended. Short term loans can be rolled over into long term loans. The process is by initial agreement or necessity.

Running with the Land -- Usually concerned with easements and covenants. Passing with the transfer of the land.

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