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Title Insurance Terms & Phrases

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

C.C.
Civil Code
C.C.P.
Code of Civil Procedure.
c.t.a.
With will annexed.
Capita
Heads; persons.
Caption
The heading of a title or document.
Cause
An action or a suit.
Caveat
Let him/her beware.
Caveat Emptor
Let the buyer beware.
CC&Rs
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions -- detailed limitations applying to the use or enjoyment of real property.
Certificate of Sale
Evidence of a purchaser’s acquisition of legal title at a judicial sale, subject to redemption rights, if any.
Certificate of Title
Certified statement as to land ownership based upon examination of record title.
Certiorari
A writ from a higher court to a lower court directing the forwarding of a certified record of a proceeding up for review.
Cestui Que Trust
The person for whose benefit property is held in trust.
Cestui Que Use
The person for whose use land was granted to another.
Cestui Que Vie
The person for the duration of whose lifetime an estate has been granted.
Chain of Title
A chronological list of documents comprising the record history of title to a specific parcel of real property.
Change of Venue
The removal of a cause for trial from one county to another.
Charter City
Generally, a city organized under a charter.
Chattel
An item or article of personal property.
Chattel Mortgage
Obsolete name for mortgage of personal property.
Chattel Real
An interest in real estate which is of a lessor degree than a freehold estate. For example, an estate at sufferance.
Chose in Action
A personal right not reduced to possession but recoverable by an action at law.
Civil Law
Law of the Roman Empire, it is distinguished from the Common Law of England.
Class Action
A lawsuit in which plaintiff represents himself or herself and all other persons similarly situated.
Clearing House
An office where bankers daily settle the balance of their accounts with each other.
Cloud on Title
A semblance or claim of title that is in fact invalid.
Co-Administrator
One of two or more administrators.
Code
A collection of laws.
Codicil
A testamentary disposition subsequent to a will altering, explaining, adding to, subtracting from, or confirming it, but not revoking it.
Co-Executor
One of two or more executors.
Co-Insurance
Insurance issued by two or more insurers.
Collateral
Property pledged as security for a debt; also, indirect, when referenced to blood relationship as in ’collateral heirs’.
Collateral Assignment
Transfer of an interest in personal property for security purposes. A collateral assignment is distinguished from an absolute assignment mainly because once the debt is paid that was secured by the collateral assignment, the assignment is extinguished.
Color of Title
That giving the appearance of title.
Commercial Acre
The portion of an acre of subdivided land remaining after deducting areas devoted to streets, sidewalks, etc.
Commissioner’s Deed
Deed executed by a court appointed person in consummation of a sale ordered by the court.
Commitment
A pledge, promise, or firm agreement; also, a title insurer’s contractual obligation to insure title to real property.
Common Law
The unwritten body of English law founded upon customs and precedents.
Community Property
Property acquired by a husband and wife, or either, during marriage, when not acquired as the separate property of either.
Competent
Legally qualified, capable of contracting.
Composition
Agreement between a debtor and creditors whereby the latter mutually agree to accept a certain percentage less than is due each one.
Conclusive Presumption
Legal inference that cannot be contradicted.
Condemnation
The taking of private property for a public use. The exercise of power of eminent domain.
Condemnation Guarantee
An evidence of title issued to a governmental agency naming persons to be made defendants in an action in eminent domain.
Condition
A qualification or restriction annexed to a conveyance of lands, whereby it is provided that upon the happening of a particular event an estate shall commence, be enlarged, or be defeated.
Condition Precedent
A condition that must be fulfilled before a right accrues or an estate vests.
Condition Subsequent
A condition that defeats a previously accrued right or vested estate.
Conditional Sale Contract
Contract of sale where title remains in seller until all conditions of the contract have been fulfilled.
Condominium
The composite of individual ownership and exclusive possession of a cube of space in a multi-unit building plus a collective ownership of and a collective right of possession to facilities common to all separately owned units.
Confession of Judgment
Entry of judgment without formality of proceedings upon debtor’s admission and with debtor’s consent.
Confirmation of Sale
Court approval of sale by a personal representative, guardian, or conservator.
Congressional Grant
A grant of public land of the United States by an act of Congress.
Conservatee
A person unable to manage self, property, or self and property and for whom the probate court has appointed a conservator.
Conservator
A person appointed by probate court to take care of the person, property, or person and property of conservatee.
Consideration
The value inducing another person to enter into a contract.
Constituent Corporation
A corporation merged or consolidated with one or more other corporations.
Constructive Notice
Notice given by public records.
Constructive Trust
Trust imposed by law to redress a wrong or to prevent unjust enrichment.
Contiguous
In actual close contact; touching, adjacent, near.
Contingent
Dependent upon an uncertain future event.
Contingent Beneficiary
A person who may share in an estate or trust depending upon the happening of an event.
Contingent Interest
An interest which may vest depending upon the happening of an event.
Contour
Surface configuration of land.
Contract
An agreement between two or more parties to do, or not to do a particular act.
Contract of Sale
An agreement entered into for the sale and purchase of property.
Convey
To transfer title to property from one person to another.
Conveyance
A written instrument transferring title to or an interest in land.
Corp. Code
Corporations Code.
Corporate Seal
A seal attached to an instrument executed by a corporation.
Corporation
An artificial being created by law and endowed with certain rights, privileges, and duties of natural persons.
Corporation Sole
A corporation consisting of a single person and his/her successor in office.
Corporeal Hereditaments
Substantial permanent objects which may be inherited.
Corpus
Property comprising the assets of a trust.
Cotenancy
Ownership by two or more persons.
Co-Trustee
One of two or more trustees.
Courses and Distances
Description of land by metes and bounds.
Covenant
Agreement or promise.
Curtesy
The common law interest of a husband in estate of deceased wife.
Custodia Legis
In the custody of the law.
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