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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.

d.b.n.
Abbreviation for de bonis non administratis, De Bonis Non Administratis. Of the goods not administered. When an administrator is appointed to succeed another, who has left the estate partially unsettled, he is said to be granted “administration de bonis non;” that is, of the goods not already administered. McNair v. Howle, 123 S.C. 252, 116 S.E. 279, 285.
d.d.
Abbreviation for "days after date."
D.S.
Abbreviation for "declaratory statement."
Date Down
The date a title examination is to be brought down to from the date of the last examination. Generally the date of recording of instruments and documents in the Recorder’s Office.
De
From; of; concerning.
De Facto
In fact.
De jure
By right.
Decedent
Deceased person.
Declaration of Homestead
A formal, written, recorded assertion by an owner that the dwelling in which he or she resides is exempt from forced sale.
Declaration of Trust
A written instrument by a person (settlor-trustor), acknowledging that he or she holds title to property (as trustee) for the benefit of another or others (beneficiary/ beneficiaries).
Decree
A judgment by court.
Decree of Distribution
A judgment of probate court as to persons entitled to the property of a decedent. [Now referred to as ’Order for Distribution’]
Dedication
Donation of land by owner for public use.
Deed
Written document transferring title to land from one person to another.
Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure
The deed purchased by the mortgagee from the mortgagor in lieu of the foreclosure of the mortgagee’s mortgage. The mortgagor grants the title to the property secured by the mortgage to the mortgagee (lender) in lieu of lender foreclosing the mortgage.
Deed of Sale
Evidence of a purchaser’s acquisition of legal title at a judicial sale, subject to redemption rights, if any.
Deed of Trust
A three party security instrument conveying title to land as security for the performance of an obligation. Also called "trust deed."
Default
Omission or failure to fulfill a duty, observe a promise, discharge an obligation, or perform an agreement.
Default Judgment
A judgment against a defendant who made no appearance in court.
Defeasance Clause
The provision of a mortgage giving the mortgagor the right to redeem the property upon satisfaction of the obligation it secures.
Defeasible
Subject to being defeated, annulled, revoked.
Deficiency Judgment
A personal judgment against the debtor for the amount remaining due after foreclosure of a security device, as in the case of a mortgage or trust deed.
Defunct
Deceased, dead.
Demand
An escrow term describing the consideration exacted for a conveyance or for the relinquishment of an interest in or a right to property.
Demise
A transfer of an estate for years, for life, or at will.
Demurrer
The formal mode of disputing the sufficiency in law of an opponent’s pleading.
Deponent
A witness; an affiant.
Deposition
Testimony of a witness taken upon interrogatories, not in open court.
Depository Statement
Instructions accompanying the deposit of documents, instruments, or property.
Deraign
To trace, to prove.
Descent
Manner of succession to title to property of an intestate decedent.
Description
Written instrument by which title to land is transferred to a trustee as security for repayment of a debt or performance of an obligation.
Devise
The disposition of land by will.
Devisee
A person to whom real property is given by will.
Dictum
An opinion by a judge on a point not essential to the decision on the main issue. (Plural form is "dicta.")
Dies
A day.
Diluvian
The gradual washing away and loss of soil along the banks of a river.
Disseisin
Dispossession; ouster.
Divest
To deprive of a right or title to property.
Divisa
A boundary.
Documentary Transfer Tax
A tax on certain recorded transfers of title to real property.
Domicile
Fixed and permanent home.
Domiciliary Administrator
Administrator of estate of a decedent appointed by probate court of the state of decedent’s domicile.
Dominant Tenement
The land benefited by an appurtenant easement.
Dona
Gift.
Donee
Person to whom gift is made.
Donor
Person who makes a gift.
Dower
The common law interest of a wife in estate of deceased husband.
Dragnet Clause
Provision in a security instrument making the security instrument applicable to all past and present obligations between debtor and creditor.
Due-on-Sale Clause
Provision in a security instrument calling for automatic maturity in the event of sale or transfer of title by borrower.
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