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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.

Earnest Money
Something given as a part of the purchase price to bind a bargain.
Easement
A limited right or interest in the land of another entitling the holder to some use, privilege, or benefit.
Easement Appurtenant
An easement created for the benefit of and attaching to a parcel of land.
Easement in Gross
An easement created for the benefit of a person rather than for a parcel of land.
Ejectment
Legal action for return of right to possession of land and for damages.
Eleemosynary
Charitable.
Eminent Domain
The right to take private property for public use.
Emptor
A buyer.
Encroachment
The extension of an improvement onto land of another.
Encumbrance
A right or interest in land decreasing its value but not hindering its sale or transfer.
Endorsement
The act of signing a name on the back of a check or promissory note to evidence its transfer; also, a written document attached to an insurance policy expanding or limiting coverage.
Enfeoff
To vest a person with fee title to land.
Entirety
A form of cotenancy in which owners are jointly seized of the whole.
Equitable Lien
A lien recognized in a court of equity.
Equitable Title
The right to acquire legal title.
Equity
Natural right or justice based upon ethics and morals.
Equity in Property
The value of a person’s interest in property over and above total liens and charges.
Equity of Redemption
The right to redeem property after a judicial sale.
Erosion
The gradual eating away of soil by natural forces.
Escalator Clause
Provision for upward or downward adjustment of costs, expenses, rents, etc.
Escheat
A forfeiture of title to the state.
Escrow
A transaction in which an impartial third party acts upon instructions for both seller and buyer, or for both borrower and lender, in carrying out instructions, delivering papers and documents and, disbursing funds.
Estate
The degree, quantity, nature, and extent of a person’s interest in real property.
Estate at Will
Possessory right of a tenant for an indefinite period terminable by either landlord or tenant upon notice.
Estate for Life
Estate measured in time by the uncertain duration of a person’s lifetime.
Estate for Years
Estate measured for a certain, definite, or fixed period of time.
Estate of Inheritance
An estate extending beyond the owner’s lifetime which is succeeded to by heirs or by devisees.
Estate Tax
A tax upon the privilege of transmitting title to property of a decedent.
Estoppel
A bar to the assertion of a right or a defense in consequence of previous position, act, or representation.
et Al.
And others.
et Con.
And husband.
et Ux.
And wife.
Ex Parte
A judicial proceeding, order, injunction is said to be ex parte when it is taken or granted at the request and for the benefit of one party only, and without notice to any person.
Ex Post Facto
After the event.
Examination
The process of determining the vesting of title, and encumbrances burdening land.
Examiner
A person who analyzes a chain of title to land and expresses an opinion thereon.
Exception
A deduction, subtraction, or exclusion.
Exculpatory Clause
Provision designed to absolve a party from liability.
Execution Proceedings
Judicial enforcement of a money judgment consummating in seizure and sale of debtor’s property.
Executor
A male representative of the estate of a testate decedent.
Executory
An agreement or contract not yet performed.
Executrix
A female representative of the estate of a testate decedent.
Exemption
Immunity from a burden or obligation.
Expediente
Spanish or Mexican land grant file.
Extension Agreement
Agreement granting additional time for performance.
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