Definitions of various terms that include ‘title’

Absolute Title, An exclusive title to land; a title that excludes all others not compatible with it.

Adverse Title, A title acquired by adverse possession.

Clear Title, A title free from any encumbrances, burdens, or other limitations.

Defeasible Title, A title voidable on the occurrence of a contingency, but not void on its face.

Defective Title, A title that cannot legally convey the property to which it applies, usu. because of some conflicting claim to that property.

Doubtful Title, A title that exposes the party holding it to the risk of litigation with an adverse claimant.

Equitable Title, A title that indicates beneficial interest in property and that gives the holder the right to acquire formal title.

Good Title, A title that is legally valid or effective.

Imperfect Title, A title that requires a further exercise of the granting power to pass land in fee, or that does not convey full and absolute dominion.

Legal Title, A title that evidences apparent ownership but does not necessarily signify full and complete title or beneficial interest.

Marketable Title, A title that a reasonable buyer would accept because it appears to lack any defect and to cover the entire property that the seller has purported to sell.

Original Title, A title that creates tight for the first time.

Paramount Title, A title that is superior to another title or the claim on the same property.

Record Title, A title that appears in the public records after a deed is properly recorded.

Title Defect by Form, A title for which some defect appears on the face of the deed.

Unmarketable Title, A title that a reasonable buyer would refuse to accept because of a possible conflicting interests in or litigation over the property.

Title Registration, A system of registering title to land with the public registry, such as a county clerk’s office.

Title Search, An examination of the public records to determine whether any defects or encumbrances exist in a given property’s chain of title.

Title Standards, Criteria by which a real-estate title can be evaluated to determine whether it is defective or marketable.

Title Theory, The idea that a mortgage transfers legal title of the property to the mortgagee who retains it until the mortgage has been satisfied or foreclosed.

Lien Theory, The idea that a mortgage resembles a lien, so that the mortgagee acquires only a lien on the property and the mortgagor retains both legal and equitable title unless a valid foreclosure occurs.

[All definitions sourced from: Black’s Law Dictionary 2nd Pocket Edition (2001) Id. 419; 710, 711.]


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