Glossary - E

Earnest Money
Advance payment of part of the purchase price to bind a contract for property.

 

Easement
An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electric power lines, or crossing the property.

 

Egress
The right to leave a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with “access.”

 

Eminent Domain
The power of the state to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation.

 

Encroachment
A trespass or intrusion onto another’s property, usually by a structure, wall or fence.

 

Encumber
To burden a parcel of land with a lien or charge, e.g., a mortgage.

 

Encumbrance
A lien, liability or charge upon a parcel of land.

 

Endorsement
A written change or modification of a commitment or policy.

 

Equity
The interest or value which an owner has in real estate, over and above the liens against it.

 

Escheat
A reversion of property to the state in those cases where an individual dies without heirs or devisees, and, in some states, without a will.

 

Escrow
A procedure whereby a disinterested third party handles legal documents and funds on behalf of a seller and buyer, and delivers them upon performance by the parties.

 

Estate
A person’s possessions. The extent of a person’s interest in real property.

 

Et al
An abbreviation for et alius, meaning “and others.”

 

Et ux
Abbreviation meaning “and wife.”

 

Et vir
Abbreviation meaning “and husband.”

 

Examination of Title
The investigation and interpretation of the record title to real property based on the title search or abstract.

 

Exception
In legal descriptions, that portion of land to be deleted or excluded. The term often is used in a different sense to mean a list of flaws, clouds, encumbrances, uncertainties or other interests that title insurance excepts from coverage and will not guarantee that the proposed insured has a priority over.

 

Executor
A person appointed by the probate court to carry out the terms of a will. The term is “executrix” if that person is a woman.

 

Extended Mortgage
One in which the due date of a mortgage is extended for a longer period, often at a higher interest rate than the original mortgage.

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