Title Insurance Glossary (terms starting with A)

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y
Acceleration Clause

A clause in your mortgage which allows the lender to demand payment of the outstanding loan balance in full and to refuse monthly payments in the event of default under the terms of the mortgage.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

A mortgage loan where the interest rate on the note is periodically adjusted based on a variety of indexes. Adjustable Rate Mortgages often have fixed rates for a designated period of time and then adjust on a pre-determined schedule in accordance with values of a chosen index. The most common indexes are the rates on 1-year constant-maturity Treasury (CMT) securities, the Cost of Funds Index (COFI), and the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

American Land Title Association (ALTA)

National trade organization for the title insurance industry that provides recommended guidelines and procedures for the title insurance industry. ALTA also produces standardized forms and documents, including title insurance policies that are used in the vast majority of states by title companies.

Amortization Schedule

A table which shows the breakdown of principal and interest payments for each payment over the life of a loan. It also details the gradual decrease of the loan balance over the life of the loan.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

A percentage rate that is derived by taking into account the interest rate and one-time loan fees. It is an attempt to standardize borrowing costs for consumers to allow them to compare loan products.

Appraisal

For residential transactions, an appraisal is generally a written document that provides an estimate of the market value of a home that is primarily based upon sales of similar homes located near the subject property.

Assessed Value

The valuation placed on property by a taxing authority for purpose of taxation. Often times this value does not correspond to the actual value of the property.

Assessor

The taxing authority that establishes the value of a property for tax purposes.

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