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tax deed
An instrument, similar to a certificate of sale, given to a purchaser at a tax sale.
tax lien
A charge against property, created by operation of law.  Tax liens and assessments take priority over all other liens.
tenancy by the entirety
The joint ownership, recognized in some states, of property acquired by husband and wife during marriage.  Upon the death of one spouse the survivor becomes the owner of the property.
An undivided interest in property taken by two or more persons.  The interest needs not be equal.  Upon death of one or more persons, there is no right or survivorship.
The evidence one has of right to possession of land.
title insurance
Insurance against loss resulting from defects of title to a specifically described parcel of real property.
title search
An investigation into the history of ownership of a property to check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions or problems, to prove that the seller can transfer free and clear ownership.
total debt ratio
Monthly debt and housing payments divided by gross monthly income.  Also known as Obligations-to-Income Ratio or Back-End Ratio.
Truth-in-Lending Act
A federal law requiring a disclosure of credit terms using a standard format.  This is intended to facilitate comparisons between the lending terms of different financial institutions.