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A horizontal plane from which heights and depths are measured.


is a charge; an amount that a party owes and must pay at closing.

debt service

is the annual amount of mortgage payments.


is the process to transfer ownership of land from a private owner to the government – the main purpose of which is to permit the funding of maintenance through tax dollars.

Example: When a subdivision is complete the developer will dedicate roads and public areas to the governing authority for ongoing upkeep and maintenance.


A written instrument that conveys title to or an interest in property from one party to another. Deeds must be executed and delivered in order to be valid.

deed in lieu of foreclosure

Sometimes known as a friendly foreclosure because it is carried out by mutual agreement rather than by lawsuit. This is still considered an adverse element in the borrower's credit history.

Deed of trust

A legal document where title to property is given to a third-party trustee as security for obligation owed by the borrower to the beneficiary.

deed restrictions

Clauses in a deed limiting the future uses of the property. They may impose a vast variety of limitations and conditions - for example, they may limit the density of buildings, dictate the types of structures that can be erected, or prevent buildings from being used for specific purposes or even from being used as all.

defeasance clause

A clause used in leases and mortgages that cancels a specified right upon the occurence of a certain condition, such as cancellation of a mortgage upon repayment of the mortgage loan.

deficiency judgment

A personal judgment levied against the borrower when a forclosure sale does not produce suficient funds to pay the mortgage debt in full.

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