To see how our industry is continuing to protect and serve our clients and communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, watch this video

Title Industry Responds to COVID-19: Our Title Is Protection

Title insurance professionals take pride in protecting their customers by ensuring that their home is theirs when they make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the title insurance industry has stepped up even more to help their communities. Whether it’s volunteerism, or innovation to get deals closed during this time of social distancing, the title industry is here to provide protection today, tomorrow, and forever.

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Glossary

A Word About Title Language

The title industry has its own language. Many of its words and idioms are derived from the language of the law while others are common words given special meaning related to land titles. There are also words and phrases coined over the years by the title industry itself.

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SERVITUDE

A right or interest in a piece of real estate, which right or interest serves or benefits another unrelated property. For example, an easement across one piece of property which serves another piece of property is said to constitute a servitude regarding the property upon which it is located.

SET ASIDE

To declare invalid or void; to annul. For example, a court may set aside an erroneous judgment or decree.

SETBACK LINE

(See Building Line.)

SETTLEMENT

(See Closing.)

SKY LEASE

A lease of air space above a piece of land. The ownership of land extends down to the center of the earth and up to the sky. Space above the land can, therefore, be leased or sold. Cantilever or bridge type buildings which do not depend on the lessor’s land for support may be built in such air space.

SOVEREIGNTY

Supreme political power or authority.

SPECIAL ASSESSMENT

(See Improvement Liens.)

SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED

A deed which warrants the title only with respect to acts of the grantor and the interests of anyone claiming by, through, or under him.

SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE

A lawsuit in which the court compels one of the parties to perform or carry out the provisions of a contract into which he has entered.

SPECULATIVE BUILDER

One who constructs buildings for sale without having firm purchase commitments. Speculative building is quite common in residential housing developments and in condominiums.

SQUATTER

One who settles upon unoccupied land without legal claim or authority. (See Adverse Possession.)

STARTER

(See Back Title Letter.)

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

A statute setting a time limit on the enforcement of a right or on the collection of a debt in certain cases.

SUBDIVISION

An area of land laid out and divided into lots, blocks, and building sites, and in which public facilities are laid out, such as streets, alleys, parks, and easements for public utilities.