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Mortgage Glossary


Abandonment of Property

To vacate a property with a definite intention never to return.

Abstract of Title

Registry System: A condensed history of the title to a parcel of land consisting of a synopsis of every recorded instrument affecting the title to that land arranged in chronological order of recording. Land Titles System: A chronological listing of every recorded instrument currently affecting the title to that land.

Acceleration Clause

A clause in a mortgage which provides that where default has occurred in making any payment of moneys due under a mortgage or in the observance of any covenant in a mortgage and under the terms of the mortgage, by reason of such default, all moneys secured thereby become due and payable


The offeree's consent to enter into a contract and to be bound by the terms of the offer.

Accrued Interest

The interest charged for the period of time that has elapsed since interest was last deducted.

Action for Possession

A legal remedy available to a mortgagee when a mortgage is in default.

Action on the Covenant for Payment

A legal remedy available to a mortgagee when a mortgage is in default.

Adjustment on Sale

A pro-rated division and distribution of prepaid or accrued taxes, prepaid insurance premiums, prepaid rents and other income and expenses. Apportionment usually occurs when a property is sold, and is the manner of determining the amounts due to and from the parties.

Adverse Possession

The right by which someone occupying a piece of land might acquire title against the real owner, if the occupant's possession has been actual, continuous, hostile, visible, and distinct for a statutory period. Adverse possession is not possible under Land Titles or when Crown property is involved.


A statement or declaration in writing and sworn to or affirmed before some officer who is authorized to administer an oath or affirmation, such as a notary public, or commissioner of oaths.


An agency is created when one person, called the principal, authorizes another person, called the agent, to act on behalf of and subject to the control of the principal.

Agreement of Purchase and Sale

A written agreement between vendor and purchaser in which the purchaser agrees to buy certain real property and the vendor agrees to sell upon terms and conditions as set forth in that agreement.

Agreement of Sale / Balance of Sale

A method of financing a sale, but different from a mortgage. The buyer does not receive a deed nor does title pass to him or her immediately; rather he or she receives a contractual interest on a time basis. Payments are made directly to the seller who in turn is still responsible for any outstanding mortgage on the property. The seller who still holds title may mortgage their remaining equity.

Alienation Clause

A type of acceleration clause that demands payment of the entire debt upon sale or other transfer of the title.

Amending Agreement

An agreement between the lender and borrower which may or may not be registered on title by the lender in which the terms of the registered mortgage are changed.


Term used to describe the time over which the mortgage is to be paid, assuming equal payments. The life of a loan, e.g. a mortgage with a 25-year amortization period means that if all regular payments were made on time and the terms (payment, interest rate) remained the same, it would take 25 years to reduce the balance to 0.

Amortization Schedule

A table showing the amounts of principal and interest comprising each level payment due at regular intervals and the outstanding principal balance of the loan after each level payment is made.

Amortized Mortgage

A mortgage requiring regular payments which include both principal and interest sufficient to fully repay the loan by maturity.

Anniversary Date

The same date in each calendar year during the term of the mortgage with the first anniversary date taking place one year from the date interest is finally adjusted.

Appointment of a Receiver

A legal remedy available to a mortgagee when a mortgage is in default.

Appraisal Report

An independent assessment of the property by a qualified individual. A statement giving an opinion of value of an adequately described property, as at a specific date and supported by pertinent data.


An appraiser determines the market value of a house based on its condition and the selling price of comparable houses recently sold in the area.


A right used with the land for its benefit.


The determination of a dispute by a disinterested third party.

Arm's Length Transaction

A transaction between unrelated parties. A transaction freely arrived at in the open market unaffected by abnormal pressures as might be true in the case of a transaction between related parties.

Assessment (Assessed Value)

A value placed upon property (land and buildings) for taxation purposes.

Assessment Roll

An annual list of the assessed values of all properties in a municipality, which includes the name of the property owner or tenant and their address. Assessment rolls are usually delivered to a municipality before the end of the year. The term "roll" comes from ancient times and refers to the way information used to be stored - on paper or parchment, rolled up into cylinders.


One who takes the rights or title of another by assignment.

Assignment of Lease

The absolute or conditional transfer of the rights of either party to a lease.

Assignment of Mortgage

The transfer of ownership of a mortgage from one party to another.

Assignment of Rentals

A contract whereby the mortgagor grants the mortgagee the right to collect future rents on a given occurrence, normally default. Normally taken as additional security on rental loans.


One who transfers or assigns the rights or title to another.

Assumption of Mortgage

The act of assuming liability for an existing mortgage on a property by the purchaser of that property. With builders' loans, the assumption is usually evidenced by written agreement.


The seizure of property by court order.

Attornment of Rents

The agreement of a tenant to pay rent to a new landlord, especially a mortgagee who has commenced a legal action.