This article contains our most commonly used foreclosure terms to help get you started. Please see Foreclosure Terms and Definitions for a complete list of terms
Awaiting Update : A term RealtyTrac uses to let consumers know a property is in a transition period between foreclosure filings (NOD/LIS to NTS/NFS and NTS/NFS to REO). Once RealtyTrac receives an update with the latest foreclosure status, the information is updated on the website.
Document Number : The number assigned to the document filed with the county recorder’s office from which the property originates.
Entered Date : Date RealtyTrac received and posted the information.
Equity: Remaining property value after subtracting total value of open loans. It is calculated by subtracting total loan amount from estimated value.
Foreclosure : A legal action that terminates all ownership rights in a home when the homebuyer fails to make the mortgage payments or is otherwise in default under the terms of the mortgage.
Government-Owned (GOV) : A foreclosed property offered for sale by the government. When a property purchased with a federally insured mortgage (i.e., FHA, VA) is foreclosed by the lender, the federal government pays the lender what is owed, takes possession of the property, and offers the property for sale.
Junior Lien : a legal claim upon real property recorded subsequent to (after) another claim or legal obligation (for example, a senior lien would have priority in most cases).
Junior Lienholders : These are also known as secondary or other lienholders. It refers to people who have a recorded lien against the property.
Lien : A claim or charge on property for payment of some debt. With respect to a mortgage, it is the right of the lender to take the title to your property if you do not make the payments due on the mortgage.
Lis Penden (LIS) : Notification of pending lawsuit. The initial document (judicial) filed by an attorney or trustee that starts the foreclosure process after the occurrence of default under the deed of trust or mortgage. Both LIS and NOD are part of the PRE-foreclosure process.
Loan-to-Value : The total value of open loans as a percentage of the estimated market value; or estimated total loan divided by estimated value. If LTV is above 100 percent, it indicates the estimated total loan amount exceeds the estimated value.
Lot Number : Determined by the surveyors when the neighborhood was originally built, the number is included on the county assessor’s map of the neighborhood where the property is located.
Mortgage : A conveyance of an interest in real property, given as security for the payment of a debt. An agreement between two parties
Notice (Judgment) of Foreclosure Sale (NFS) : An order signed by a judge, directing a “ Notice of Sale” be published and that a referee (trustee) sell the property at public auction.
Notice of Default (NOD) : The initial document (non-judicial) filed by a trustee that starts the foreclosure process, usually after the occurrence of a default under the deed of trust, or mortgage. Both LIS and NOD are part of the PRE-foreclosure process.
Notice of Trustee’s Sale (NTS) : A filing by notice announcing a public auction.
Parcel Number : Also known as Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN), it is a unique number assigned by a taxing authority (i.e., a county) that identifies the location of a property.
Real Estate Owned (REO) : “Real Estate Owned” by the lender; the final step in foreclosure process. This document conveys property ownership back to lender.
Recording Date : Date the foreclosure document or loan document was filed with the county recorder’s office.
Total Loans : The total of all the original loan amounts for all open loans known to exist on the property. If only one open loan exists, the total loan amount would be the original loan amount for that one loan.
Trustee : The person or party to whom property is conveyed in trust for the benefit of others.
Trustee’s Sale : A public auction sale of the property described in a Notice of Default that is the subject of the Trustee’s Sale Proceeding.
TS Number : The number assigned to a property by the trustee. Used by trustee to track status of foreclosure and auction proceedings.