Find out more about commonly used terms


A collection of legal documents that lists the chronicle transactions associated with a particular parcel of land. Typically included are documents such as deeds, mortgages, wills, probate records, court litigations, and tax sales—basically, any legal document that affects the property.

Goods that are physically united with other goods in such a manner that the identity of the original goods is not lost.

Property zoned or classified as having a purpose devoted to farming, usually receives a property tax reduction.

Secondary UCC filing which makes a change to the initial filing (i.e. change of address, collateral….). Can also be used to assign, continue, or terminate information from the initial filing.

A UCC amendment to transfer property rights (real or personal) from one party to another. Assignments can be full or partial.

The person to whom a property right is assigned.

The party who assigns rights.

Is the process of verifying a county official, a state official, or a notary public from the State of Minnesota that certifies or notarizes a document.


Legal proceeding where one declares inability to pay financial obligations. There are various sections of the Bankruptcy Code under which one may file, depending on circumstances, the Court then determines the legitimacy of the proceeding.

The document filed with the court that lists all the creditors affected.

Document listing the debtor’s list of creditors, containing the outstanding debts and assets.

Person or entity to which money or other property is loaned.


Legal proceeding where one declares inability to pay financial obligations. There are various sections of the Bankruptcy Code under which one may file, depending on circumstances, the Court then determines the legitimacy of the proceeding.

A second form of authentication, this form of authentication is used in all nations other than those members of the treaty. Check with the consulate or embassy of the particular nation involved for requirements needed for a valid authentication. Remember, the country of destination determines whether an Apostille or a Certificate of Office is appropriate.

Means a certificate of title with respect to which a statute provides for the security interest in question to be indicated on the certificate as a condition or result of the security interest obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor with respect to the collateral.

Photocopies of already filed documents authenticated with an attached certificate or signed statement that the photocopy is true and correct.

Means a record or records that evidence both a monetary obligation and a security interest in specific goods, a security interest in specific goods and software used in the goods, a security interest in specific goods and license of software used in the goods, a lease of specific goods, or a lease of specific goods and license of software used in the goods. In this paragraph, “monetary obligation” means a monetary obligation secured by the goods or owed under a lease of the goods and includes a monetary obligation with respect to software used in the goods. The term does not include (i) charters or other contracts involving the use or hire of a vessel or (ii) records that evidence a right to payment arising out of the use of a credit or charge card or information contained on or for use with the card.If a transaction is evidenced by records that include an instrument or series of instruments, the group of records taken together constitutes chattel paper.

A person making a claim or demand, especially in a lawsuit for payment or property rights or for a government-sponsored benefit.

Security given for the fulfillment of a debt (the real or personal property subject to a security interest).

The term commercial property (also called commercial real estate, investment or income property) refers to buildings or land intended to generate a profit, either from capital gain or rental income.

First document filed to initiate a lawsuit (filed by the plaintiff), filed in conjunction with a summons.

Filing UCC amendment that continues the original UCC financing statement for an additional period of time.

Image of a document.

Person or entity who is owed by a debtor.


The party who owes payment or performance of the secured obligation. Also can be described as lessee, borrower, obligor, assignor or consignor.

The legal document conveying title to a property.

Some states, like California, do not record mortgages. Instead, they record a deed of trust which is essentially the same thing.

Person or entity against whom a lawsuit was brought by the plaintiff.

Formal record of all the actions in a court case or legal proceeding. Clients will frequently ask for a copy of a docket to determine what additional copies/information they may want us to obtain for them.

Process of conducting a review for potential liabilities and to confirm the accuracy/validity of records or adverse liens.


A right of way giving access to or over a property other than the owner.

Farm products (crops/livestock) are subject a security interest.

A unique numerical identifier assigned by the IRS and used to identify business, partnerships, or other entities.


Statutory lien in favor of the US Government for failure of the debtor to pay a tax which is due to the government.

A form that a creditor files to give notice that it has an interest in the personal property of a debtor.

Goods which start out as personal property and are integrated into or affixed to realty and cannot be removed without damage to the real property.

Filing which releases the lien. 


Any personal property, including things in action, other than accounts, chattel paper, commercial tort claims, deposit accounts, documents, goods, instruments, investment property, letter-of-credit rights, letters of credit, money, and oil, gas, or other minerals before extraction. The term includes payment intangibles and software.

The person to whom an interest in real property is conveyed.

Goods which start out as personal property and are integrated into or affixed to realty and cannot be removed without damage to the real property.


UCC Financing Statements are used to move a filing from a county filing office or another state filing jurisdiction, it requires special wording in the collateral area of the UCC-1 form. “This financing statement is filed “in lieu of” a continuation statement. The financing statement attached remains effective.” Usually copies of the original financing statement and subsequent UCC-3 filings are attached as exhibits to preserve the original UCC effectiveness.


The final decision of a court that determines and states the settlement.

A lien in favor of a creditor against the debtor, usually issued as a result of a court judgment and then filed with an appropriate recorder of deed office.

With respect to a registered organization or business entity, means the jurisdiction under whose law the organization is organized.


Status of a UCC in which the natural expiration date has passed.

Making materials or documents enforceable, justifiable or lawful by judicial or legislative sanction; give legal validity or sanction to.

A legal claim on the property of another for the satisfaction of a debt or duty.

Latin for “suit pending”. May refer to any pending lawsuit or a specific situation with a public notice of litigation that has been recorded in the same location where the title of real property has been recorded.

List of filed documents on a particular debtor in a jurisdiction.

Pending action of legal contest by judicial process.


Means a UCC filing that creates a purchase-money security interest in a manufactured home, other than a manufactured home held as inventory; or in which a manufactured home, other than a manufactured home held as inventory, is the primary collateral.

Lien to favor persons who performed work or made repairs on real property.

A document between a buyer and a lender in real property, including fixtures, which secures payment or performance of an obligation.

A document laying out changes to the terms of the original mortgage.


Filing that releases a portion of a lien.

The party who files a complaint to initiate a lawsuit.

An instrument that evidences a promise to pay a monetary obligation, does not evidence an order to pay, and does not contain an acknowledgment by a bank that the bank has received for deposit a sum of money or funds.

A UCC filing in connection with which either debt securities are issued; all or a portion of the securities issued have an initial stated maturity of at least 20 years; and the debtor, obligor, secured party, account debtor or other person obligated on collateral, assignor or assignee of a secured obligation, or assignor or assignee of a security interest is a State or a governmental unit of a State.


Actual land and whatever is erected or growing thereon or affixed thereto.

Is a business or individual designated to receive service of process (SOP) when a business entity is a party in a legal action such as a lawsuit or summons. The registered agent’s address may also be where the state sends the paperwork for the periodic renewal of the business entity’s charter (if required).

An owner-occupied (or rented) single family dwelling, utilized for non-business purposes.

A defendant in a lawsuit, especially one in an appeals or divorce case.


Methodology of Researching

The person or entity who lends money. 

A lender’s authorized claim to assets pledged by a debtor as collateral for a loan. The security interest is granted via execution of a security agreement between the debtor and the lender (or secured party). Debtor authentication of the security agreement authorizes the secured party to file a financing statement.

The procedure by which a party to a lawsuit gives an appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal. Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called “process”) to the person to be served.

Name close to original one provided by the client. Example: client requests search on ABC Company and we find ABC LLC and ABC of Denver Company during the search. Provide both ABC LLC and ABC of Denver Company as similar names.

Liens filed in favor of the State for failure to pay tax assessed on real or personal property.

A lien notice filed by an already existing lienholder to protect their interest in services rendered or materials provided.

Stock gives rights of ownership (in part) of the assets of a corporation and a right to an interest in any surplus after the payment of debt. The number of shares of stock a company desires to authorize is determined by the corporation and set forth in its corporate documents. In some jurisdictions, a par value is set for each share of stock as the minimum consideration required to be paid for shares sold by the corporation. Among others, classes of stock may include common stock, preferred stock, and/or convertible stock. In many jurisdictions, the number of shares directly affects the franchise tax amount that will be due. One should consult with an attorney or accountant if they are unsure what to list when forming their company.

A proceeding in which one or more parties ask a court to resolve a dispute. Suits can be open/pending or closed.


A statutory lien existing in favor of State or Federal authorities.

Filing which denotes the ending of both parties’ obligations under the initial financing statement.

A date for which a jurisdiction is current with filings; may not be the current date.

A court orders issuance of a certificate of title to register property as Torrens. Any conveyance, lien, instrument, or proceeding that affects the title to the registered Torrens property must be filed with the registrar of titles in the county where the property is located. Any purchaser of Torrens property may, subject to limited exceptions, determine the status of title by reviewing the certificate of title because anything affecting title to the property will have been recorded.

An entity primarily engaged in railroad, street, subway, railway, trolley, bus services, electronics or electronic communications, or engaged in transmitting or supplying gas, electric, steam, water of the provision of sewer service. They are active until terminated.

The information contained within is for informational purposes only and should not be used for legal or financial advice. It is always best to contact an attorney or an accountant for assistance.