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  Earnest money:

A deposit given to the seller to show that a prospective buyer is serious about buying the house.


A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property. A common example is a utility easement, which gives the power company the right to put power lines and poles over properties to deliver electricity.

Eminent Domain:

A Government right to acquire private property for public use by condemnation, and the payment of just compensation.


Generally construction onto the property of another, as of a wall, fence, building, etc.


A claim, lien, charge, or liability attached to and binding real property.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA):

A federal law that prohibits lenders from denying mortgages on the basis of the borrower's race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs.


The difference between the market value of a property and the homeowner's outstanding mortgage balance. If your home is worth $100,000 and you owe $65,000, you are said to have 35% equity in your home.

Equity loan:

A loan based on the borrower's equity in his or her home.


The holding of documents and money by a neutral third party prior to closing; also, an account held by the lender into which a homeowner pays money for taxes and insurance.


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