ALTA: American Land Title Association, the national trade association for the title insurance industry

Closing/ Settlement: the final meeting where property ownership is transferred

Deed: physical evidence of ownership

Encumbrance: a legal interest in a property that may affect its value

Escrow: the funds provided as earnest money when the initial offer on a property is made

Lien: a financial claim to a property

Title: provides legal use and possession or ownership of a property

Title Insurance: an insurance policy that protects a buyer from legal defects in a title that occurred prior to taking ownership of a property

Title Search: an in-depth check of public records to ensure the property is legally available for sale and that there are no encumbrances or liens against i