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Glossary of Notary Public, Mortgage, Signing Agent, and Loan Signing Terms.

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Common Terms 1   Common Terms 2

Tenants in Common

An undivided interest in property taken by two or more persons. The interest need not be equal. Upon death of one or more persons, there is no right of survivorship.


The length of time your money must remain in a CD without incurring an early withdrawal penalty. This term also refers to the period of time that covers the life of a loan.


To end or stop something. A notary commission can terminate on a specific date or be terminated due to misconduct on the part of the notary. The state notary division where the notary is commissioned has the...

Testimonium Clause

At the end of many documents and certificates that follows the form "witness my hand and seal" or some variation thereof. Testimonium clauses are especially common in deeds or ...


It is required in some states that journal entrees concerning notarizations of deeds affecting real property or Powers of Attorney have a thumbprint. Its generally prudent to take thumbprints for all signatures...


A document that is evidence that one has right to possession of land or property. Name variations are critical on Title Deeds. If a name has a middle initial on Title, then loan documents need to have the same spelling.

Title Insurance

A policy, usually issued by a title insurance company, which insures a home buyer against errors, defects, liens, or encumbrances in the title search. The cost of the policy is usually based on the value of the property.

Title Search

Research into the history of ownership of a property to check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions or problems, to prove that the seller can transfer free and clear ownership.

Total Debt Ratio

Monthly debt and housing payments divided by gross monthly income. Also known as Obligations-to-Income Ratio or Back-End Ratio. The ratio of debt an entity has relative to their assets. The debt ratio can help...

Travel Fee

A fee that a notary public might charge for driving to a location. The travel fee is separate and in addition to the fees for notarizing documents.

Truth in Lending Disclosure

A federal law requiring disclosure of the Annual Percentage Rate to home buyers shortly after they apply for a loan. The Truth in Lending Disclosure is the document that is the first place to look for the APR.