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Rashelle Hobbs
Salt Lake County Recorder

Recorder's Office


Glossary Of Terms

The Glossary of Terms contain short definitions of terms that are often encountered in recorded documents. It is offered only as a convenience to our customers and it does not constitute advice on legal rights or responsibilities. Please note that our Office is not permitted to carry out title searches or give any legal advice. 



Commonly Recorded Documents

Assignment of a Mortgage: Signed by the mortgagee/lender which transfers and assigns for a fee, the mortgage debt to a new lender. The new lender under the assignment then becomes solely responsible for collection on the mortgage from the borrower, releasing the assigning lender.

Affidavit: A sworn statement, signed and notarized.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: A deed given by the property owner of the mortgaged property to the lender as a means to avoid a foreclosure.

Lien: The most common lien document is a (statutory) Mechanic's Lien, but there are other liens such as Attorney's liens & Broker's Liens, etc. Theses liens often involve unpaid services, labor, materials, etc., provided by the party recording the lien to their client/customer/property owner/or other contractor in an attempt to seek payment

Lis Pendens Notice: A notice to the public that the named person or property is the subject of a pending lawsuit.

Mortgage: Most commonly used to create a lien on property. It is secured by the real estate pledged for the loan by the property owner.

Quit Claim Deed: A deed issued from a party, transferring any and all interest that they may have in a particular property but does not give warranty as to anything.

Reconveyance of Trust Deed: Also known as a release of mortgage. known as a satisfaction of mortgage in some states, transfers title back to the borrower.

Release of Mortgage: Also known as Release Deed, Satisfaction of Mortgage, Discharge of Mortgage, releases the lender's mortgage or trust deed lien upon the secured property as well as releases the borrower.

Request for Notice of Default: A document whereby the junior lenders require the senior lender to notify them when the borrower defaults on their loan.

Subordination: Used to change the priority of liens in the chain of title in the event of a foreclosure. Example; One lien holder (mortgage, etc.) can agree with another lien holder for whatever reason they decide, to switch places in the chain of title so that if a foreclosure were to occur, one of the other would get paid first if funds were available but limited.)

Trust Deed: Similar to a mortgage, but the difference is that the property owner conveys title to the property to the trustee/lender to hold for the benefit of the owner. By conveying title to the trustee/lender, the property is used to secure the loan.

Trustee's Deed: A trustee’s deed is a deed to be executed by a person serving as a trustee in their appointed capacity, it is often used by a trustee in bankruptcy to sell real property of a debtor.”

Special Warranty Deed: A deed issued to a buyer which is used to convey an interest in real estate, but where the grantor does not warrant against the defects arising from conditions that existed before he/she owned the property.

Warranty Deed: A deed issued to a buyer. The general Warranty Deed provides the highest level or protection for the buyer.


Acknowledgement: Execution of a document before an authorized office or a notary public. Acknowledgment is required of most documents that affect the title to real property.

Affiant: Person who swears to the statement in an affidavit.

Affidavit: A sworn statement in writing.

Parcel Number: The Recorder's Office identification number for a specific property.

Assignee: One to whom a transfer of interest is made. For example, beneficial interest is assigned to the assignee on an Assignment of Trust Deed.

Assignor: One who makes an assignment of interest. For example, the assignor on an Assignment of a Trust Deed assigns beneficial interest.

Attorney In Fact: One who holds a power of attorney from another allowing him to execute documents on behalf of the person granting the power of attorney.

Beneficiary: Person who receives some benefit. For Example, the beneficiary of a trust deed is the one who lends the money and receives benefits in the form of payments.

Certified Copy: A copy of a document that has been recorded or filed with a government agency (such as the Salt Lake County Recorder's Office). The copy must be stamped and sealed by a deputy certifying that it is an exact copy.

Chain of Title: Past series of transactions and documents affecting title to a parcel of land.

Clear Title: Title that contains no obstruction or limitations from receiving marketable value.

Conveyance: An instrument by which title to property is transferred (Such as a deed.)

Covenant: An agreement written into deeds and other instruments promising performance or nonperformance of certain acts, or stipulating certain uses or non-uses of the property.

Deed: A written document by which the ownership of land is transferred from one party to another.

Deed of Trust: An instrument used as a mortgage. Property is transferred to a trustee by the borrower in favor of the lender, and reconveyed upon payment in full.

Deed Restrictions: Clauses in a deed limiting the future uses of the property.

Easement: A limited right in a piece of land owned by another. Entitles the easement holder to a specific limited use, such as sewer lines, power lines, or crossing the property.

Encumbrance: Any lien – such as a mortgage, tax, fee, or judgment lien; an easement; a restriction on the use of the land

Grantee: A person receiving a deed, or buying property.

Grantor: A person issuing the deed, or selling property.

Entry Number: The unique number assigned to each recorded document by the Salt Lake County Recorder's Office.

Joint Tenancy: Ownership of real estate between two or more parties named in one conveyance as joint tenants. Upon the death of a joint tenant, his or her interest passes to the surviving joint tenant or tenants by the right of survivorship. Proper documentation must be recorded.

Judgment: A court’s final and authentic determination of the rights of the parties in an action

Legal Description: A description of a specific parcel of real estate complete enough for an independent surveyor to locate and identify it. The description is by subdivision name, lot and block in a platted subdivision, or parcel map.

Lien: A claim or interest in land property as security for a debt. A lien does not confer title. Some examples are mortgage liens, judgment liens, and mechanics liens.

Lis Pendens: A notice recorded in the official records of a county to indicate that an action affecting a particular property has been filed in either a state or a federal court.

Mining Claim: Minerals are imbedded in bedrock (tunnel or shaft) and are not loose on the ground.

Mechanic's Lien: A lien allowed by statute to contractors, laborers and material men on buildings, or other structures upon which work has been performed or materials supplied.

Mortgage: A lien against property created in a repayment agreement that uses the property as collateral for a loan.

Notary/Notary Public: An individual commissioned by the state with the authority to acknowledge the signatures of individuals; notaries take no responsibility for the statements made by the signer or the contents of the documents signed.

Parcel Number: A unique 14 digit number used as the identifier of each parcel. It is sometimes referred to as the parcel identification number (PIN) or Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN).

Plat: A map representing a piece of land subdivided into lots indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties.

Quiet Title: The removal of a cloud on title by proper action in a court in which a plaintiff staked a claim in his/her own property in which a defect was defaulted on the estate in which is voided to show as a cloud on the estate’s title deemed to be reviewed upon a court action.

Quit Claim Deed: A conveyance by which the grantor transfers whatever interest he or she has in the real estate, without warranties or obligations.

Range: A row of townships running north and south. Used in legal description, as in range, township, and section.

Reconveyance: When a mortgage is paid in full, the lender conveys the property back to the owner.

Recording: The act of entering or recording documents as public records in the office of the county recorder. Documents are recorded to protect the interests of persons involved and to provide constructive notice of rights and interests in land. Documents accepted for recording are time stamped, receive a unique instrument number, are indexed, the image is captured and the original document is sent back to the returnee.

Right of Way: The right that one has to pass across the lands of another. An easement.

Section: A portion of a township that is approximately one mile by one mile and 640 acres. Used in legal description, as in range, township, and section.

Tenants in Common: A form of co-ownership by which each owner holds an undivided interest in real property as if he or she were sole owner. Each individual owner has the right to ask for partition. Unlike joint tenants, tenants in common have right of inheritance

Title: The right to or ownership of land or the evidence of ownership of land.

Title Insurance: A policy insuring the owner against loss by reason of defects in the title to a parcel of real estate, other than encumbrances, defects, and matters specifically excluded by the policy

Title Search: An examination of public records, laws and court decisions to determine the current ownership of and encumbrances on a parcel of land.

Trust Deed: A written instrument by which title to land is transferred to a trustee as security for payment of a debt or other obligation. Also called a Deed of Trust. Other states may use a mortgage, which is similar but does not actually transfer the property to a trustee.

Recorder's Office
2001 S State St.  N1-600
Salt Lake City, UT 84190

Office Phone:


Office Hours:

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

(Recording & Research, Maps & Copies)

We are closed on official Utah state holidays and weekends.