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ACTION: A proceeding in a court in which a Plaintiff claims against a Defendant.

AUCTION: A sale, open to the public, of property sold to the highest bidder.

AUCTIONEER: The person hired by the Plaintiff to conduct a foreclosure auction of a Co-Operative Apartment.

BLOCK and LOT NUMBER: How a property is identified by the City of New York. Each and every piece of property has its own block and lot number.

BUILDING CLASSIFICATION CODES: Used by the City of New York to identify types of property, i.e. A1 = one-family, two-story detached dwelling.
Click Here for NYC Building Classification Codes Key

CITY REGISTER: Houses all land records for the borough, i.e. Deeds and mortgages.

COMPLAINT: The first statement of the Plaintiff in a civil action, stating their cause of action.

CO-OPERATIVE APARTMENT: A unit of housing in which a tenant owns shares in the building and has a proprietary lease entitling them to occupy their particular apartment.

COUNTY CLERK: Where all court cases for the county are recorded and filed.

DEED: A written document, properly signed and delivered, that conveys title to real property.

DEEDS OF TRUST: An instrument used in many states in lieu of a mortgage.

DEFENDANT: The party sued in an action at law. In a foreclosure action, this is the person or persons who borrowed money and have defaulted on their mortgage.

FINAL JUDGMENT: The final dollar amount determination of the case. In a foreclosure action, this is the amount the Defendant owes the Plaintiff, as of the date specified in the Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale.

FORECLOSURE OF TAX LIEN: The process of enforcing a lien against property for nonpayment of delinquent property taxes. Taxing authorities hold a superior lien against all taxable property to enforce the payment of their taxes.

INDEX NUMBER: Case number used to identify and requisition foreclosure file of the case for examination.

JUDGMENT: A decree of a court stating that one individual is indebted to another and fixing the amount of the indebtedness.

JUDGMENT OF FORECLOSURE & SALE: Order signed by the judge directing a Notice of Sale to be published and the referee to sell a property at Auction. Also ratifies amount of money owed to lender.

JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE STATE: State where foreclosure proceeding must go through the court before a property can be sold at Auction.

LIEN: a charge against property making it security for the payment of a debt, Judgment, mortgage or taxes.

LIS PENDENS FOR MORTGAGE DEFAULT: Recorded notice of filing a suit for non-payment of a mortgage. This is the first notification of mortgage default. May also be referred to as "Notice of Pendency".

MORTGAGOR: One who pledges property as security for a loan.

MORTGAGE DEFAULT: Failure to fulfill an obligation or promise to pay a mortgage.

NOTICE OF SALE: Communication notice to the general public of the intent to sell a property at a foreclosure auction.

ORIGINAL MTG & AMT: Principal amount of loan, and month and year it was made.

PLAINTIFF: The person who brings a lawsuit. In foreclosure actions, this is the party who financed the mortgage that is in default.

PLACE: Location where the Auction is held. For instance, QCCH is Queens County Courthouse. CR25 is Courtroom 25.

PRE-FORECLOSURE: A property that has had a Lis Pendens For Mortgage Default filed against it but has not yet been scheduled for Auction.

R.E.O. LIST: A report, compiled by banks or private companies which lists all properties the banks currently hold in their inventories that are for sale. These are properties that did not sell to a high bidder at Auction.

REFEREE: Attorney, appointed by the court, to conduct the foreclosure Auction.

SUMMONS: A written notification served on a Defendant to answer Complaint filed by Plaintiff.

TAX LIEN: A debt attached against property for failing to pay taxes.

TERMS OF SALE: The conditions and arrangements under which a property is being sold. Read aloud by Referee prior to Auction being conducted..

TRUSTEE SALES: A foreclosure sale conducted by a trustee under the stipulations of a Deed of Trust.

UPSET PRICE: An established amount, below which the seller is not obligated to accept the winning bid.

Some definitions of terms listed in this section were taken from the BARRON’s Real Estate Guide, Dictionary of Real Estate Terms, Fourth Edition published by Barron’s Educational Services, Inc.


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