Change in Business Practices in Response to COVID19

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Commonly Recorded Document Definitions

Abstract of Judgment

A court issued money judgment to secure payment to the judgment creditor and when recorded, it creates a general lien on real property of the judgment debtor in the County in which the abstract is recorded.

Affidavit of Death

A document recorded to verify the death and identify the decedent as a former interest holder in specifically described or referred to real property.

Assignment of Deed of Trust / Mortgage

The transfer/sale of a Deed of Trust (loan or debt) from the current lender (beneficiary) to a new beneficiary, which gives them the right to collect the payment of the debt.

Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions

Document recorded to specify the limitations or qualifications on land use imposed in a conveyance or other instrument.

Declaration of Homestead

A document recorded by either a homeowner or head of household on his primary residence to protect his home from forced sale in satisfaction of certain types of creditors’ claims.

Deed of trust / Mortgage

An instrument that secures a debt, the repayment of the loan/mortgage encumbered by real property. This is a three party document; the borrower (trustor), the beneficiary (lender), and the trustee who holds title to real property under the terms of a deed of trust.

Grant Deed

It is the form of deed, common in California, which contains implied warranties to the effect that the grantor has not previously conveyed or encumbered the real property.


To evidence the conveyance of real property for a term of years and a contract of its possession during that term.

Mechanic’s Lien

A document recorded to create a lien in favor of persons contributing labor, material, supplies, etc., to a work of improvement upon real property.

Notice of Completion

A notice indicating that a construction job is finished. It reduces the time frame in which a mechanics lien may be filed. Civil Code 3093

Notice of Default

A notice filed to show that the borrower under a mortgage or deed of trust is in default. Civil Code 2924

Notice of Levy / Writ / Attachments & Executions

A document recorded to notify a party served with writ of execution that specific property is taken in satisfaction of a debt.

Notice of Lis Pendens / Notice of Pendency of Action

A recorded notice that litigation (a lawsuit) is pending in court which may affect the title of the real estate involved.

Notice of Non-Responsibility

A document to evidence that the owner of real property interest will not be responsible for payment of cost of improvements contracted for thereon by some other person.

Notice of Trustee’s Sale

An instrument specifying the details of a future foreclosure sale which will be conducted by the trustee under a deed of trust. Civil Code 2924F

Power of Attorney

An instrument containing an authorization for one to act as agent of another. Terminates upon revocation by the principal or upon death of the principal or agent. Civil Code 2933

Quitclaim Deed

 It is the form of deed that conveys or releases any interest that the grantor may have acquired in real property.


Releases the loan that was a lien against real property. (Satisfaction of the loan) Result is that the property is free of the lien of the deed of trust released.


An instrument releasing property from a lien or an obligation. See specific type for a code.

Request for Notice of Default

 A request that a person desires written notice of the recording of a Notice of Default under a Deed of Trust or of the scheduling of a trustee’s sale. Civil Code 2924b

Rescission of Notice of Default

A notice that rescinds a notice of default of a mortgage or deed of trust. Civil Code 1058.5

Satisfaction of Mortgage

Release of the loan that was a lien against real property.

Subordination Agreement

 To evidence an agreement to permit a security interest in real property to be of a lower priority. Civil Code 2934

Substitution of Trustee

A document used to change the trustee under a deed of trust. Civil Code 2934a

Substitution of Trustee & Full Reconveyance

A combined document where the lender substitutes a new Trustee and the new trustee executes the Reconveyance or releases the loan that was a lien against real property.

Tax Lien – County, State and Federal

A lien by a governmental agency for non-payment of taxes. Attaches to all real property presently owned or after acquired by the taxpayer. Government Code 7171 & 27330 Revenue & Taxation Code 3372

Trustee Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure / Upon Sale

Document recorded to evidence the transfer of real property from the defaulting trustor (borrower) to the beneficiary (lender) in lieu of foreclosure.

Trustee’s Deed

A deed by a trustee under a deed of trust, issued to a purchaser at auction, pursuant to a foreclosure. Government Code 27263

Uniform Commercial Code Financing Statement

A statement that contains information about a security interest in collateral used to secure a debt. (Uniform) Commercial Code 1201

Voluntary Petition

A document recorded to evidence the filing of bankruptcy by a petitioner.