Earnest Money
The deposit money given to the seller or his agent by the potential buyer upon the signing of an Offer to Purchase to show that he is serious about buying the house. If the sale goes through, the earnest money is applied against the down payment. If the sale does not go through, the earnest money will be forfeited or lost unless the Offer to Purchase expressly provides that it is refundable.

Easement
The right to use or enjoy the land of another, such as the right of way or the right to receive air and light.

Effective Date of Commitment
Date of initial search report. (i.e., date through which the records in the Recorder's office that affect title to the property being transferred have been searched).

Eminent Domain
The right of a government to take privately owned property for public purposes under condemnation proceedings upon payment of its reasonable value. See Condemnation

Encroachment
An unauthorized invasion or intrusion of an improvement, fixture or other real property wholly or partly upon another's property. Encroachments typically are either: (1) over building line, (2) over lot line, (3) over easement, or (4) onto the insured premises.

Encumbrance
Any claim, lien, charge or liability attached to and binding on real property that may lessen its value or obstruct the use of the property but not necessarily prevent transfer of title; a right or interest in a property held by one who is not the legal owner of the property. There are two general classifications of encumbrances: (1) those that affect the title, such as judgments, mortgages and mechanics' liens, and (2) those that affect the physical condition of the property, such as restrictions, encroachments and easements.

Endorsement
Form provided by the title insurance company for the amendment of any information that has appeared as part of any commitment or policy or for granting additional coverage or excluding coverage due to some defect or condition of title.

Equity
The value of the interest of an owner of property, exclusive of the encumbrances on the property.

Escheat
The reversion of property to the state when an owner dies leaving no legal heirs, devisees or claimants.

Escrow
The process by which money and/or documents are held by a third person until the satisfaction of the terms and conditions of the escrow instructions (as prepared by the parties to the escrow). When these terms have been satisfied, there is delivery and transfer of the escrowed funds and documents.

Estate
The interest or nature of the interest that one has in property, such as a life estate, the estate of a deceased, real estate, etc.

Evidence of Title
Abstract or title policy.

Execution
An order directing a sheriff, constable, marshal or court-appointed commissioner to enforce a money judgment against the property of a debtor. This officer, if necessary, may sell the property to satisfy the judgment.