Foreclosure Terms


  • Foreclosure termsForeclosure – This is the legal process in which a lender takes legal action to recover the balance due on a mortgage loan from the borrower.  This takes place after the borrower has stopped making the mortgage payments.  The purpose of the foreclosure is to force the sale of the home which is collateral for the loan.


  • Promissory Note – A promissory note is an IOU executed by the homeowner at the time they take out the mortgage.  The mortgage creates a lien on their home which gives the financial institution a security interest protecting them in the event the homeowner defaults on making the payments under the promissory note.


  • Mortgagee – The mortgagee is the financial institution that makes the loan to the homeowner.  The mortgagee can also be referred to as a lien holder.


  • Mortgagor – The mortgagor refers to the individual or family who has taken a loan out and put the house up they are buying as collateral for that loan.


  • Default – Default refers to a homeowner failing to make timely mortgage payments on the mortgage loan.


  • Lis Pendens – Lis Pendens is the filing of a notice by the financial institution that they are taking legal action regarding the title and ownership interest in a home.  The filing of a Lis pendens has the impact of creating a cloud on the title of the home owned by the homeowner.


  • Secured Creditor – A secured creditor in a foreclosure case is the mortgagee, the financial institution that loaned the homeowner the money, so they could either buy the home or refinance the home.


  • Deed – This is the document which establishes who is the owner of a home. In States like New York this is the evidence of ownership of the home.


  • Deficiency Judgment – When a home is sold in a foreclosure sale, if the financial institution is not paid back all the money they are owed at the time of the sale, they can proceed against the homeowner to obtain a deficiency judgment for the balance due and owing the financial institution which was not satisfied by the sale of the home.


Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a foreclosure lawyer representing homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 45 years.  His law firm is dedicated to keeping homeowners in their homes.  He can be reach for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail at

Foreclosure Defense in Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick and Bellmore, New York

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