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Glossary of Terms

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 U

UNAVOIDABLE CAUSE
A cause which reasonable prudence and care could not have prevented, such as death, illness, papers lost in the mail, etc.

UNDERLYING FINANCING
A mortgage, deed of trust, etc., prior to (underlying) a land contract, mortgage, etc., on the same property.

UNDISCLOSED PRINCIPAL
A principal whose identity is not revealed by an agent.

UNIFORM LAWS
Laws approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Many have been adopted in one or more states. Among these are the Uniform Commercial Code, Uniform Negotiable Instruments Act, Uniform Partnership Act, Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, etc.

UNILATERAL CONTRACT
A contract under which one party expressly makes a promise: the other party, although making no reciprocal promise, may be obligated by law or may have already given consideration.

UNITY OF POSSESSION
In joint tenancy, the joint tenants must have equal rights to possession.

UNRECORDED INSTRUMENT
A deed, mortgage, etc., which is not recorded in the county recorder's office and, therefore, not protected under recording statutes. Valid between the parties involved, but not against innocent third parties.

USEFUL LIFE
(1)     In appraisal for sale purposes, the true economic value of a building in terms of years of use to the owner.
(2)     For tax purposes, the life set for depreciation. At any time during that period, a new life could begin for a new owner.

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