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  • Binding site plans

    The binding site plan (see King County Code 19A.20) is a means of land segregation that sets aside part of a tract or parcel for future development in a specific manner.

  • Chattel lien

    A chattel lien is a process by which a person may sell or take ownership of a vehicle or vessel when they provide services or materials for the vehicle or vessel at the request of the registered owner; and the person who provided the services or materials has not been compensated.

  • Chattel mortgage

    An old term for an arrangement under which an item of personal property (chattel) serves as security (collateral) for a loan taken out to buy the item; a mortgage on something other than real estate. These agreements are now generally referred to as security agreements and are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code.

  • Conditional sale

    A sale of property or goods which will be completed only if certain conditions are met by one or both parties to the transaction.

  • Condominium

    As used by the King County Recorder's Office, the word "condominium" refers specifically to the condominium's survey plan and map (sometimes called the condominium plat). The survey plan and map show the site plan with the placement of the building(s) upon it. They also show the boundaries of each unit and of the common areas.

  • Crop lien

    Under Washington State law (RCW 60.11), various classes of persons, including landlords of rented croplands, suppliers of goods and services used to grow crops, handlers of orchard crops, and agricultural workers denied wages, have the right to place a lien on crop sale profits to satisfy debts.

  • DD-214 (veteran's discharge papers)

    A Report of Separation is generally issued when a member of the armed services performs active duty or at least 90 consecutive days of active duty training. The Report of Separation contains information normally needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans' organizations. The report of separation form issued in most recent years is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

  • Dedication The deliberate conveyance of land by an owner for any general and public uses, reserving no rights other than those that are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of public uses for which the property has been conveyed. Dedications are made by the property owner filing a final plat, short plat, binding site plan, or quitclaim deed.
  • Deed

    A deed is a document that transfers title of real estate. It contains an implied promise that the person transferring the property actually owns the title and that it is not encumbered in any way, except as described in the deed. In the United States deeds are officially recorded on the county level. Some special types of deeds include:

    • Quitclaim deeds transfer whatever ownership interest the transferring party has in a particular property. The deed makes no guarantees about anything that is being transferred.

    • Warranty deeds contain express assurances about the legal validity of the title being transferred.

  • Deed of trust A deed of trust is not the same thing as a deed and is actually similar to a mortgage, a security instrument whereby real property is given as security for a debt. However, in a deed of trust there are three parties to the instrument: the borrower, the trustee, and the lender (or beneficiary). In such a transaction, the borrower transfers the legal title for the property to the trustee who holds the property in trust as security for the payment of the debt to the lender or beneficiary. If the borrower pays the debt as agreed, the deed of trust becomes void. If, however, he defaults in the payment of the debt, the trustee may sell the property at a public sale, under the terms of the deed of trust. In most jurisdictions where the deed of trust is in force, the borrower is subject to having his property sold without benefit of legal proceedings. Many states, including Washington, treats the deed of trust like a mortgage.
  • Divorce certificate

    The divorce certificate contains basic information about the husband and wife, and the date and place the marriage ended. It is filed with the the State. They only exist from January 1, 1968 until the present.

    For all information included on divorce certificates, please see Table 7 of WAC 246-491-149 (external link).

  • Divorce decree

    The divorce decree is the document prepared by the court, setting forth the terms and conditions of the divorce. It is signed by the judge and filed with the County Clerk of the County where the decree was issued, which is usually the County where the plaintiff resided. It is more detailed than the divorce certificate.

  • Donation Land Claims

    Under the Oregon Donation Land Act of 1850, Congress allowed settlers to claim public land in Western territories. A single person could claim 320 acres; a married couple, 640 acres. The claimants received final title to the land when they had lived on it for four years and made certain improvements, or when they purchased their lands in lieu of fulfilling residency requirements.

    The forty-eight donation land claims in King County, recorded under federal territorial law, are the county's oldest recorded properties and are still referenced in property descriptions.

  • Easement

    Right granted by a property owner to specifically named parties or to the public for the use of certain private land for specified purposes, that may include, but are not limited to, access roads, pedestrian or bicycle pathways, minerals, utility lines, storm drainage pipes and ditches, erosion control slopes abutting a right-of way, and open space.

  • Excise tax affidavit

    Record of one percent excise tax paid by the seller on the sale of real property. Washington state law requires that a Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit be completed and signed prior to the recording of a deed to transfer ownership of real property. The affidavit can also be used to establish the gross sales prices for properties.

  • Execution In property law, the act of getting an officer of the court to take possession of the property of a losing party in a lawsuit on behalf of the winner, sell it and use the proceeds to pay the judgment.
  • General Land Office field notesSurvey field notes of United States General Land Office surveyors. The field notes are of two types: (1) traverses performed to locate section corners, to establish river meanders, and to survey shorelines (1856-1913), and (2) boundary surveys of donation land claims in King County (1860-1882). Both types of field notes include notes on, or references to, the natural and built environment (topography, bodies of water, vegetation, soils, trails, roads, settlements) existing at the time of the survey.
  • Grantors and Grantees

    A grantor conveys or sells property to a receiver or buyer (grantee). In the case of a mortgage agreement, the grantee is the mortgage company that is being given an interest in a property in exchange for a loan.

  • Incorporation (municipal)

    Incorporation is the legal process under Washington State law (RCW 35.02) by which a contiguous area of an unincorporated area of a county becomes a city or a town. An incorporated municipality must be able to provide essential services to its citizens that are at least the levels provided by the county before the incorporation. Some essential services related to property are road and street maintenance, drainage, and utility services. New municipalities may contract with counties for the continuation of these services. Property owners in King County municipalities who seek records relating to certain governmental actions (for example, street vacations or zoning) may need to contact both King County and municipal authorities.

  • Uniform Commercial Code

    The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a set of laws that govern commercial transactions such as sales, warranties, negotiable instruments, loans secured by personal property, and other commercial matters. The UCC has been adopted in some form in every state; Washington State first adopted the code (RCW 62A.9A) in 1965 (effective July 1, 1967).

  • Vacations (plat)

    A plat vacation is an action, taken under Washington state law (RCW 58.17.212) but handled by local governments (in King County by the County Council), that removes the dedication (to general or public use) from a recorded plat or a portion of the plat and returns the property to private ownership.

    Vacations (road)

    A road vacation is an action taken by the King County Council (prior to May 1, 1969, by orders of the King County Commissioners) whereby the public interest in a road right-of-way is removed. King County holds an easement on right of way for public travel on most streets and alleys outside of incorporated areas of the County. This interest may be terminated by the County ordinance if the easement is considered useless to the County's needs and deemed beneficial by the return of the unused area to the public tax tolls. RCW 36.87 and King County Code 14.40 govern the vacation of rights-of-way in King County.

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