(redirected from Encumbrances)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.


A burden, obstruction, or impediment on property that lessens its value or makes it less marketable. An encumbrance (also spelled incumbrance) is any right or interest that exists in someone other than the owner of an estate and that restricts or impairs the transfer of the estate or lowers its value. This might include an Easement, a lien, a mortgage, a mechanic's lien, or accrued and unpaid taxes.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

encumbrance (incumbrance)

n. a general term for any claim or lien on a parcel of real property. These include: mortgages, deeds of trust, recorded abstracts of judgment, unpaid real property taxes, tax liens, mechanic's liens, easements, and water or timber rights. While the owner has title, any encumbrance is usually on record (with the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds) and must be paid for at some point.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a burden that affects land, such as a mortgage.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ENCUMBRANCE. A burden or charge upon an estate or property, so that it cannot be disposed of without being subject to it. A mortgage, a lien for taxes, are examples of encumbrances.
     2. These do not affect the possession of the grantee, and may be removed or extinguished by a definite pecuniary value. See 2 Greenl. R. 22; 5 Greenl. R. 94.
     3. There are encumbrances of another kind which cannot be so removed, such as easements for example, a highway, or a preexisting right to take water from, the land. Strictly speaking, however, these are not encumbrances, but appurtenances to estates in other lands, or in the language of the civil law, servitudes. (q.v.) 5 Conn. R. 497; 10 Conn. R. 422 15 John. R. 483; and see 8 Pick. R. 349; 2 Wheat. R. 45. See 15 Verm. R. 683; l Metc. 480; 9 Metc. 462; 1 App. R. 313; 4 Ala. 21; 4 Humph. 99; 18 Pick. 403; 1 Ala. 645; 22 Pick. 447; 11 Gill & John. 472.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The gravamen of the crime is the disposition of legally encumbered real property by the offender under the express representation that there is no encumbrance thereon.
The commissioner asked the court to approve the sale, and to direct the settlement agent to pay all encumbrances, including "[a]ny properly recorded liens or judgments against the Property, including any first or second trusts, prior to payment of the remaining proceeds into the Clerk's office." The commissioner also asked that the court's approval order provide that any unpaid liens and encumbrances should be transferred to the sale proceeds.
Human Encumbrances begins by explaining how English colonial treatment of Ireland since the Statute of Kilkenny, in fact enacted in 1366, not 1336 as he states (p.
Our contract clearly states that the apartments are free of all encumbrances.
He continued: "Its return to Pakistan would be a convincing demonstration of the spirit that moved Britain voluntarily to shed its imperial encumbrances and lead the process of decolonisation."
He explores the cognitive and dialectical structure of the Warren Supreme Court and compares it to the Edward Coke period in England, examines the legitimacy of public encumbrances on private contracts and analyzes the similarities between the case that denied campaign finance reform and that which upheld slavery.
Feshbach added that these encumbrances place Wall Street traders bidding on pools of loans at a disadvantage because the true combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio may be significantly higher than what is disclosed, due to the addition of hidden mortgages concurrent or subsequent to the first lien's recordation.
In the case of a full title guarantee, a seller not only undertakes that he has the title he purports to sell and that he will do what he can at his own cost to ensure that the buyer receives that title, but he also covenants that there are no undisclosed rights or encumbrances affecting the title about which he knows or ought reasonably to know.
The heart of his business is common to all title insurance agencies: the review of titles for real property about to be sold and insuring that those titles are free and clear from any liens or other encumbrances that could prevent the purchaser from securing ownership or using the property in accordance with its intended function.
The title abstracting services are limited to (1) performing a title search of aircraft records and (2) reporting factual information on the ownership history of the relevant aircraft and the existence of liens and encumbrances affecting title to the aircraft.
This applies to all children, whether their parents are of the same or opposite sex." Today there are fewer encumbrances from medical and sociological professionals than from ministers, politicians, and those who know little about children and their safety.
has indicated its intention to sell the company "and certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries and all of their assets free and clear of all liens, claims and encumbrances ...