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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.
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.
encumbrancea burden that affects land, such as a mortgage.
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.