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LEGAL TERMS

INVEST

(1) To formally grant power or authority to someone. For example, when the President of the United States is inaugurated, he is invested with all the powers of ... (more...)
(1) To formally grant power or authority to someone. For example, when the President of the United States is inaugurated, he is invested with all the powers of that office. (2) To contribute money to a business venture, or to buy property or securities, with the intention and expectation of making a profit.

INCAPACITY

(1) A lack of physical or mental abilities that results in a person's inability to manage his or her own personal care, property or finances. (2) A lack of abil... (more...)
(1) A lack of physical or mental abilities that results in a person's inability to manage his or her own personal care, property or finances. (2) A lack of ability to understand one's actions when making a will or other legal document. (3) The inability of an injured worker to perform his or her job. This may qualify the worker for disability benefits or workers' compensation.

RESTRAINT ON ALIENATION

A provision in a deed or will that attempts to restrict ownership of the property -- for example, selling your house to your daughter with the provision that it... (more...)
A provision in a deed or will that attempts to restrict ownership of the property -- for example, selling your house to your daughter with the provision that it never be sold to anyone outside the family. These provisions are generally unenforceable.

BALLOON PAYMENT

A large final payment due at the end of a loan, typically a home or car loan, to pay off the amount your monthly payments didn't cover. Many states prohibit bal... (more...)
A large final payment due at the end of a loan, typically a home or car loan, to pay off the amount your monthly payments didn't cover. Many states prohibit balloon payments in loans for goods or services that are primarily for personal, family or household use, or require the lender to let you refinance the balloon payment before forcing collection.

BORDER PATROL

The historical term for what is now called the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ('BCBP'), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. The primary fu... (more...)
The historical term for what is now called the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ('BCBP'), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. The primary functions of the BCBP/border patrol are to guard the borders from illegal entrants and to meet and question immigrants and visitors arriving at airports and other border stops.

WORDS OF PROCREATION

Language used to leave property to a person and his or her descendants, which typically take the form 'to A, and the heirs of his body,' where A is the person r... (more...)
Language used to leave property to a person and his or her descendants, which typically take the form 'to A, and the heirs of his body,' where A is the person receiving the property.

RENT CONTROL

Laws that limit the amount of rent landlords may charge, and that state when and by how much the rent can be raised. Most rent control laws also require a landl... (more...)
Laws that limit the amount of rent landlords may charge, and that state when and by how much the rent can be raised. Most rent control laws also require a landlord to provide a good reason, such as repeatedly late rent, for evicting a tenant. Rent control exists in some cities and counties in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.

CLEANING FEE

A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premises after you move out, even if you leave ... (more...)
A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premises after you move out, even if you leave the place spotless. Cleaning fees are illegal in some states and specifically allowed in others, but most state laws are silent on the issue. Landlords in every state are allowed to use the security deposit to clean a unit that is truly dirty.

COOLING-OFF RULE

A rule that allows you to cancel a contract within a specified time period (typically three days) after signing it. Federal cooling-off rules apply this three-d... (more...)
A rule that allows you to cancel a contract within a specified time period (typically three days) after signing it. Federal cooling-off rules apply this three-day grace period to sales made door-to-door and anywhere other than a seller's normal place of business, such as at a trade show. Another federal cooling-off rule lets you cancel a home improvement loan or second mortgage within three days of signing. Various states have cooling-off rules that sometimes apply even longer cancellation periods to specific types of sales, such as dancing lessons and timeshares.