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U.S. Department. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

A federal agency that oversees the Federal Housing Administration and a variety of housing and community development programs.

Underlayment

A layer of wood between the subfloor and the floor.

Underwriting

The process that lenders go through to evaluate the risks posed by a particular borrower and to set appropriate conditions for the loan.

Undisclosed heir

A person who claims the right to a piece of property after the death of an owner without a will.

Undisclosed spouse

An unidentified marital partner who can claim the right to a piece of property.

Unrecorded deed

An unrecorded deed transfers ownership from one party to another without being officially recorded.

Unsecured loan

Any loan that is not backed by collateral.

Upgrades

Options than the standard carpeting, lighting, finish carpentry and other amenities offered to all buyers in a new-home project.

Upzoning

The process in which a property is zoned from a lower to a higher use.

Urban sprawl

The unplanned expansion of development over a large area.

Usury

A reference to illegally excessive interest charged on any loan.