Glossary of Legal Terms – U





This glossary should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is provided for general informational purposes only. To properly advise on any given situation requires a knowledge of the facts surrounding that situation. Laws and the statutory definitions of terms will vary from state to state. Specific questions should be directed to an attorney licensed in your state.

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.

UCC: Uniform Commercial Code. A statute adopted that covers sales, negotiable instruments, security interests and other commercial transactions.

Ultra Vires: An action by a corporation that is beyond the scope of powers conferred by statute or authorized by corporate documents.

Uncontested Divorce: Not disputed or challenged. May be referred to as a “Friendly Divorce.”

Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Optional insurance that provides protection to purchaser of said coverage and relatives living in his household who suffer injury caused by the negligence of another driver who does not have enough insurance to pay for all losses and damages. Underinsured motorist coverage can be stacked.

Underlayment:   A layer of wood between the subfloor and the floor.

Under-secured Debt: Debt secured on certain parts of the debtor’s property by means of a security interest, lien or other security instrument, but for which the value of the property securing the debt is less than the amount of the debt.

Underwrite: To insure payment or satisfaction of an obligation; to insure life or property; to sell stock or bonds to the public and agree to buy any that are not sold.

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.

Undue Influence: Abuse of position of trust or authority in order to induce a person to do or refrain from doing something to the advantage of the person exerting the influence.

Unemancipated: Legally dependent on one’s parent or legal guardian.

Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.): A compilation of laws governing commercial transactions.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Optional insurance that provides protection to purchaser of said coverage and relatives living in his household who suffer injury caused by the negligence of another driver who does not have insurance to pay for losses and damages. Uninsured motorist coverage can be stacked.

United States Code: The official compilation of federal statutes.

Unjust Enrichment: The doctrine that a person should not be allowed to gain or benefit improperly from the acts and efforts of another without compensation.

Unlawful Detainer: A detention of real estate without the consent of the owner or other person entitled to its possession.
Unliquidated claim: A claim for which the amount and liability have not been precisely determined and which cannot be determined without an evidentiary hearing.

Unmatured claim: A claim for a debt that has come into existence but whose date of payment has not yet come due.

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

Unscheduled debt: A debt that should have been listed by a debtor in the schedules filed with the court but was not.

Unsecured debt: Those debts for which the extension of credit was based solely on an evaluation of the debtor’s ability to pay, as opposed to secured debts.

Unsecured loan:   Any loan that is not backed by collateral.

Unsecured: In bankruptcy proceedings, for the purposes of filing a claim, a claim is unsecured if there is no collateral, or to the extent the value of collateral is less than the amount of the debt.

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.

User: In products liability law, a person who uses goods.

Usury: The wrongful charging of interest at a rate which exceeds that allowed by statute. Usury may constitute a crime under state law depending on the rate of interest charged.

Usury:   A reference to illegally excessive interest charged on any loan.