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A person who has temporary custody of property belonging to another person. An example of a bailee: the dry cleaners.

Bailee’s Customers Policy

Insurance obtained by a bailee, to cover loss or damage to customers’ property in the bailee’s custody, without regard to liability.

Balance Sheet

A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.

Balloon Mortgage

A mortgage that has level monthly payments that will amortize over a stated term but that provides for a lump sum payment to be due at the end of an earlier specified term.

Balloon Payment

The final lump sum payment that is made at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.


A person, firm, or corporation that, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the payment of all debts after the surrender of all assets to a court-appointed trustee.


A proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor who owes more than his or her assets can relieve the debts by transferring his or her assets to a trustee.

Bargain and Sale Deed

A deed that conveys title but does not necessarily carry warranties against liens and encumbrances.

Base Line

One of the imaginary east-west lines used as a reference point when describing property with the rectangular or government survey method of property description.


The dollar amount associated with an asset to determine annual depreciation and gain or loss on the sale of the asset.  The owner’s basis is the cost of the property adding the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property and subtracting any depreciation allowable or actually taken results in the adjusted basis.

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