A Deed in lieu of foreclosure is a deed instrument in which a mortgagor (i.e. the borrower) conveys all interest in a real property to the mortgagee (i.e. the lender) to satisfy a loan that is in default and avoid foreclosure proceedings.

The deed in lieu of foreclosure offers several advantages to both the borrower and the lender. The principal advantage to the borrower is that it immediately releases him/her from most or all of the personal indebtedness associated with the defaulted loan. The borrower also avoids the public notoriety of a foreclosure proceeding and may receive more generous terms than he/she would in a formal foreclosure. Advantages to a lender include a reduction in the time and cost of repossession, and additional advantages if the borrower subsequently files for bankruptcy.

In order to be considered a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the indebtedness must be secured by the real estate being transferred. Both sides must enter into the transaction voluntarily and in good faith. The settlement agreement must have total consideration that is at least equal to the fair market value of the property being conveyed. Generally, the lender will not proceed with a deed in lieu of foreclosure if the outstanding indebtedness of the borrower exceeds the current fair market value of the property.

A deed is a legal instrument used to grant a right. Deeds are part of the broader category of documents under seal. Deeds can be described as contract-like, as they require the mutual agreement of more than one person. Deeds can therefore be distinguished from covenants, which being also under seal, are unilateral promises. The deed is best known as the method of transferring title to real estate from one person to another, often using a description of its metes and bounds. However, by the general definition, powers of attorney, commissions, patents, and even diplomas conferring academic degrees are also deeds.

An integrated agreement is either a partial or complete integration. If it contains some, but not all, of the terms as to which the parties have agreed then it is a partial integration. This means that the writing was a final agreement between the parties (and not mere preliminary negotiations) as to some terms, but not as to others. On the other hand, if the writing were to contain all of the terms as to which the parties agreed, then it would be a complete integration. The importance of this distinction is relevant to what evidence is excluded under the parol evidence rule. For both complete and partial integrations, any evidence contradicting the writing is excluded under the parol evidence rule. However, for a partial integration, terms that do not contradict the writing but merely add to it are not excluded.

Real estate is a legal term (in some jurisdictions, notably in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia) that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings, specifically property that is stationary, or fixed in location. Real estate law is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters under a particular jurisdiction. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property (also sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (also sometimes called chattel or personalty under chattel law or personal property law).

Fair Market Value (FMV) is a term in both law and accounting that is based on the economics term of market value.It is also a common basis for assessing damages to be awarded for the loss of or damage to the property, generally in a claim under tort or a contract of insurance. A fair market value is often an estimate of what a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, both in a free market, for an asset or any piece of property. If such a transaction actually occurs, then the actual transaction price is usually the fair market value.

Note that the opinion of people that are not interested in buying or selling an asset has little meaning, because they are not active in the market. Thus, market value (which is the same for everyone in the market) is not identical to the intrinsic value that different individuals may place on the same asset based on their own preferences and circumstances.