Personal Property

Definition of 'Personal Property'


A type of property which, in its most general definition, can include any asset other than real estate. The distinguishing factor between personal property and real estate is that personal property is movable. That is, the asset is not fixed permanently to one location as with real property such as land or buildings. Examples of personal property include vehicles, furniture, boats, collectibles, etc.

Also known as "movable property", "movables" and "chattels."

Investopedia explains 'Personal Property'


It's tough to have a precise definition for "personal property" as it is very much a legal term. The concept is perhaps best understood with a comparision to real property. Under common law systems it is possible to place a mortgage upon real property. Because the lender has rights to the property it makes the extension of credit relatively safe and easy. After all, it's tough to flee the country with your house. On the other hand, it's tougher for a creditor to secure personal property. While common law systems do allow liens to be placed on personal property (such as vehicles) to protect the rights of creditors, there is obviously much more risk that the debtor simply drives away with the collateral if fleeing the country.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. 80-10-10 Mortgage

    A mortgage transaction in which a first and second mortgage are simultaneously originated. The first position lien has an 80% loan-to-value ratio, the second position lien has a 10% loan-to-value ratio and the borrower makes a 10% down payment. 80-10-10 mortgage transactions are piggy-back mortgage transactions, and are frequently used by borrowers to avoid paying private mortgage insurance.
  2. Passive ETF

    One of two types of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available for investors. Passive ETFs are index funds that track a specific benchmark, such as a SPDR. Unlike actively managed ETFs, passive ETFs are not managed by a fund manager on a daily basis.
  3. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  4. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  5. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  6. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
Trading Center