en·cum·brance / enˈkəmbrəns/ • n. a burden or impediment. ∎ Law a mortgage or other charge on property or assets.
A burden, obstruction, or impediment on property that lessens its value or makes it less marketable. An encumbrance (also spelled incumbrance) is any right or interest that exists in someone other than the owner of an estate and that restricts or impairs the transfer of the estate or lowers its value. This might include aneasement, a lien, a mortgage, a mechanic's lien, or accrued and unpaid taxes.