Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A procedure by which the holder of a mortgage—an interest in land providing security for the performance of a duty or the payment of a debt—sells the property upon the failure of the debtor to pay the mortgage debt and, thereby, terminates his or her rights in the property.

Statutory foreclosure is foreclosure by performance of a power of sale clause in the mortgage without need for court action, since the foreclosure must be done in accordance with the statutory provisions governing such sales.

Strict foreclosure refers to the procedure pursuant to which the court ascertains the amount due under the mortgage; orders its payment within a certain limited time; and prescribes that in default of such payment a debtor will permanently lose his or her equity of redemption, the right to recover the property upon payment of the debt, interest, and costs. The title of the property is conveyed absolutely to the creditor, on default in payment, without any sale of the property.


n. the system by which a party who has loaned money secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real property (or has an unpaid judgment), requires sale of the real property to recover the money due, unpaid interest, plus the costs of foreclosure, when the debtor fails to make payment. After the payments on the promissory note (which is evidence of the loan) have become delinquent for several months (time varies from state to state), the lender can have a notice of default served on the debtor (borrower) stating the amount due and the amount necessary to "cure" the default. If the delinquency and costs of foreclosure are not paid within a specified period, then the lender (or the trustee in states using deeds of trust) will set a foreclosure date, after which the property may be sold at public sale. Up to the time of foreclosure (or even afterwards in some states) the defaulting borrower can pay all delinquencies and costs (which are then greater due to foreclosure costs) and "redeem" the property. Upon sale of the property the amount due is paid to the creditor (lender or owner of the judgment) and the remainder of the money received from the sale, if any, is paid to the lender. There is also judicial foreclosure in which the lender can bring suit for foreclosure against the defaulting borrower for the delinquency and force a sale. This is used in several states with the mortgage system or in deed of trust states when it appears that the amount due is greater than the equity value of the real property, and the lender wishes to get a deficiency judgment for the amount still due after sale. This is not necessary in those states which give deficiency judgments without filing a lawsuit when the foreclosure is upon the mortgage or deed of trust. (See: mortgage, deed of trust, forced sale, execution, notice of default)


noun confiscation, deprivation, dislodgment, dispossession, distraint, distress, enforcement of mortgage, eviction, expropriation, expulsion, forfeiture, legal enforcement of a lien, privation, process of extinguishment of rights, removal, suit to extinnuish the equity of redemption
Associated concepts: ejectment, foreclosure decree, foreclooure of a lien, foreclosure of a mortgage, foreclosure of collateral, foreclosure proceedings, foreclosure sale, redemppion by purchaser
See also: attachment, bar, condemnation, disseisin, expropriation, forfeiture, obstruction, taking


the right to take mortgaged property in satisfaction of the amount due. Where a mortgagor has defaulted on his obligations under the terms of the mortgage, the mortgagee has a number of powers available to him to protect his investment. One of these is the power to foreclose. Foreclosure can be effected only by an order of the court that involves, first, the granting of an order of foreclosure nisi, which effectively gives the mortgagor six months' grace within which to raise the sums due; if the mortgagor has failed to do this, the foreclosure becomes absolute, whereupon the rights of the mortgagor in the property cease and become vested in the mortgagee.

Ask a Lawyer


Country: United States of America
State: Florida

We have an upcoming date concerning foreclosure on our home during which they are going to set a sale date. We need to delay this first meeting by a week so we can get a payoff figure from the mortgage company. Is there any way to file paperwork or reasons that we can file a motion that will help buy us some time?


It is difficult to do unless the parties can say you are unavailable for some serious reason etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ohio's foreclosure total of 15,709 ranked third behind California and Florida.
New York City: Number of New Foreclosure Auctions: There were 425 new residential foreclosures in New York City (5 boroughs), an overall decrease (-21%) in new foreclosures in the current quarter from the second quarter of 2006 (538 foreclosures).
Colorado, Nevada and Florida post top state foreclosure rates
Foreclosure equity-stripping scams, which have existed since the 1930s, are on the rise across the country.
California reported 7,674 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 27 percent increase and the third most new foreclosures reported by any state in December.
David Washington, president and CEO of Forbes Capital Group, who gives seminars on foreclosure prevention.
Upon receipt of property through voluntary reconveyance, foreclosure or abandonment, the mortgagee neither recognizes a gain or loss nor considers the debt worthless or partially worthless under the bad debt provisions of IRC section 166.
Lower mortgage payments - Get rid of the second mortgage - Lower their principal balances - Eliminate past balances due to the lender - Keep their cars, homes, and other property while eliminating debt - Save homes from foreclosure within 1 hour of the time of sale - Stop the foreclosure date altogether with a court order
Most of the January increase in foreclosure starts is due to repeats.
This longer time in foreclosure has economic consequences, as well.
Foreclosure statistics in the boroughs varied widely year-over-year.
Foreclosures increased across all regions despite temporary halts by major banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, primarily in the second half of February, in anticipation of the Obama administrations foreclosure mitigation effort.