fore·​clo·​sure | \(ˌ)fȯr-ˈklō-zhər \

Definition of foreclosure 

: an act or instance of foreclosing specifically : a legal proceeding that bars or extinguishes a mortgagor's right of redeeming a mortgaged estate

Examples of foreclosure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

About 8 percent of African-American and Latino homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure from 2007 to 2009, almost twice the rate of white homeowners, according to estimates from the Center for Responsible Lending. Jonnelle Marte,, "Black homeownership is stuck near 30-year lows," 6 July 2018 As many as 10 million families lost their homes to foreclosure during the recession and housing crisis, according to Pew. Paul Kupiec And, WSJ, "The Government Creates Another Housing Bubble," 31 May 2018 The Schlitterbahn Riverpark & Resort on North Padre Island is headed to foreclosure if a buyer can’t be found by May 1. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Schlitterbahn’s Corpus park has two weeks to find buyer or face foreclosure," 18 Apr. 2018 The epidemic has drained savings, wrecked retirement plans, pushed some homeowners into foreclosure and kept workers from earning a steady paycheck, a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found. Meris Lutz, ajc, "Cobb joins national opioid suit against pharmacies, drug makers," 21 June 2018 Given that home values are on the rise in many communities, many families no longer risk going into foreclosure or losing money selling the family home as was the case back in 2007 or 2008. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Retiring with debt? More Americans are. Here are some strategies," 21 June 2018 Many former players from my father’s era who don’t have pensions have suffered bankruptcy or home foreclosure. Mike Stenhouse, WSJ, "A Major League Pension Error," 12 June 2018 Millions of homeowners fell into foreclosure or lost savings. Erik Sherman /, NBC News, "Congress just approved a bill to dismantle parts of the Dodd-Frank banking rule," 23 May 2018 Property records show Sanford unloaded at least 12 of 20 complexes in its portfolio, some sold in foreclosure or bankruptcy and others sold for millions more than the purchase price. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "D.C. cuts off taxpayer subsidies to landlord Sanford Capital after years of controversy," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foreclosure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of foreclosure

1713, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for foreclosure

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for foreclosure

The first known use of foreclosure was in 1713

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More Definitions for foreclosure



Financial Definition of foreclosure

What It Is

Foreclosure occurs when a lender seizes and sells a borrower's collateral after the borrower has failed to repay the lender. The term is most often associated with real estate.

How It Works

In general, there are eight events involved in a foreclosure (in this example, we assume the borrower has obtained a mortgage for a house from the lender).

1. The borrower signs a contract agreeing to repay the lender over a period of time, usually in predetermined installments.
2. The borrower misses one or more payments.
3. The lender sends the borrower one or more notices of delinquency.
4. The borrower and the lender try to adjust the repayment schedule so that the borrower is more likely to make at least some of the payments until he or she gets back on his feet. (This process is called special forbearance or mortgage modification.)
5. The borrower misses additional payments.
6. The lender sends the borrower a notice of default and initiates foreclosure proceedings.

A) In a judicial foreclosure, a court confirms the amount owed to the lender and gives the borrower a set amount of time to pay up ("cure the default").
B) In a nonjudicial foreclosure, the loan document authorizes the lender to sell the property to recover the loan balance.
7. The lender puts the property up for sale and publishes a notice of the sale in the local paper. The notice includes a description of the property, the name of the borrower, and other information. The borrower might file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure temporarily.
8. A public auction occurs during business hours, and the highest bidder is usually entitled to buy the property. At that point, the borrower cannot get the property back unless he or she buys it back.

Why It Matters

The foreclosure process can take several months, if not years, and it does long-term damage to a person's credit report. It is important to note that foreclosure laws vary by state, and they affect the order or duration of these steps. It is also important to note that the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act affects foreclosure proceedings by stipulating the methods lenders can use to go after bad debts.

[Click here to read Seven Ways to Stop a Foreclosure on Your Home]

Source: Investing Answers


fore·​clos·​ure | \fōr-ˈklō-zhər \

Legal Definition of foreclosure 

1 : a legal proceeding that bars or extinguishes a mortgagor's equity of redemption in mortgaged real property — see also deficiency judgment at judgment, redeem, right of redemption, statutory foreclosure, strict foreclosure sense 1

2 : the extinguishment (as under the provisions of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code) of the rights of a debtor in personal property subject to a security interest by judicial proceedings and especially by judicial sale — see also strict foreclosure sense 2

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