Definition of foreclose in US English:



  • 1no object Take possession of a mortgaged property as a result of the mortgagor's failure to keep up their mortgage payments.

    ‘the bank was threatening to foreclose on his mortgage’
    • ‘To make matters worse, the bank was going to foreclose on my farm, and had just repossessed all my piglets.’
    • ‘He is broke, and, unless he can find a way to make his mortgage payment, the bank will foreclose on his house.’
    • ‘They were about to foreclose on the property; the government was not going to put any more money into the property.’
    • ‘Those arrears amounted to about $31,000 and the debt collector had therefore acquired a lien on the property and wanted to foreclose on it.’
    • ‘Some banks try not to foreclose on farms because some owe so much money and if they foreclose on the farm the amount of money they get back is nowhere near as much as what they lent to the client.’
    • ‘If the borrower fails to make their payments then the lender forecloses on the property, takes ownership of the home, and then sells it to the public.’
    • ‘Please note that the lender foreclosing on the property provides the minimum bid.’
    • ‘Having the bank foreclose on you must be one of life's more unpleasant experiences, especially if you have measured your success and place in society by the pile of things you own.’
    • ‘If you and I spend endlessly, the bank will eventually foreclose on the mortgage.’
    • ‘The Depression threw millions out of work and forced banks to foreclose on thousands of home mortgages.’
    • ‘They tried to blow her up, to burn her out, to foreclose on her mortgage.’
    • ‘When the bank attempts to foreclose on her family home, Regina receives a lucrative job offer from Beth Davis, her former employer and an increasingly popular inspirational speaker with an almost cultlike following.’
    • ‘The next thing I knew our mortgage company was about to foreclose on our house.’
    • ‘A creditor holding a purchase money mortgage or deed of trust on residential property must foreclose on the property, and cannot recover any deficiency.’
    • ‘When the drought hit and Sally Field had no crops and no income, the bank had to foreclose on her farm.’
    • ‘Ultimately, they can foreclose on the property and sell it to settle the tax bill.’
    • ‘When this happens, there is a huge incentive to just let the mortgage holder foreclose on the home.’
    • ‘Rather, she would be able to pay off the lender if you don't pay, and then she could go after you and foreclose on the house.’
    • ‘Greenwalt says community associations should never foreclose on a home without notifying the owners and making a concerted effort to resolve the issue.’
    • ‘Finally, the IRS went to federal court seeking a judgment and an order to foreclose on the owner's home, which had been the subject of the federal tax liens.’
    1. 1.1with object Take away someone's power of redeeming (a mortgage) and take possession of the mortgaged property.
      • ‘Soon after she died, in 1886, the property was foreclosed.’
      • ‘First, this argument ignores that default rates and foreclosure rates are far from the same, and it is only when loans are foreclosed that their default status becomes visible in data.’
      • ‘The lender is faced with the prospect of foreclosing the mortgaged real estate and foreclosing the hard assets and accounts receivable collateral through a remedy known as replevin.’
      • ‘It then directed that the liens on the property be foreclosed and the property sold with the proceeds of the sale to go to the mortgage holders and the U.S. government to satisfy part of the tax assessment.’
      • ‘You're going to see those things, with the mortgages being foreclosed, on the people who no longer have any income, whose stock options are worthless and whose salaries have just vanished, and whose companies have just gone.’
      • ‘Brooksville, Florida proposes to foreclose homes and seize cars over less than $20 in parking tickets.’
      • ‘If the lender forecloses the deed of trust out of court, the lender has chosen one action and may not bring a lawsuit to recover a deficiency, which would be a second action.’
      • ‘Finally, the right to foreclose the mortgage - a right inherent in all mortgages - is available to the bank.’
      • ‘This is not a case where the mortgagee is attempting to foreclose or sell the property but seeks merely to be in possession for the purpose of collecting the rents and applying them to the amounts due under the mortgage.’
  • 2with object Rule out or prevent (a course of action)

    ‘the decision effectively foreclosed any possibility of his early rehabilitation’
    • ‘Third, I think the prospects for rehabilitation of capital offenders are rather slim, and in any case, capital punishment certainly forecloses whatever possibilities there might otherwise be.’
    • ‘There is nothing in this Article that forecloses the President from reaching a threshold decision that a particular military formation does satisfy the Treaty standards.’
    • ‘The citizens, clearly, are the distributors of bodily nourishment, circulating their life-giving vigor even to the heart and foreclosing the possibility of that organ exercising arbitrary rule over the body.’
    • ‘First, she reiterates the way that Eurocentered and macho cultural critique is structured in such a way as to foreclose representation of counterhegemonic acts.’
    • ‘It was not Alvin's intention to foreclose the possibility of his children ever buying a home of their own in their lifetimes.’
    • ‘But then of course that would foreclose the usual irresponsible rhetoric about China emanating from the right wing of the GOP - not to mention their hatred of multilateralism.’
    • ‘Indeed, he ultimately forecloses the possibility that there can be any rational discussion of the matter at all, insofar as values by their very nature are subjectively determined.’
    • ‘Delay is endemic within the Indian judiciary, a fact that effectively forecloses using litigation to gain quick payoffs.’
    • ‘The latter is a much more open question, not foreclosing the possibility of radical surprise but insisting that there should be evidential backing for what is being asserted.’
    • ‘Arrogance defines its own boundaries, foreclosing new possibilities of knowing.’
    • ‘The court's ruling also does not foreclose the [FAA] from pursuing its administrative remedies against the airport.’
    • ‘Meyer notes that many choices have been foreclosed, but our course is far from determined.’
    • ‘If we do, we shall be foreclosing the possibilities of discoveries that began decades earlier and ultimately may lead to major treatments or even a cure.’
    • ‘While the class divisions sharpen, the domination of political life by two big business parties forecloses any possibility for the masses of workers to articulate their aspirations and fight for their needs.’
    • ‘The objective of the 2004 amendment was to foreclose the possibility of lawful same-sex marriage, not to do so only for federal law purposes while leaving open the possibility of their legalisation under state law.’
    • ‘And political processes tend to foreclose possibilities altogether rather than merely redirect future efforts.’
    • ‘And we shouldn't exit - it's sometimes a convenient way to foreclose our responsibilities here on earth by concentrating on heaven.’
    • ‘In fact, the effect of transparency produced by indexical pointing will effectively foreclose the interrogation that is called for.’
    • ‘Or perhaps the father envisions catastrophe, seeing such grades as foreclosing the possibility of a top college, thus dooming his son's future.’
    • ‘He is worried that short-sighted attitudes toward new technology are foreclosing creative possibilities that we have yet to even conceive of.’
    preclude, prevent, remove, get rid of, do away with, get round, rule out, eliminate, make unnecessary, take away, avoid, avert, counter
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Middle English: from Old French forclos, past participle of forclore, from for- ‘out’ (from Latin foras ‘outside’) + clore ‘to close’. The original sense was ‘bar from escaping’, in late Middle English ‘shut out’, and ‘bar from doing something’ ( foreclose (sense 2)), hence specifically ‘bar someone from redeeming a mortgage’ ( foreclose (sense 1), early 18th century).