FORECLOSURE, practice. A proceeding in chancery, by which the mortgagor's right of redemption of the mortgaged premises is barred or foreclosed forever.
2. This takes place when the mortgagor has forfeited his estate by non-payment of the money due on the mortgage at the time appointed, but still retains the equity of redemption; in such case the mortgagee may file a bill, calling on the mortgagor, in a court of equity, to redeem his estate presently, or in default thereof, to be forever closed or barred from any right of redemption.
3. In some cases, however, the mortgagee obtains a decree for a sale of the land, under the direction of an officer of the court, in which case the proceeds are applied to the discharge of encumbrances, according to their priority. This practice has been adopted in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. 4 Kent, Com., 180. When it is the practice to foreclose without a sale, its severity is mitigated by enlarging the time of redemption from six months to six months, or for shorter periods, according to the equity arising from the circumstances. Id. Vide 2 John. Ch. R, 100; 6 Pick. R. 418; 1 Sumn. R. 401; 7 Conn. R. 152; 5 N; H. Rep. 30; 1 Hayw. R. 482; 5 Han. R. 554; 5 Yerg. 240; 2 Pick. R. 40; 4 Pick. R. 6; 2 Gallis. 154; 9 Cow n's R. 346; 4 Greenl. R. 495; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.