Definition - What does Distress mean?
Distress is when a party seizes the property of another party due to the latter's failure to fulfill a financial duty. For example, a creditor may seize some belongings of a debtor if the debtor defaulted on their payments.
Justipedia explains Distress
Distress is basically forced collateral. In other words, it is when one party takes the property of another, and holds it until the debt is paid by the other party. Distress is regulated by statutes. The concept originated from landlords taking tenants' property and holding it until outstanding rent was paid. However, it applies to other situations with similar circumstances as well. Distress is very similar to the concept of repossession. However, it is not exactly the same thing.