Definition - What does Forfeiture mean?

Forfeiture is when a person is forced to relinquish property as a consequence of failing to deliver on a legal obligation. For example, if a person puts a down payment on a car, but fails to make payments on it after that, a forfeiture might occur. In this forfeiture, the new car owner may be forced to give the car back to the seller.

Justipedia explains Forfeiture

Forfeitures are similar to repossessions. They occur when a contract is breached, and when one party is owed something that they do not receive. In these situations, forfeitures serve the purpose of forcing the debt to be repaid or forcing the equation to otherwise be balanced. Forfeitures can also occur if the property is associated with illicit or illegal activity. For example, a boat that is used to transport narcotics into the country could be seized in a forfeiture by the government.

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