This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol7 Equity Jurisprudence, Trusts, Equity Pleading", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
After equity began to relieve against forfeiture in the case of mortgages, there was a period during which equity would relieve against such forfeitures after any period of time after breach. This, however, was soon seen to be going too far, as it worked a great hardship upon the mortgagee by preventing him from at any time acquiring a good title. To remedy this injustice, and to produce an equilibrium between the rights of mortgagor and mortgagee, the system of foreclosure of mortgages was introduced.
"A foreclosure is any proceeding by which the mortgagor's equity of redemption in the property is cut off beyond possibility of recall."10
"The term 'foreclosure' has undergone a marked change in signification since it was first employed in legal nomenclature. It was formerly applied only to a proceeding whose direct and immediate result was to cut off or 'foreclose' the equity of redemption allowed a mortgagor by the courts of chancery. Owing, however, to a change in the legal theory of the mortgage and in the methods employed for its enforcement, the term 'foreclosure' has acquired a broader meaning, and now includes not merely a proceeding which extinguishes ipso facto the interests of the mortgagor in the premises, but also a proceeding which results in a sale thereof. Thus, the Connecticut statute, confining actions for a deficiency to parties who were made defendants to foreclosure applies to proceedings for the sale of the property. Foreclosure also includes the exercise of a power of sale conferred by a mortgage and by which the mortgagor's rights are extinguished. But the publication of the notice of sale in pursuance of the exercise of such a power does not constitute foreclosure, and under a statute limiting the right to foreclosure by advertisement to a period of ten years after the maturity of the mortgage, the entire proceeding must have been completed within that period. The term 'foreclosure' includes the sale of the property and the execution of the sheriff's deed as well as the decree, and under a statute which permits actions to foreclose mortgages covering land in different counties to be brought in either, the sale may take place in one of such counties, though the decree was rendered in the other." 11
7 Stelle vs. Carroll, 12 Pet. (U. S.), 205.
8 Buck vs. Payne, 52 Miss., 271.
9 American & Eng. Ency. of Law,
10 Ansonia Nat. Bank's Appeal, 58
At least eight different methods of foreclosure are in force in different states in this country, as follows:
(a) Strict foreclosure.
(b) Equitable foreclosure.
(c) Scire facias.
(d) Rule nisi.
(e) Writ of entry.
(g) Advertisement and sale under a power, (h) Entry and possession.
11 Ency. of Pleading and Practice, Vol. IX, pp. 95-6.
Methods of foreclosure are regulated by statute, and the statutes of the different states should be consulted.12