The involuntary relinquishment of money or property without compensation as a consequence of a breach or nonperformance of some legal obligation or the commission of a crime. The loss of a corporate charter or franchise as a result of illegality, malfeasance, or Nonfeasance. The surrender by an owner of his or her entire interest in real property, mandated by law as a punishment for illegal conduct or Negligence. Under old English Law, the release of land by a tenant to the tenant's lord due to some breach of conduct, or the loss of goods or chattels (articles of Personal Property) assessed as a penalty against the perpetrator of some crime or offense and as a recompense to the injured party.
Forfeiture is a broad term that can be used to describe any loss of property without compensation. A forfeiture may be privately arranged. For example, in a contractual relationship, one party may be required to forfeit specified property if the party fails to fulfill its contractual obligations. Courts are often called upon to resolve disputes regarding a forfeiture of property pursuant to a private contract. They may examine these cases to see whether they are fair and not the result of duress, deception, or other nefarious tactics.
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