Skip to main content
Select Source:

Foreclosure

FORECLOSURE

Jacques Lacan used the French word forclusion (fore-closure) to translated the German term Verwerfung, previously rendered in French as rejet (repudiation). Sigmund Freud had introduced the term along with negation (Verneinung ) and repression (Verdrängung ) as a defense mechanism.

Foreclosure is a primordial defense because it does not act on a signifier that is already inscribed within the chain of signifiers, but rather, it rejects the inscription itself. Foreclosure is thus antithetical to Bejahung (affirmation).

This operation of repudiation especially affects highly meaningful signifiers such as the Name-of-the-Father, the guarantor of castration. Lacan viewed the foreclosure of this signifier as the characteristic mechanism of psychosis. In "On a Question Prior to any Possible Treatment of Psychosis" (Écrits ), he wrote: "I will thus take Verwerfung to be foreclosure of the signifier. At the point at which the Name-of-the-Father is summonedand we shall see howa pure and simple hole may answer in the Other; due to the lack of the metaphoric effect, this hole will give rise to a corresponding hole in the place of phallic signification" (p. 191). To paraphrase, let us say that when the subject calls upon the Father to guarantee the law that situates both the subject and his desire in the Other, he encounters only an echo in a void that triggers a cascade of delusional metaphors. These readily become organized around the fantasmatic presence of an authority who is suspected of having intrusive or criminal intentions; it is as if the foreclosure of the Name-of-the-Father made present in the Real a malevolent authority desiring to commit sexual abuse or homicide.

Why does foreclosure come about? One explanation is that the child has been exposed to a mother who has refused to recognize the law, either because it does not situate her in accordance with her desires, or because it compels her to separate herself from its product. It may also happen that the real father reveals himself to be incapable of inscribing himself into a symbolic line-age, and consequently invalidates it (cf. Schreber's father in "Psycho-Analytic Notes on an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia [Dementia Paranoides]," 1911c). But not infrequently, skipping a generation, the child of a psychotic couple may validate the Name-of-the-Father on its own, based on what he finds in language and verifies with the help of substitute parent figures.

Could specific forms of foreclosure be responsible for the division of the psychoses into paranoia and schizophrenia? Nothing points to this conclusion, even if paranoia is an attempt at a cure through the designation of a real, albeit a persecutory father. This designation turns the signifier into a sign of certain truth.

Many have asked whether psychoanalytic treatment can repair a foreclosure. Case histories do not provide any clear answers.

Let us recall that Schreber, for his part, found a kind of stabilizing by accepting emasculation as being "consonant with the Order of Things" (p. 48); by becoming a woman, he could attract the divine presence that safeguarded him. Equally interesting are studies of borderline cases. It seems that the latter more likely result from a denial or annulment of the Name-of-the-Father, with a predictable failure of the law, but without producing the reshapings of the real (its fragmentation or its investment by a persecutory figure) that are characteristic of foreclosure.

Charles Melman

See also: Autism; Castration complex; Parade of the signifier; Disavowal; Infantile neurosis; Law of the father; Linguistics and psychoanalysis; Negative, work of the; Negation; Neurosis; Psychoses, chronic and delusional; Psychotic defenses; Real, the (Lacan); Repudiation; Splitting; Topology.

Bibliography

Freud, Sigmund. (1894a) Obsessions and phobias: Their psychical mechanism and their aetiology. SE, 3, 69-82.

. (1911c) Psycho-analytic notes on an autobiographical account of a case of paranoia (dementia paranoides). SE, 12, 1-82.

Lacan, Jacques. (2004). On a question prior to any possible treatment of psychosis.Écrits: A Selection (Bruce Fink, Trans.). New York: W. W. Norton. (Original work published 1955-56)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Foreclosure." International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Foreclosure." International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/psychology/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclosure

"Foreclosure." International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/psychology/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclosure

Foreclosure

FORECLOSURE

A procedure by which the holder of a mortgage—an interest in land providing security for the performance of a duty or the payment of a debt—sells the property upon the failure of the debtor to pay the mortgage debt and, thereby, terminates his or her rights in the property.

Statutory foreclosure is foreclosure by performance of a power of sale clause in the mortgage without need for court action, since the foreclosure must be done in accordance with the statutory provisions governing such sales.

Strict foreclosure refers to the procedure pursuant to which the court ascertains the amount due under the mortgage; orders its payment within a certain limited time; and prescribes that in default of such payment a debtor will permanently lose his or her equity of redemption, the right to recover the property upon payment of the debt, interest, and costs. The title of the property is conveyed absolutely to the creditor, on default in payment, without any sale of the property.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Foreclosure." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Foreclosure." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/foreclosure

"Foreclosure." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/foreclosure

foreclose

fore·close / fôrˈklōz/ • v. 1. [intr.] take possession of a mortgaged property as a result of the mortgagor's failure to keep up their mortgage payments: the bank was threatening to foreclose on his mortgage. ∎  [tr.] take away someone's power of redeeming (a mortgage) and take possession of the mortgaged property. 2. [tr.] rule out or prevent (a course of action): the decision effectively foreclosed any possibility of his early rehabilitation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"foreclose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foreclose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclose-0

"foreclose." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclose-0

foreclose

foreclose exclude, preclude XV; deprive of the equity of redemption, bar (a right of redemption) XVIII. f. foreclos-, pp. stem of (O)F. forclore, f. for- (:- L. forīs outside) + clore CLOSE; there has been assoc. with FOR-1, or with FOR-2, FORE-.
Hence foreclosure XVIII.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"foreclose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foreclose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclose-1

"foreclose." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclose-1

foreclose

forecloseappose, arose, Bose, brose, chose, close, compose, diagnose, doze, enclose, expose, foreclose, froze, hose, impose, interpose, juxtapose, Montrose, noes, nose, oppose, plainclothes, pose, propose, prose, rose, suppose, those, transpose, underexpose, uprose •Berlioz • flambeaux • thrombose •bandeaux • bulldoze • fricandeaux •metamorphose • pantyhose • glucose •gallows, Hallowes •tableaux • parclose • Fellows •bedclothes • nightclothes • rouleaux •underclothes • misdiagnose •Ambrose • dextrose • Faeroes •primrose • cornrows • sucrose •Burroughs • tuberose •bateaux, gateaux, plateaux •portmanteaux • fructose

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"foreclose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foreclose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclose

"foreclose." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclose

foreclosure

foreclosure •azure •leisure, made-to-measure, measure, pleasure, treasure •countermeasure •Australasia, embrasure •seizure •closure, composure, enclosure, exposure, foreclosure •Hoosier

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"foreclosure." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foreclosure." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclosure

"foreclosure." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foreclosure