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A forfeiture is a cancellation in contract law. Most commonly a forfeiture is a legal action whereby a contract purchaser following default loses all his interest in the property.

In litigation forfeiture has a different meaning. Forfeiture in a trial is the failure to make the timely assertion of a right. This is contrasted with waiver, which is the intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right. This distinction is important, because a right that is waived is lost on appeal unless there is proof that the waiver was defective, but a right that is forfeited may be the subject of an assertion of plain error on appeal (for overturning the trial decision).[1]


  1. Sherron v. Mississippi, 2006 Miss. App. LEXIS 832 (Ct. App. Nov. 7, 2006)