A rapid, urgent sale of assets, often at a loss. Distressed sales often occur when cash is needed to cover immediate needs or debts. They are also associated with margin calls. A common example of a distressed sale is the rapid sale of real estate when the owner can no longer make the mortgage payments; he/she must sell the property immediately to pay off the mortgage, even if it involves losing money on the property. See also: Distressed securities.
The sale of real property under circumstances creating great urgency on the part of the seller, such as impending foreclosure, divorce, relocation to another city, or any other such pressure.