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abuse of distress

The wrongful or unlawful use or sale of property that has been seized in order to force payment or the performance of some contractual obligation (known in law as the process of distress or distrain). It was a clear case of abuse of distress: the landlord, without a court order, changed the locks on the door and then seized and sold the tenants' belongings only an hour after serving them a notice of eviction.
See also: abuse, distress, of

damsel in distress

A helpless woman who needs to be rescued from some danger. The term is a reference to the stereotypical female character in romantic stories who serves solely to be rescued by a heroic male character. It's not like I'm a damsel in distress, Dad—I'll be fine living on my own.
See also: damsel, distress

damsel in distress

a young woman in trouble. humorous
Damsel in distress makes humorous reference to the ladies in chivalric romances whose sole purpose was to be rescued from peril by a knight in shining armour (see knight).
See also: damsel, distress

a ˌdamsel in diˈstress

(humorous) a woman who needs help from a man, often to solve a practical problem: When I got a flat tyre I had to wait for my boyfriend to come and help me, like a true damsel in distress!
Damsel is an old word for a young woman who is not married.
See also: damsel, distress
References in periodicals archive ?
While some of this discount may be attributable to the method by which distressed properties are sold, the bulk of it likely stems from deterioration in the condition of the property associated with borrowers who cannot afford their mortgage payment.
8220;If an investor does not have enough cash to purchase without financing, they should not focus on only distressed properties.
First, we restrict the sample of distressed firms by dropping those who stay in financial distress for more than five years.
The fraction of distressed sales changed little from 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 in the average MSA.
These market conditions led to what we believe was approximately $6-$7 billion in distressed asset transactions in New York City in 2010.
Despite the slight decrease in the third quarter, respondents expect the number of distressed properties coming onto the market in the fourth quarter of 2010 to increase across 16 of the 25 countries surveyed - an increase of two countries over the last quarter.
While there have been cases of distressed sales and property auctions, general sentiment in Dubai is more buoyant than in previous months.
In fact, even if the banks are not yet prepared to take credit risk, there is an immediate benefit from being strong enough to stop the flow of new loans to distressed firms.
Attempts to fend off the ravages of major depression often included cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse, which probably boosted the death rate of distressed men, Vaillant reports.
Yorkshire's construction industry continues to bear the brunt of nancial distress in the region, accounting for 24% of "critically" distressed businesses - 38 construction companies in total.
Including distressed sales, home prices declined by 7.
In the first three months of 2009, at least $23 billion of significant US commercial properties were added to RCA's total of distressed real estate assets, which has now reached over $72 billion.