The Law Dictionary

Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary 2nd Ed.


The state of being in debt, without regard to the ability or inability of the party to pay the same. See 1 Story, Eq. Jur. 343; 2 Hill, Abr. 421. The word implies an absolute or complete liability. A contingent liability, such as that of a surety before the principal has made default, does not constitute indebtedness. On the other hand, the money need not be immediately payable. Obligations yet to become due constitute indebtedness, as well as those already due. St. Louis Perpetual Ins. Co. v. Goodfellow, 9 Mo. 149.


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