I noun counter, counterbalance, counterdebt, counterdemand, counterpoise, counterweight, debt owed, equivalent claim, money due, offset, offsetting claim, recoupment associated concepts: counterclaim, cross-claim II index indemnity

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A claim made by someone who allegedly owes money, that the amount should be reduced because the other person owes him or her money. This is often raised in a counterclaim filed by a defendant in a lawsuit. By claiming a setoff, the defendant does not necessarily deny the plaintiff's original demand, but seeks to reduce the amount of money owed to the plaintiff by the amount that the plaintiff owes to the defendant.
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

Where a debtor has a cross-claim against a creditor, to the reduction or extinguishment of the creditor's claim by the amount of his cross-claim. There are four types of set-off (the first three of which may be extended by contract):
Legal set-off. This can only be resorted to as a defence to a court action and is available where the two claims are liquidated or ascertainable with certainty and are both due and payable at the commencement of the action. The two claims do not have to arise from the same transaction or closely connected transactions. (In sale agreements, a set-off provision may, for example, set off claims under the warranties (warranty) against claims for deferred consideration).
Equitable set-off. This is available to a debtor outside the context of litigation where his cross-claim arises from the same transaction (or a closely related transaction) as the debt owed. Either and probably both of the claims may be for an unliquidated sum. A debtor can simply deduct the amount of his mutual cross-claim from the debt he owes and tender the balance of the debt (if any) to the creditor. However, the sums in question must be due and payable or, in the case of unliquidated damages, must be a reasonable assessment of the loss made in good faith.
Banker's set-off. This arises in a situation where a customer has more than one account with his bank, at least one of which is in debit and one of which is in credit. It is also known as the right to combine accounts. It is arguably of wider commercial application and could be available in any situation where one party has two or more accounts with another. A debtor can only invoke banker's set-off if the two accounts are current or running accounts. This remedy can be automatically exercised without formality.
Insolvency set-off. The rules of insolvency set-off are mandatory and may not be varied by contract. Where a creditor proves in a liquidation or bankruptcy, an account must be taken of the mutual dealings between the creditor and either the company in liquidation or the bankrupt and the sums due from one party must be set off against the sums due from the other, except that sums due from the insolvent shall not be taken into account if the other party had notice at the time they became due of either a resolution or petition to wind-up (if a company), or of a pending bankruptcy petition (if a natural person). All claims, including future, contingent and unliquidated sums, must be brought into account.
+ setoff / set-off
setoff, Also known as set-off.
In the context of bankruptcy, a creditor's right under the Bankruptcy Code to apply a debt owing to it by the debtor against a debt it owes to the debtor, if the parties owe each other mutual prepetition debts arising from different transactions. Unlike recoupment, a creditor's right of setoff is subject to the automatic stay. If the creditor can obtain relief from the automatic stay, it may apply the debt owed to it by the debtor to reduce the amount it owes the debtor. The creditor may be paid in full before other creditors to the extent of its right to setoff.
Common law and state statutes also grant limited rights of set-off as self-help remedies for debtors (for more information see Practice Note, Set-off Rights (
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Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

n. A counterclaim against the plaintiff by the defendant arising from a cause of action other than that she is being sued for; a reduction in the amount of a settlement by the amount the debtor is owed by the creditor.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

   a claim by a defendant in a lawsuit that the plaintiff (party filing the original suit) owes the defendant money which should be subtracted from the amount of damages claimed by plaintiff. By claiming a setoff the defendant does not necessarily deny the plaintiff's original demand, but he/she claims the right to prove the plaintiff owes him/her an amount of money from some other transaction and that the amount should be deducted from the plaintiff's claim.
   See also: affirmative defense, offset

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • setoff — Where a creditor also owes money to a debtor, a setoff may be appropriate. If a debtor owes a supplier $10,000, but the supplier has purchased product from the debtor and owes the debtor $15,000, the creditor has a setoff which should allow it to …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • setoff — [set′ôf΄] n. 1. a thing that makes up for or sets off something else; counterbalance; compensation 2. a) a counterbalancing debt claimed by a debtor against a creditor b) a claim for this 3. OFFSET (n. 4 & 8) …   English World dictionary

  • setoff — Offset Off set , n. [Off + set. Cf. {Set off}.] In general, that which is set off, from, before, or against, something; as: [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) A short prostrate shoot, which takes root and produces a tuft of leaves, etc. See Illust. of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • setoff — noun Date: 1621 1. something that is set off against another thing: a. decoration, ornament b. compensation, counterbalance 2. the reduction or discharge of a debt or claim by setting against it a distinct claim in favor of the debtor or party… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • setoff — /set awf , of /, n. 1. something that counterbalances or makes up for something else, as compensation for a loss. 2. Accounting. a counterbalancing debt or claim, esp. one that cancels an amount a debtor owes. 3. Also called offset. Archit. a. a… …   Universalium

  • Setoff — Отмарывание, перетискивание (краски) || отмарывать, перетискиваться (о краске); Украшение; Отмарывание; Перетискивание (краски) …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • setoff — (1) In general, the legal right to reduce the amount owed by one party to another party by the sum that the second party also owes to the first party. (2) The confiscation of a deposits held by a borrower to offset some or all of the amounts owed …   Financial and business terms

  • setoff — Synonyms and related words: abatement, agio, allowance, antipode, antipodes, antipole, antithesis, antonym, balance, ballast, bank discount, breakage, cash discount, chain discount, charge off, concession, consideration, contra, converse, counter …   Moby Thesaurus

  • setoff — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun Something to make up for loss or damage: amends, compensation, indemnification, indemnity, offset, quittance, recompense, redress, reimbursement, remuneration, reparation, repayment, requital, restitution, satisfaction …   English dictionary for students

  • setoff — зачет встречных требований. Обычно осуществляется по заявлению ответчика. В МКАС при ТПП РФ предъявление требования к зачету осуществляется в порядке, принятом для подачи встречного иска, и облагается арбитражным сбором (см. пар. 5 Положения об… …   Glossary of international commercial arbitration

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