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Last edited 14 May 2020
A debt is a sum of money that is owed by or due from a debtor to a creditor.
A bad debt is a debt which a creditor realises will never be repaid, and which the creditor is not willing to embark on legal processes to retrieve. The loan is typically ‘written off’ ie, it is assumed lost forever, never to be received.
The term ‘insolvency' describes the inability of a debtor to pay its debts. In the United Kingdom, insolvent individuals are made 'bankrupt', while companies are put into 'liquidation' or 'administration'.
The precise definition of what constitutes a bad debt will depend on the country in which it exists.
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