set off

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1. The ability of a debtor to reduce the amount of one's debt by an amount the creditor owes to the debtor. Thus, if a debtor owes a creditor $20,000 but the creditor owes the debtor $5,000 in an unrelated matter, setoff allows the debtor effectively to owe only $15,000.

2. In banking, the right of a bank to seize a debtor's account balance held at that bank if a debt is in or near default. Some jurisdictions limit the right of setoff; for example, the United States does not allow it to apply for commercial loans or credit card debt.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

set off

To deduct debts from each other.Oftentimes defaulting debtors will claim that they have not paid their obligations because of a right of setoff against injuries suffered as a result of wrongdoing by the creditor.Lenders with bank deposits in the name of their borrower may set off the bank account against the mortgage debt if there is a default.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nowadays, local residents set off firecrackers to drive away evil spirits, or to simply embrace the new year.
(1) subject to sections 58 and 59, where a person sustain a loss for any tax year under any head of income specified in section 11, the person shall be entitled to have the amount of the loss set off against the person's income.
They set off from the imposing Pic Blanc at the glacier summit before speeding down to Allemont.
As per details, some villagers informed the police that a laborer in order to set off a family loan of Rs55000 arranged the marriage of his 11-years-old daughter to the lender at Village Hussain Bhutto near here.
According to media reports, the vessel, that set off from Larnaca and was heading to the Spanish port of Tarragona, was stopped by Greek authorities on Friday morning off Crete.
A man in his 30s had set off from Killearn and was heading towards Strathblane when he got caught in a heavy snowfall on Tuesday evening.
'If you want your house to burn down, you can set off firecrackers,' the mayor said.
The pair - believed to have set off from Canada - were found clinging on for life in the Atlantic Ocean.
TWO drunks were caught covered in white powder when they set off fire extinguishers in one of Newcastle's main hospitals.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-February 16, 2017-HiQ announces share issue to set off additional payment of acquisition
Of the third variety, account combination--the implied contractual right of a depository bank to set off a current customer debt balance against a reciprocal deposit account balance--is introduced as a contractual set-off prototype, and becomes a key focus of the analytical exercise undertaken in Part IV.