Glossary - Definition of Legal Terms


Term Definition
Affidavit A written or printed statement made under oath.
Assets Property of all kinds, including real and personal, tangible and intangible.
Bankruptcy A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code).
Chapter 13 The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for the adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income, often referred to as a “wage-earner” plan. Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep property and use his or her disposable income to pay debts over time, usually three to five years.
Discharge A release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. Notable exceptions to dischargeability are taxes and student loans. A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as dischargeable debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against the debtor or the debtor’s property to collect the debts. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor regarding the debt, including through telephone calls, letters, and personal contact.
Enjoin Enjoin is an order by a court or official authority to do or refrain from doing an act. To enjoin is to prohibit by judicial order or issue an injunction against.
Liabilities Liabilities are generally a term that refers to debt or obligation. In a financial sense, it refers to an organization’s or person’s debts and other financial obligations.
Lien A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. A debtor may still be responsible for a lien after a discharge.
Negligence Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care. A person is negligent if he fails to act as an ordinarily prudent person would act under the circumstances. What constitutes negligence will depend on the facts of each individual case.
Personal Injury Personal injury law involves injury which is caused accidentally by another’s failure to use reasonable care.
Probate Probate is a general term for the entire process of administration of estates of dead persons, including those without wills, with court supervision.
Tort A civil, not criminal, wrong. A negligent or intentional injury against a person or property, with the exception of breach of contract.
Workers Compensation A “no-fault” insurance program that provides medical and disability benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.