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1. Law a legally enforceable agreement to perform some act, esp to pay money, for the benefit of another party
2. Law
a. a written contract containing a penalty
b. an instrument acknowledging indebtedness to secure the repayment of money borrowed



a relationship in civil law wherein one party (the debtor) is obliged to perform a certain action (transfer property, perform work, pay money) for the benefit of another party (the creditor) or to refrain from performing the action. The creditor in turn has the right to require the debtor to carry out his obligation. Under Soviet law the parties to an obligation are socialist organizations and citizens. Obligations generally arise from a contract, from planning or other administrative directives, from the infliction of property damage subject to compensation, or from the unjust acquisition or holding of property.

Depending on the rights and duties of the parties, obligations may be classified as those involving transfer of property to ownership or operational management, with or without compensation; transfer of property for use, with or without compensation; performance of work or services; or the protection of socialist and personal property or other property rights.

If several creditors or several debtors are involved in an obligation, its manner of performance is determined by the object of the obligation and the conditions of the agreement of the parties. If each of the participants in the obligation is required to perform a certain (equal or unequal) part of the obligation, the obligation is called a joint obligation. If the creditor has the right to demand performance of the obligation in full from any one of the creditors (in which case the other participants in the obligation are released from liability), the obligation is called a joint and several (solidary) obligation. Performance of an obligation may be secured by an additional obligation. If the obligation is not performed voluntarily, the debtor can be compelled to perform the obligation by a court or arbitration board.

An obligation may be terminated by setting-off a similar counterclaim, by agreement between the parties, if the performance of the obligation is impossible and the debtor is not responsible, or by the dissolution of a legal person (debtor or creditor) unless performance of the obligation is assigned by law to another legal person.

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, the satisfaction presumption provides that such an entity that is a partner is generally presumed to be able to satisfy its obligations under local law in determining how partnership liabilities are allocated, notwithstanding its actual net value.
Certain information about benefit obligations should be presented on the face of one or more financial statements.
For example, is "brief" determined on the basis of the absolute number of months between the loans or the number of months relative to the terms of the obligations sought to be aggregated?
The new requirement will affect stockholders' equity in many instances, but most probably in companies that sponsor dollar-per-month plans, where the projected benefit obligation is equal to the ABO, and other plans whose unfunded ABO rose as a result of actuarial losses, such as declines in asset values stemming from the stock market crash.
The issuance of a debt obligation under a commitment or under the significant modification of a debt obligation could subject the borrower to adverse income tax consequences in situations in which the issue price of the debt obligation is less than the cash actually received by the company.
Some governments will not have the funds to set aside and will fund only part or continue to pay-as-you-go and accept the net obligation liability on the financial statements.
The 2 spheres of obligation, professional and personal, are both separate and overlapping.
This Statement also addresses questions about the classification of certain financial instruments that embody obligations to issue equity shares.
In his report, Lee said that CFDs are generally more expensive to administer than general obligation bonds.
Organizational obligations are two-way: employees have obligations to employers and employers have obligations to employees.
Certain employers, including government agencies, have a legal obligation to provide persons with mental retardation with equal access to employment.