Respectively, a person who owes a debt and a person to whom the debt is owed. Usually the debtor has received something from the creditor, in return for which the debtor has promised to make repayment at a later time. If the debtor fails to repay by the deadline, a formal collection process may commence. It is sometimes possible to attach the debtor's property, wages, or bank account as a means of forcing payment. Imprisonment of the debtor is a practice no longer followed. Seealso garnishment, lien.
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If the money owed becomes beyond the possibility of repayment, the debtor faces insolvency or bankruptcy; in the United Kingdom and some states of the United States until the mid-19th century, debtors could be imprisoned in debtor's prisons.