RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

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Legal Dictionary

Liquidated Claim

A liquidated claim is a debt or obligation for which the amount owed is clear, fixed, and easily determined. This term is commonly used in legal and financial contexts to describe a debt or obligation with a specific and agreed-upon amount.

In contracts, parties may include a provision that specifies the exact amount of damages or compensation that will be payable in the event of a breach. This predetermined amount is referred to as a liquidated damages clause. The purpose of such a clause is to provide certainty and avoid the need for lengthy and uncertain litigation to determine the amount of damages.

For instance, if two parties enter into a contract and agree that in the event of a breach, the defaulting party will pay the other party $10,000 as liquidated damages, then the claim is considered liquidated. This is because the amount of damages is already determined and agreed upon by the parties.

Liquidated damages clauses in legal systems are subject to scrutiny to ensure that they are reasonable and not punitive. If a court determines that a liquidated damages clause is actually a penalty rather than a reasonable estimate of damages, it may not be enforceable.

In the context of insolvency or bankruptcy, a “liquidated claim” refers to a creditor’s claim for a specific, undisputed amount in the liquidation of the debtor’s assets. Creditors with liquidated claims have a clearer path to recovery compared to those with unliquidated claims, which may require further assessment or valuation.

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