Due Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Due, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Due?

n. and adj. Outstanding as of a specific date, but does not necessarily mean that a debt is due. A popular legal redundancy is “due, owing and unpaid.”

History and Meaning of Due

Due is a legal term that is widely used in reference to outstanding debts or obligations that are owed. The term "due" means that something is required or expected to be paid or completed by a certain date. In the context of law, an obligation is deemed "due" once the specified time has passed or the terms of the agreement have not been fulfilled. Although the term is often used interchangeably with "owing" or "unpaid", it can also be used to indicate that the obligation has not yet been fulfilled, even if it is not yet overdue.

Examples of Due

  1. A landlord may require that rent for an apartment is due on the first of every month. If the tenant fails to pay rent by the date specified in the lease agreement, they may be considered in breach of their obligation to pay rent when it is "due."

  2. If a company purchases a product from a supplier on credit, the supplier may set up payment terms requiring that the invoice be paid within 30 days of receipt. The amount owed is considered "due" once that 30 day time period has elapsed.

  3. When a person receives a medical bill, the balance will be considered "due" on the date specified in the bill. If payment is not received by that date, the debt may be considered overdue and subject to late fees or collections.

Legal Terms Similar to Due

  1. Owing: This term is often used interchangeably with "due" to indicate an outstanding debt or obligation.

  2. Unpaid: This term refers specifically to an outstanding debt that has not yet been paid, rather than a broader obligation as with "due."

  3. Overdue: This term is used to describe an obligation that has not been fulfilled by the specified due date, meaning the obligation is now past due.