A creditors’ composition may give rise to debt settlement by an accord and satisfaction. It is an agreement whereby two or more creditors of a debtor consent to the debtor’s paying them pro rata shares of the debt due in full satisfaction of their claims. A composition agreement can be critically important to a business in trouble; through it, the business might manage to stave off bankruptcy. Even though the share accepted is less than the full amount due and is payable after the due date so that consideration appears to be lacking, courts routinely enforce these agreements. The promise of each creditor to accept a lesser share than that owed in return for getting something is taken as consideration to support the promises of the others. A debtor has $3,000 on hand. He owes $3,000 each to A, B, and C. A, B, and C agree to accept $1,000 each and discharge the debtor. Each creditor has given up $2,000 but in return has at least received something, the $1,000. Without the composition, one might have received the entire amount owed her, but the others would have received nothing.
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