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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
rent arrearsBritish English (= money that you owe because you have not paid your rent)
▪ The most common debts were rent arrears.
▪ The Harrises were given two weeks to pay off mortgage arrears of £8,000.
▪ The Harris family had been given just two weeks to find eight thousand pounds in mortgage arrears.
▪ Three quarters involved unpaid rent or mortgage arrears.
▪ Inequality Building society mortgage arrears have risen considerably in the last few years.
▪ The Future 90 deal is available to borrowers who have £1,000 of county court judgments and three months of mortgage arrears.
▪ This year 75,000 people have lost their homes through mortgage arrears.
▪ To deal with priority debts - rent and mortgage arrears, heating and lighting.
▪ Argue, take advice - whatever - but rent arrears are a certain route to eviction.
▪ Now I've been informed that I have £200 rent arrears.
▪ Council tenants' rent arrears have risen to over £450 million, the Audit Commission reveals.
▪ Latest figures show rent arrears stand at £10.8m for former tenants and £7.9m for current tenants.
▪ Except in the case of rent arrears, almost anyone can act as a private bailiff.
▪ Council house rent arrears amounted to over £1m, though they are at long last being reduced.
▪ Mr Clark says his department will be collecting poll tax arrears for years to come.
▪ Meanwhile, in August he had been ordered to pay nearly F19,000,000 in tax arrears and associated fines.
▪ Lagerfeld owed $ 12.5m in tax arrears.
▪ Pat Rutter, 37, fell into arrears totalling £5,000 after she separated from her husband two years ago.
▪ Mr. Mahmoud was not a satisfactory tenant and soon fell into arrears with the rent.
▪ The problem of a borrower who fell into arrears through no fault of his own should be handled sympathetically and positively.
▪ The assignee of a lease fell into arrears with the rent and the landlords brought an action against him in 1941.
▪ In February 1982, after C. and D. had fallen into arrears on the mortgage payments the building society obtained possession.
▪ But the Hammonds fell into arrears in payment of the mortgage instalments due to the building society.
▪ However, after changes in the housing benefit regulations, his substantial income dropped and he fell into arrears with mortgage payments.
▪ The Harrises were given two weeks to pay off mortgage arrears of £8,000.
▪ She now has a fortnight to pay off the arrears if she and her seven children are to keep their home.
▪ What is needed is three simultaneous negotiations that I plan to undertake: One is to convince Congress to pay our arrears.
▪ If interest payments are waived, the society is not obliged to pay arrears of interest in future years.
▪ Even people in work can find their salaries are slashed, or routinely paid months in arrears.
▪ They've cut it down and agreed I pay the arrears back at a pound a week.
▪ You will be paid monthly in arrears at the rate of perannum. 4.
▪ The banks offered a 30 percent cut and asked for a US$1,000 million payment to reduce interest arrears of US$8,000 million.
▪ Richardson reduced the arrears before a mistake by Walker allowed Olney to equalise.
▪ Liphook rallied and Hight reduced the arrears.
▪ John Gallagher reduced the arrears with a penalty and put Leeds ahead when he converted an Innes touchdown.
▪ Bush added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 15-10.
▪ When will America pay its arrears to the U.N.?
▪ If interest payments are waived, the society is not obliged to pay arrears of interest in future years.
▪ Long-term arrears continued to rise as societies tried to keep families in their homes.
▪ Payment will be made in arrears every four weeks or quarterly, whichever you prefer.
▪ Sir George said that arrears represented 8.5 percent of the total rent collectable in the 1990/91 financial year.
▪ The difference was exacerbated by Parliament's refusal to pay off the army's arrears of pay.
▪ The original proposal was for no guaranteed funding and payment to be in arrears.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c., "in times past," from Old French ariere "behind, backward," from Vulgar Latin *ad retro, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + retro "behind" (see retro-). Meaning "balance due" dates from early 15c.; phrase in arrears first recorded 1610s, but in arrearages is from late 14c.


n. 1 An unpaid or overdue obligation. A debt. 2 (plural of arrear English)Category:English plurals

  1. n. the state of being behind in payments; "an account in arrears"

  2. an unpaid overdue debt


Arrears (also sometimes known as an arrearage) is a legal term for the part of a debt that is overdue after missing one or more required payments. The amount of the arrears is the amount accrued from the date on which the first missed payment was due. The term is usually used in relation with periodically recurring payments such as rent, bills, royalties (or other contractual payments), and child support.

Payment in arrear is a term describing payments made after a service has been provided.

Usage examples of "arrears".

At the same time that he obliged the worthless favorites of the tyrant to resign a part of their ill gotten wealth, he satisfied the just creditors of the state, and unexpectedly discharged the long arrears of honest services.

In the sixth year of his reign, Constantine visited the city of Autun, and generously remitted the arrears of tribute, reducing at the same time the proportion of their assessment from twenty-five to eighteen thousand heads, subject to the real and personal capitation.

They dreaded the influence of his father-in law, the patrician Petronius, a cruel and rapacious minister, who rigorously exacted all the arrears of tribute that might remain unpaid since the reign of the emperor Aurelian.

The humanity of his predecessors had always remitted, in some auspicious circumstance of their reign, the arrears of the public tribute, and they dexterously assumed the merit of resigning those claims which it was impracticable to enforce.

On the suspicion of a monopoly, they massacred the governor, and announced to Justinian, by a deputation of the clergy, that unless their offence was pardoned, and their arrears were satisfied, they should instantly accept the tempting offers of Totila.

The key of the public treasure was put into his hand, to collect magazines, to levy soldiers, to purchase arms and horses, to discharge the arrears of pay, and to tempt the fidelity of the fugitives and deserters.

For their relief, as often as they had suffered by natural or hostile calamities, he was impatient to remit the arrears of the past, or the demands of future taxes: he sternly rejected the servile offerings of his ministers, which were compensated by tenfold oppression.

He bequeathed gifts of cloth to friends and to the poor, and remitted two years’ tax to his tenants, most of whom were already in arrears.

Booty and ransom were not just a bonus, but a necessity to take the place of arrears in pay and to induce enlistment.

With the ransom in arrears and trouble arising over the ceded territories, their exile stretched ahead to no visible horizon.

Combined with arrears in ransom, cancellation of the “hos­tages’“ treaty, to which he had assented, and non-fulfillment of other cessions, it brought his own honor into disrepute and left him no way out, so he claimed, but to return to captivity.

WThen she bought silver buckles on credit, let her servants’ wages fall into arrears, pawned her jewelry up to the value of 1,000 marks, the King complacently paid her debts, and in 1358, when she was 26, assigned her a regular income of another /1,000 a year, which was duly paid as long as he lived.

Denis who wrote the Chronicle of the Reign of Charles VI, the tax-collectors of Avignon descended like vultures to carry off his goods and furnishings on pretext of making up arrears in clerical tithes.

The English demand for more than a mil­ lion francs in arrears on Jean’s ransom was met by the French claim for an indemnity of three million for war damages on their soil.

Even when the French finally offered to pay the arrears on Jean’s ransom and guarantee peaceable possession if not sovereignty of Aquitaine, in return for the razing of Calais, the English held back.