Discharge of a debt or the determination by agreement or litigation of the amount of a previously unliquidated claim. One important legal meaning is the distribution of the assets of an enterprise among its creditors and proprietors. At the dissolution of a solvent corporation or unincorporated association, the assets are usually liquidated (turned into money) rather than distributed in kind. An insolvent concern, on the other hand, may be liquidated in a receivership (q.v.), in which a court-appointed receiver sells the assets and distributes the proceeds; in general assignments for the benefit of creditors; in bankruptcy; or in the administration of a decedent’s estate.
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