A debt is ‘something that is owed, especially money’ ( Oxford English Dictionary). An everyday example is where one person lends another a sum of money, informally and for a short period. The lender owns a debt, the borrower has a liability to the lender. The lender is creditor to the borrower, and the borrower is the debtor. The sum of money lent is the debt. Of these various ways of describing a state of affairs the statute refers to ‘the debt’ and ‘ the creditor’, for the focus of the statutory provisions is on the asset (the debt) and the person owning it (the creditor).

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