Primary tabs

A default is a failure to fulfill an obligation. Defaulting is most common in regards to debtor-creditor law and contract law. Typically, a default leads to judicial proceedings or triggers the application of a separate contract provision. 

  • For example, a homeowner might go into default by failing to make scheduled mortgage payments.
    • This default allows the creditor to begin foreclosure proceedings and repossess the house subject to the mortgage. 

In the field of civil procedure, default can also refer to a default judgment

[Last updated in September of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]