A person (or institution) to whom money is owed.
A creditor is someone who has a right to require the fulfilment of an obligation or contract.
Creditors may be divided into personal and real.
The former are so called because their claims are mainly against the person who can reach the property of their debtors only by virtue of the general rule by which he who has become personally obligated, is bound to fulfil his engagements, with all his property acquired and to be acquired, which is a common guaranty for all his creditors.
The latter are called real because they have mortgages or other securities binding on the real estates of their debtors.
It is proper to state that personal creditors may be divided into two classes; first, those who have a right on all the property of their debtors without considering the origin or the nature of their claims; secondly, those who, in consequence of some provision of law, are entitled to some special prerogative, either in the manner of recovery or in the rank they are to hold among creditors; these are entitled to preference. As an example may be mentioned the case of the United State; when they are creditors they have always a preference in case of insolvent estates.
A creditor sometimes becomes so unknown to his debtor, as is the case when the former receives an assignment of commercial paper, the title to recover which may be conveyed either by endorsement or, in some cases, by mere delivery. But in general it is essential there should be a privity of contract between the parties.
This entry contains material from Bouvier's Legal Dictionary, a work published in the 1850's.
Courtesy of the 'Lectric Law Library
One to whom money is owed by the debtor, one to whom an obligationexists. In its strict legal sense, a creditor is one who voluntarily givescredit to another for money or other property; in its more general sense it isone who has a right by law to demand and recover of another a sum of money onany account.