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English definition of “arrears”

arrears

noun [plural]     /əˈrɪəz/ FINANCE
money that is owed and should already have been paid: He ran into difficulties with his mortgage, building up more than £18,000 arrears. The government is committed to the full and timely payment of its public debt and arrears.
in arrears owing money that should have been paid in the past: Only 75 of its 7,300 borrowers are in arrears. About 180,000 homeowners were more than three months in arrears. UK if someone is paid in arrears, they are paid at the end of the period of time during which the money was earned: Childcare often has to be paid for in advance, while salaries are paid in arrears.
(Definition of arrears noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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