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A contrary claim or demand that may cancel or reduce a given claim; a counterclaim. A kind of bookkeeping entry that counters the effect of a previous entry.
1) n. also called a "setoff," the deduction by a debtor from a claim or demand of a debt or obligation. Such an offset is based upon a counterclaim against the party making the original claim. Example: Harry Hardhead makes a claim or files a lawsuit asking for $20,000 from Danny Debtor as the final payment in purchase of a restaurant; as part of his defense Debtor claims an offset of $10,000 for alleged funds owed by Hardhead for repairs Debtor made on property owned by Hardhead, thus reducing the claim of Hardhead to $10,000. 2) v. to counterclaim an alleged debt owed by a claimant to reduce the demand of that claimant. (See: counterclaim, defense, setoff)