Moratorium Law and Legal Definition

Moratorium refers to any suspension of activity, especially voluntary suspension of collections of debts by a private business, government, or under a court order. In bankruptcy law, it means a halt to the right to collect a debt. A moratorium may be imposed in times of economic crisis or a natural disaster like a flood or earthquake, to allow people to return to normal before having to worry about preventing foreclosures and the like.

It is a suspension of activity until a future event or resolution of a matter. For example, states may pass a moratorium on imposing the death penalty unitl issues surrounding the death penalty can be resolved.