What is morosamente? Everything you need to know about it

What is morosamente

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Morosamente is an Italian legal term that refers to late payment or delay in payment of a debt or financial obligation. It stems from the Italian word “moroso” meaning someone who is late in paying what they owe.

In Italian civil law, morosamente indicates that a payment has not been made on time according to the agreed terms, whether intentionally or negligently. It covers financial debts, loans, mortgages, rent, alimony, and more. Failure to pay on time can have legal implications for the debtor.

Below we will explore the origins, usage, and significance of morosamente in depth:

The Meaning and Origins of Morosamente

What Does Morosamente Mean?

Morosamente directly translates to “in arrears” or “late” in English. It refers to overdue payments, often used in legal contexts.

Some key points on the definition:

  • It indicates late or delayed payment of a sum owed based on a contract or obligation.
  • There is no valid justification provided for the lateness of payment.
  • It is distinguished from an involuntary delay outside one’s control.

Origins and Etymology

  • Morosamente comes from the Italian adjective “moroso” meaning tardy, delayed, or late.
  • Moroso stems from the Latin word “mora” meaning delay.
  • The full Latin phrase it derives from is “in mora” translating as “in delay.”
  • First used in Italian civil law in the context of late payments of debts.
  • Dates back to at least the 16th century in Italian legal terminology.

Usage of Morosamente in Italian Law

Contract Law

  • Used when there is a breach of contract terms due to late payment.
  • Allows the creditor to take legal action for compensation.
  • May incur penalties like interest on unpaid amounts.

Mortgages and Loans

  • This applies to failure to pay mortgage or loan installments on time.
  • This can lead to foreclosure, eviction, and other legal consequences.

Rent and Utilities

  • Used when tenants do not pay rent or utility bills by the due date.
  • Can justify eviction proceedings by the landlord.

Alimony and Child Support

  • When ex-spouses default on alimony or child support payments.
  • Enables the beneficiary to pursue legal remedies.


  • Non-payment or underpayment of taxes by the deadline.
  • Triggers tax penalty fees based on the unpaid amount.

Other Debts

  • Late payment of any financial debt like invoices, fees, bills, etc.
  • Allows creditors to initiate debt collection and legal action. Read here Risky Business Costume Ideas.
What is morosamente
What is morosamente

Financial Penalties

  • Interest accrues on outstanding amounts.
  • Late fees and penalties added as per contracts.
  • Increased recovery costs charged to the debtor.

Court Litigation

  • Creditors can file civil suits to recover owed money.
  • Seek injunctions and judgments ordering repayment.
  • Debtors must pay creditors’ legal fees if they lose.

Credit Rating Damage

  • Missed payments are recorded on credit reports.
  • Can significantly lower credit scores.
  • Makes it harder to obtain loans and credit in future.

Asset Seizure

  • Courts can order seizure and sale of debtors’ assets.
  • Includes foreclosure of mortgaged property.
  • Garnishing of wages directly from employer.


  • Prolonged inability to repay debts can cause insolvency.
  • This leads to declaring bankruptcy as a last resort.
  • Causes total financial ruin of individual or company.

When is Morosamente Applied?

Morosamente comes into play when:

  • Payment is overdue as per the contracted terms
  • No valid excuse was provided for the lateness
  • Formal demand for payment made but not fulfilled
  • Unpaid despite repeated reminders
  • Obvious unwillingness, rather than inability to pay
  • No good faith effort shown to meet obligations
  • Lateness seems intentional rather than accidental

Establishing Morosamente in Court

Plaintiffs must prove:

  • Valid contract or liability exists
  • Specific payment terms were agreed upon
  • The due date has passed without payment
  • Formal payment reminders were sent
  • No justification was provided for non-payment
  • The debtor was capable of making payment
  • Actions demonstrate bad faith in fulfilling debt

Defending Against Morosamente

There are some defenses debtors can raise:

  • Disputing the validity of the entire debt
  • Showing contractual terms were ambiguous
  • Proving the plaintiff also breached the contract
  • Evidence of inability rather than unwillingness
  • Mitigating circumstances like financial hardship
  • Minimal lateness and no real damage caused
  • The plaintiff did not send proper reminders
  • Steps were taken in good faith to repay


Insolvency refers to the inability to pay debts whereas morosamente implies unwillingness rather than inability.


Default is failure to fulfill any type of obligation, morosamente relates only to monetary debts.


Delinquency means overdue payment but morosamente specifically indicates intentional lateness.


Arrears refers to any late payment, morosamente adds the aspect of inexcusable delay.

What is morosamente
What is morosamente

Morosamente in Commercial vs Civil Matters

  • More complexity in establishing morosamente for commercial dealings.
  • Civil matters like rent, alimony, etc. have clearer payment terms.
  • Businesses can raise defenses like trade usage and course of dealing.
  • Individuals have less latitude when obligations are fixed by court order.
  • The standard of good faith differs for businesses versus individuals.

While morosamente is specific to Italian law, most legal systems treat late payment of debts as unlawful. Comparable concepts in other jurisdictions include:

  • Breach of contract in common law countries
  • Default in US contract law
  • Kontrahiertes Schuldverhältnis in German civil law
  • Retard in paying in French civil law (retard de paiement)

Key Takeaways on Morosamente

  • Refers to late payment of monetary debts without a valid excuse
  • Stems from Latin and Italian legal terminology
  • Has serious financial penalties under Italian law
  • The burden of proof is on plaintiff’s creditor
  • Defendant debtor can raise legal defenses
  • Similar legal treatment of late payments globally
  • Distinct from insolvency or involuntary inability to pay

Final Words

In summary, morosamente is an established Italian legal concept referring to late payment of debts without valid excuse. It enables creditors to pursue legal action and penalties when there is willful breach of payment obligations indicated by the circumstances. Morosamente is based on civil law but might also have criminal implications. Understanding this term provides insights into debt recovery laws and practices in Italy which aim to balance the interests of parties on both sides.

People usually Ask

What is the meaning of moroso?

Moroso is an Italian word that means “defaulting” or “in arrears.” It is often used in a legal context to describe someone who has failed to pay their debts.

Who is a defaulter?

A defaulter is someone who has failed to fulfill their obligations, such as repaying a loan or paying their taxes. Defaulting can have serious consequences, including legal action and damage to one’s credit score.

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Herrin is a German word that means “lord” or “master.” It is sometimes used as a surname in English-speaking countries.

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Proxes is a Greek word that means “a substitute” or “a deputy.” It is often used in a legal context to refer to someone who is authorized to act on behalf of another person.

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Fike is a German word that means “to fix” or “to repair.” It is also sometimes used as a surname in English-speaking countries.