DEFINITION of 'Exoneration'

In a general sense, this term means to free from blame or guilt, such as when a criminal is proven innocent. In the financial realm, exoneration usually means to relieve one of a financial obligation or duty. This can apply in many different areas of finance, such as taxation or mortgages.

BREAKING DOWN 'Exoneration'

The various financial aid programs offered by the government to provide relief to struggling homeowners are forms of exoneration. Delinquent mortgage holders will be exonerated of their current obligations and reassigned new ones that they can manage more easily. A taxpayer who convices the IRS that he or she does not owe taxes that have been assessed is also exonerated from paying those taxes.

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