DEFINITION of Abeyance Order

An abeyance order is a court order declaring that the legal right to a property or claim is in abeyance, or temporarily placed on hold, until matters are resolved. In advertising, an abeyance order refers to an order from an advertiser for a media slot on television or radio that is temporarily unavailable. As a result, the order may be held in abeyance until a suitable advertising slot opens up.

BREAKING DOWN Abeyance Order

Abeyance orders are used in cases where parties are interested in temporarily settling litigation while still holding the right to seek relief later if necessary. This allows an organization to ‘settle’ with the party without officially binding its actions in the future.

Abeyance orders are most often used in bankruptcy proceedings where the court declares that a claim on a property is held in abeyance because the rightful owner of a property, or mortgage holder, is not known, or the court has still to decide whether a property belongs to creditors or heirs.

This situation became common when foreclosures soared after the U.S. housing market collapsed in 2008. In those jurisdictions that followed the lien theory of mortgages, mortgagees do not have title to the property of a delinquent debtor, until an order of foreclosure is granted by a court. Other situations where abeyance orders are used include shipwrecks, where it is still to be determined who has the right to salvage a ship and its cargo.