2. The law operates this reduction , in certain cases, for, if the parties die or are insolvent, the balance between them is the only claim; but if they are solvent and alive, the defendant may or may not defalcate at his choice. See Set off. For the etymology of this word, see Bracken. Law Misc. 186; 1 Rawle's R. 291; 3 Binn. R. 135.
3. Defalcation also signifies the act of a defaulter. The bankrupt act of August 19, 1841, (now repealed), declares that a person who owes debts which have been created in consequence of a defalcation as a public officer, or as executor, administrator, guardian or trustee, or while acting in any other fiduciary capacity, shall not have the benefit of that law.