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Related to indenture: indenture deed, Bond indenture


An agreement declaring the benefits and obligations of two or more parties, often applicable in the context of Bankruptcy and bond trading.

The term indenture primarily describes secured contracts and has several applications in U.S. law. At its simplest, an indenture is an agreement that declares benefits and obligations between two or more parties. In bankruptcy law, for example, it is a mortgage or deed of trust that constitutes a claim against a debtor. The most common usage of indenture appears in the bond market. Before a bond is issued, the issuer executes a legally binding indenture governing all of the bond's terms. Finally, the concept of indenture has an ignominious place in the history of U.S. labor. Indentured servants of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were commonly European workers who contracted to provide labor for a number of years and in return received passage to the American colonies as well as room and board.

As an investment product that is used to raise capital, a bond is simply a written document by which a government, corporation, or individual promises to pay a definite sum of money on a certain date. The issuer of a bond, in cooperation with an underwriter (i.e., a financial organization that sells the bond to the public), prepares in advance an indenture outlining the terms of the bond. The issuer and the under-writer negotiate provisions such as the interest rate, the maturity date, and any restrictions on the issuer's actions. The last detail is especially important to corporate bonds because corporations Accrue liability upon becoming bond issuers and therefore seek to have the fewest possible restrictions placed on their business behavior by the terms of the indenture. As a consequence, potential buyers of corporate bonds should know what the indenture specifies before buying them.

Federal law governs these indentures. For 50 years, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (TIA) (15 U.S.C.A. § 77aaa) was the relevant law. Significant changes in financial markets prompted Congress to amend the TIA through the Securities Act Amendments of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-550, 1990; 104 Stat. 2713), which included the Trust Indenture Reform Act (Pub. L. No. 101-550, 104 Stat. 2713). The reforms simplified the writing of indentures, recognized the increasing internationalization of corporations by creating opportunities for foreign institutions to serve as trustees, and revised standards for conflicts of interest. The reforms also broadened the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In early American history, indenture was a form of labor contract. Beginning during the colonial period, employers in the largely agricultural economy faced a labor shortage. They addressed it in two ways: by buying slaves and by hiring indentured servants. The former were Africans who were brought to the colonies against their will to serve for life; the latter were generally Europeans from England and Germany who had entered multiyear employment contracts. From the late sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century, approximately half of the 350,000 European immigrants to the colonies were indentured servants. During the seventeenth century, these servants outnumbered slaves.

An indentured servant agreed to a four-to seven-year contract, and in return received passage from Europe and guarantees of work, food, and lodging. Colonial courts enforced the contracts of indentured servants, which were often harsh. Employers were seen as masters, and the servants had not only to work for them but also to obey their orders in all matters. For some, indentured servitude was not a Voluntary Act. Impoverished women and children were pressed into servitude, as were convicts. Nevertheless, this servitude was not equivalent to Slavery. Slaves remained slaves for life, whereas indentured servants were released at the end of their contracts. Moreover, as parties to a contract, indentured servants had rights that slaves never enjoyed. The practice of indentured servitude persisted into the early nineteenth century.

Further readings

Ballam, Deborah A. 1996. "Exploding the Original Myth Regarding Employment-At-Will: The True Origins of the Doctrine." Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 17.

——. 1995. "The Traditional View on the Origins of the Employment-At-Will Doctrine: Myth or Reality?" American Business Law Journal 33 (fall).

Riger, Martin. 1991."The Trust Indenture as Bargained Contract: The Persistence of Myth." Journal of Corporation Law 16 (winter).


n. a type of real property deed in which two parties agree to continuing mutual obligations. One party may agree to maintain the property, while the other agrees to make periodic payments. 2) a contract binding one person to work for another. 3) v. to bind a person to work for another.


noun agreement, agreement to work, apprenticeship agreement, arrangement, commitment, contract, contract to work, contractual obligation, connractual statement, covenant, deed of agreement, instrument, mutual agreement, mutual undertaking, pact, pactum, stipulation, undertaking
See also: bind, bond, compact, contract, liability, obligate, obligation, pact, security, servitude, specialty, stock, undertake



INDENTURE, conveyancing. An instrument of writing containing a conveyance or contract between two or more persons, usually indented or cut unevenly, or in and out, on the top or, side.
     2. Formerly it was common to make two instruments exactly alike, and it was then usual to write both on the same parchment, with some words or letters written between them, through which the parchment was cut, either in a straight or indented line, in such a manner as to leave one-half of the word on one part, and half on the other. The instrument usually commences with these words, "This indenture," which were not formerly sufficient, unless the parchment or paper was actually indented to make an indenture 5 Co. 20; but now, if the form of indenting the parchment be wanting, it may be supplied by being done in court, this being mere form. Besides, it would be exceedingly difficult with even the most perfect instruments, to out parchment or paper without indenting it. Vide Bac. Ab. Leases, &c. E 2; Com. Dig. Fait, C, and note d; Litt. sec. 370; Co. Litt. 143 b, 229 a; Cruise, Dig t. 32, c. 1, s. 24; 2 Bl. Com. 294; 1 Sess. Cas. 222.

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Not including the 2007 Series A issuance, 50% of the bonds outstanding under the indenture are in the variable-rate mode.
2 (fka Union Financial Services)-2000 Indenture of Trust 2001-A
The tender offer is subject to several conditions, including, among other things, the Company's receipt of proceeds from a new issuance of debt securities or a new second lien credit facility, which proceeds must be sufficient (and, under the terms of the agreements governing the Company's indebtedness, are permitted to be used) to pay the aggregate total consideration and/or the purchase price for the Notes accepted in the tender offer; a minimum tender condition; receipt of the requisite consents and execution of a supplemental indenture and execution of an amendment terminating the registration rights agreement.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning EFI's plans to request a hearing before the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel, the special committee's ongoing investigation of historical stock option grant practices, the SEC informal inquiry and EFI's expectations regarding a potential Event of Default under the indenture.
US Bank states in the letters that it is the successor trustee under the indentures for each of the foregoing Senior and Senior Subordinated Notes.
Statements included in this press release about Impsat's Notes, the consent solicitation, the proposed amendments to the indentures, and the proposed merger are forward-looking statements.
Since its action, which was an event of material disclosure under the master trust indenture, the authority, pursuant to the master trust indenture, has begun to pay back 1/12th of the borrowed amount.
In the event the above-mentioned letter is not invalid, or if a subsequent valid notice of default for the delayed 10-Q filing is delivered to KB Home under the indenture for any series of its senior notes, and KB Home fails to cure the default within the 60 days after notice is given, the default could become an "event of default" under the indenture, allowing the Trustee or the holders of at least 25% in aggregate outstanding principal amount of such senior notes to accelerate the maturity of the such series of senior notes.
Dollar-denominated notes and EUR 1 for each EUR 1,000 principal amount of Euro-denominated notes held by such holder for which a consent is received and not validly revoked prior to the effectiveness of the amendments to the Indenture is subject to the receipt of consents to amend the indenture from the holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of 2004 Notes outstanding.
Holders of the Notes may request copies of the supplements to the Indentures by contacting Investor Relations at KCSR at 427 West 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64105 (telephone 816-983-1551).
In terms of change of control provisions, while the indentures related to the $400 million 7.