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A legal and enforceable contract, agreement, or instrument between two or more persons is referred to as an indenture. These manuscripts typically have perforated edges or indented sides. In the past, especially among European immigrants, the term "indenture" has also been used to describe a contract obliging one person to serve another for a predetermined amount of time (indentured servant). The term "indenture" is most frequently used in bond agreements, real estate transactions, and some parts of bankruptcy in contemporary finance.

Indenture Explained

The word "indenture" comes from England. There are different kinds of indentures that can be used in the US, but they are all often related to financial agreements, real estate, or bankruptcy.

Types of Indentures

Below are a few of the typical indenture kinds and terms that can be found in indenture contracts.

Real Estate Indenture

An indenture is a deed that establishes ongoing responsibilities between two parties in real estate. For instance, one party might promise to look after a property, and the other might commit to pay for it.

Bankruptcy Indenture

An indenture may be cited as evidence of a claim on property in bankruptcy law. The information on collateralized property, which represents the claim a lender has against a debtor and is typically secured with a lien on the debtor's property, is generally provided in indentures.

Credit Indentures

The underlying contract agreement that outlines all of the terms and conditions related to a credit offering is called a credit indenture. These indentures may also be referred to as debentures in nonsecure, uncollateralized bond sales.

Other Common Credit Indenture Terms

A closed-end indenture clause may be used to describe any collateral utilized as backing for the offering in a credit offering. Closed-end indentures contain clauses preventing the assignment of the collateral to more than one offering, as well as collateral.

Additional words like open-end indenture, subordinated, callable, convertible, and non-convertible may also be related to credit indenture conditions.

A bond issuer may appoint a trustee in certain credit indentures. A trust indenture is also required when a trustee is engaged. A trust indenture is comparable to a bond indenture, with the exception that it additionally specifies the trustee's duties in managing all of the terms of a bond issue.


A formal, legally binding agreement known as an indenture is usually connected to real estate, bankruptcy, or bond transactions.

An indenture contains comprehensive information on covenants, terms, and conditions.

There are a few different types of indentures as well as countless varied kinds of indenture clauses.

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