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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Debenture

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Meaning of Debenture

Usually an obligation of corporations or large moneyed co-partnerships, issued in a form convenient to be bought and sold as investments. An acknowledgment of a debt in nature of a bond or bill; a writing acknowledging a debt; it may either create a debt or acknowledge same. An instrument under seal, creating a charge according to its wording on the assets specified therein of the debtor and to that extent, conferring upon the grantee a priority over other subsequent creditors or existing creditors not possessed of such a charge. May also be in the nature of mortgage , to secure a certain sum of money with interest to which coupons are attached, making interest payable at periodic intervals such as halfyearly. However, it differs from a mortgage in that it does not confer legal title or any ordinary right of ownership and at best is only an equitable mortgage conferring only equitable rights . See United Masonic Temple Corp. v Harris, 242 III. App. 296. Also see Lorimer v McGreevv, 84 S. W.2d667, 229 Mo. App. 970.

Debenture Alternative Definition

(Lat. debentur, they [moneys] are due). The word with which certain obsolete bonds given by the exchequer began. Blount. In English Law. An instrument issued by a company or public body as security for a loan of money. It contains, either expressly or impliedly, a promise to pay the amount mentioned in it, and almost invariably creates a charge on the whole or part of the property of the company or public body. A debenture generally forms part of a series or issue of similar instruments, with a provision that they shall all rank pari passu in proportion to their amounts. As to debentures generally, see Cav. § 267 et seq. In American Law. A custom-house certificate given by the collector of the port to the exporter or importer of goods, entitling him, under certain circumstances, to a drawback of duties paid on exported or imported goods. See Drawback. In corporation law the term is applied to obligations of corporations, in some instances where secured by specific assets, in others, where not so secured. Fletcher Cyc. Corp. § 963.

Legal Definition of Debenture

A promissory note backed by the general credit of a company and usually not secured by a mortgage or lien on any specific property. (See: Bond)

Related Entries of Debenture in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

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Debenture in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Debenture in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary. The Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary entries include explanations of the context of abbreviations or acronyms as well as the direct meaning.

Related Legal Terms

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Mentioned in these terms

Floating Charge, Security.


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This definition of Debenture is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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English Legal System: Debenture

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Debenture :

A document that acknowledges and contains the terms of a loan (usually to a company). The loan may be unsecured (a naked debenture). More usually, however, the debenture will be subject to a *charge and will contain the terms of the charge (e.g. the right to appoint a *receiver or a *crystallization event). Debentures may be issued to a single creditor or in a series to several creditors in order to raise finance for a company. In the case of the latter, a trust may be created and contained within the debenture in favour of such creditors. This enables the company to appoint a trustee for debenture holders to ensure that the financial activities of the company are managed in the interests of the group of creditors. Finance raised by the issue of debentures is known as *loan capital. This is contrasted with share *capital, the holders of which are *company members.

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Debenture
  • Author: Banking Meaning
  • Description: Usually an obligation of corporations or large moneyed co-partnerships, issued in a form convenient to be bought and sold [...]

This entry was last modified: March 1, 2015

Co-Authors of this Entry:

Business Law in other Legal Encyclopedias

Link Description
Debenture Business Law Category in the World Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
Debenture Business Law Category in the European Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
Debenture Business Law Category in the American Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
Debenture Business Law Category in the Latin American Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
Debenture Business Law Category in the UK Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
Debenture Business Law Category in the Australian Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
Debenture Business Law Category in the Canadian Legal Wiki Encyclopedia
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