Indenture or Trust Indenture/Agreement

A contract between an Issuer and a Trustee (normally a commercial bank with trust powers) under which the Issuer issues Bonds and specifies their Maturities, Interest Rates, Redemption provisions, form, exchange provisions, security and other terms.  The Indenture pledges certain revenues as security for repayment of the Bonds.  The Trustee agrees to act on behalf of the holders of the Bonds and to represent their interests.

An Indenture has two primary purposes. First, in an Indenture, the Trustee accepts its duties to the bondholders and agrees to monitor and handle the moneys received from the Bond Issue, to handle the revenues pledged as Security for the repayment of the Bonds, to deposit moneys into the various funds and accounts created under the Indenture and to make any transfers of funds described in the Indenture.  Second, the Indenture establishes for the benefit of the bondholders the “trust estate” which will serve as Security for the repayment of the Bonds.  The “trust estate” generally consists of the moneys in the funds and accounts held under the Indenture, but also other amounts pledged as Security for the repayment of the Bonds, such as revenues of a project, an enterprise or system.  The covenants included in an Indenture may also be included, to one degree or another, in the form of a Bond Resolution/Ordinance.

Get it in Writing

Learn more about the various documents involved in a municipal securities transaction.


  • Reports and Resources

Form Conduit Indenture (2nd Edition)

The second edition of NABL’s sample form conduit indenture and accompanying commentary.

See Also


A commercial bank or trust company with trust powers which acts in a fiduciary capacity for and on behalf of the bondholders by entering into an indenture with the issuer of the bonds.

Master (Trust) Indenture

A type of indenture which permits the issuance from time to time of one or more series of bonds under the same indenture in addition to the initial series of bonds.

Supplemental Indenture

A supplement to an outstanding indenture, entered into pursuant to the terms of an outstanding indenture and delivered in connection with the issuance of additional bonds, to cure an inconsistency or formal defect in the Indenture or to amend the indenture in some manner.

Trust Indenture Act of 1939

A federal statute setting out the requirements for trust indentures in connection with publicly traded corporate securities.

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