Glossary of Municipal Securities Terms

DEFEASANCE OR DEFEASED

Termination of certain of the rights and interests of the bondholders and of their lien on the pledged revenues or other security in accordance with the terms of the bond contract for an issue of securities. This is sometimes referred to as a “legal defeasance.” Defeasance usually occurs in connection with the refunding of an outstanding issue after provision has been made for future payment of all obligations related to the outstanding bonds, sometimes from funds provided by the issuance of a new series of bonds. In some cases, particularly where the bond contract does not provide a procedure for termination of these rights, interests and lien other than through payment of all outstanding debt in full, funds deposited for future payment of the debt may make the pledged revenues available for other purposes without effecting a legal defeasance. This is sometimes referred to as an “economic defeasance” or “financial defeasance.” If for some reason the funds deposited in an economic or financial defeasance prove insufficient to make future payment of the outstanding debt, the issuer would continue to be legally obligated to make payment on such debt from the pledged revenues. See: ADVANCE REFUNDING.

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