Trust Indenture Act of 1939

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The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (TIA), codified at 15 U.S.C. § 77aaa through 15 U.S.C. § 77bbbb, supplements the Securities Act of 1933 in the case of the distribution of debt securities in the United States. Generally speaking, the TIA requires the appointment of a suitably independent and qualified trustee to act for the benefit of the holders of the securities, and specifies various substantive provisions for the trust indenture that must be entered into by the issuer and the trustee. The TIA is administered by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has made various regulations under the act.


Section 211 of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 mandated that the SEC conduct various studies. Although not expressly required to study the trustee system then in use for the issuance of debt securities, SEC Chairman William O. Douglas was convinced by November 1934 that the system required legislative reform. In June 1936, the Protective Committee Study "Trustees Under Indentures" was published.

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