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InvestHub.com's
Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms

underlying debt  

Definition 1.

For municipal bonds, the debt of a government entity within the jurisdiction of a larger government entity which has partial credit responsibility. The larger government entity views the debt of the smaller entity as underlying debt. Since the larger government entity will generally be more creditworthy than the smaller entity, this sharing of credit responsibilities generally acts as a credit enhancement for the issuing authority.
 
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