Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 15

This Statement establishes standards of financial accounting and reporting by the debtor
and by the creditor for a troubled debt restructuring. The Statement does not cover accounting
for allowances for estimated uncollectible amounts and does not prescribe or proscribe particular
methods for estimating amounts of uncollectible receivables.
A restructuring of a debt constitutes a troubled debt restructuring for purposes of this
Statement if the creditor for economic or legal reasons related to the debtor’s financial difficulties
grants a concession to the debtor that it would not otherwise consider. That concession either
stems from an agreement between the creditor and the debtor or is imposed by law or a court.
For example, a creditor may restructure the terms of a debt to alleviate the burden of the debtor’s
near-term cash requirements, and many troubled debt restructurings involve modifying terms to
reduce or defer cash payments required of the debtor in the near future to help the debtor attempt
to improve its financial condition and eventually be able to pay the creditor. Or, for example, the
creditor may accept cash, other assets, or an equity interest in the debtor in satisfaction of the
debt though the value received is less than the amount of the debt because the creditor concludes
that step will maximize recovery of its investment.1
Whatever the form of concession granted by the creditor to the debtor in a troubled debt
restructuring, the creditor’s objective is to make the best of a difficult situation. That is, the
creditor expects to obtain more cash or other value from the debtor, or to increase the probability
of receipt, by granting the concession than by not granting it.


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