A loan agreement is a contract entered into between which regulates the terms of a loan. Loan agreements usually relate to loans of cash, but market specific contracts are also used to regulate securities lending. Loan agreements are usually in written form, but there is no legal reason why a loan agreement cannot be a purely oral contract (although in some countries this may be limited by the Statute of frauds or equivalent legislation).
Loan agreements are usually characterised either of two different ways: by the type of lender, or by the type of facility. Categorising loan agreements by lender usually simply sub-divides loans into:
Categorising loan agreements by type of facility, usually results in two primary categories:
Term loans, which are repaid in set instalments over the term, or revolving loans (or overdrafts) where up to a maximum amount can be withdrawn at any time, and interest is paid from month to month on the drawn amount.
Within these two categories though, there are various subdivisions such as interest-only loans, and balloon payment loans. It is also possible to subcategorise on whether the loan is a secured loan or an unsecured loan, and whether the rate of interest is fixed or floating.
Louisiana has a rich, colorful historical background. Early Spanish explorers were Alvárez Piñeda, 1519; Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, 1528; and Hernando de Soto in 1541. Sieur de la Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi and claimed all the land drained by it and its tributaries for Louis XIV of France in 1682.
Louisiana became a French crown colony in 1731 but was ceded to Spain in 1763 after the French and Indian Wars. (The portion east of the Mississippi came under British control in 1764.) Louisiana reverted to France in 1800 and was sold by Napoleon to the U.S. in 1803. The southern part, known as the territory of Orleans, became the state of Louisiana in 1812.
During the Civil War, Louisiana joined the Confederacy, but New Orleans was captured by Union Adm. David Farragut in April 1862. The state’s economy suffered during Reconstruction; however, the situation improved at the turn of the 20th century, with the discovery of oil and natural gas and the growth of industry.
Louisiana is a leader in natural gas, salt, petroleum, and sulfur production. Much of the oil and sulfur comes from offshore deposits. The state also produces large crops of sweet potatoes, rice, sugar cane, pecans, soybeans, corn, and cotton. Leading manufactured items include chemicals, processed food, petroleum and coal products, paper, lumber and wood products, transportation equipment, and apparel.
The state has become a popular tourist destination. New Orleans is the major draw, known particularly for its picturesque French Quarter and the annual Mardi Gras celebration, held since 1838.
Other major points of interest include the Superdome in New Orleans, historic plantation homes near Natchitoches and New Iberia, Cajun country in the Mississippi Delta Region, Chalmette National Historic Park, and the state capital at Baton Rouge.
On Aug. 29, 2005, Louisiana was hit by Hurricane Katrina, devastating New Orleans, and killing hundreds elsewhere in the state, particularly in the parishes of Jefferson and St. Bernard. Federal and local officials were widely criticized for their slow and inadequate response to the initial disaster and subsequent recovery programs.