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English Soccer. Sponsored The story of Irish whiskey is the story of Irish Distillers. Find your top luxury travel destination for Alexa, what helps me feel more organised and keeps me focused on fitness goals? Applications for National Childcare Scheme entitlement to open November 20th. Trust deed investing results in one of two outcomes: 1 the borrower performs, or makes all interest and principal payments stipulated in the loan agreement; or 2 the borrower defaults.

In the case of a default, the lender has a clear pathway, called foreclosure, to taking over the property that is the security for the loan. Once the foreclosure is done, the investor can sell the property to recover the investment. I had an illustrator create the cartoon below to show the two possible paths. As with any investment, there are risks and in case of a default by the borrower, there are several things that could create challenges. Some examples include the following:.

The equity risk of the real estate investment is borne by the borrower. If real estate values drop, the borrower takes the first loss on their investment, and is still obligated to make interest payments and ultimately pay off the loan. In the event that the borrower defaults on the loan stops making interest payments or fails to pay off the loan at maturity , then the lender generally has two choices. The lender may either 1 foreclose and sell the property, hoping that the proceeds are still high enough to pay off the loan even in light of the drop in values; or 2 encourage the owner to sell the property without pursuing a foreclosure.

In either case if the property is sold for less than the value of the loan and interest owed, the trust deed investor lender would take a loss on the investment. The higher the value of the property relative to the loan amount the greater the margin of safety. The lower the LTV, the more the property value would need to fall before the lender would take a loss.

Trust deed investments are generally short-term loans of months. Because they have a short maturity, the value of a trust deed investment will not change much even if interest rates rise. In contrast, fixed income investments with a longer maturity, such as municipal or corporate bonds, drop in value when interest rates rise.

For reference, see here. The margin of safety was only half what it was intended to be. In this case, there is still enough equity in the property to exit without taking a loss. Now combine a mistake in estimating the property value with a drop in real estate values, or deterioration in the condition of the property such as a leaky roof that results in extensive water damage, or theft of appliances. At this point the trust deed investors may not be able to recover their entire investment.

In short, this will cause a delay in being able to foreclose on the property. In California, the foreclosure process takes about four months from the time of filing the notice of default to the time of the foreclosure sale. If the borrower files for bankruptcy, that could add weeks or months to the timeline. In general, if there is equity in the property, the bankruptcy process will take longer.

Also, a bankruptcy judge has the ability to re-write key terms of the loan. For example, the judge could reduce the interest rate on the loan.

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Another issue could be that an adjacent property owner sues, and places a lis pendens on the title, claiming that the subject property violates building codes and subsequently diminishes the value of their property. The property securing your loan may have previously been involved in a case of mortgage fraud, resulting in a lis pendens being placed on the property until the case is resolved.

It is also possible that the borrower, unbeknownst to you, takes out two loans on the same day using the property as collateral, one of the lenders will invariably end up in a junior position. These are just a few examples of what could happen. Property titles are susceptible to legal disputes. And as a trust deed investor it is important to conduct due diligence on the property in order to avoid becoming involved with a property with the potential for becoming the center of a dispute.

Of course in the event that legal issues do arise, it is important to be able to navigate these issues as expediently a possible less legal fees destroy investment returns. For example, suppose someone sues the owner of a property, alleging that the owner owes money and the property was pledged as collateral for a loan. A lis pendens is a very serious action because it clouds title to the property in question and could take many months to resolve. In other words, other parties will stay away from entering into any transactions involving a property so long as the lis pendens remains.

Therefore, recording a spurious lis pendens exposes the party recording the lis pendens to liability. For a trust deed investor, a lis pendens is one of the more dangerous developments that can take place. If the legal case has merit, then the lender may have trouble exiting the transaction in a timely way, even assuming the lender has done nothing wrong. Mortgage fraud occurs when a borrower has stolen money from a lender without giving the lender the security promised, or has otherwise conspired to defraud the lender.

In one type of mortgage fraud, the borrower obtains a false appraisal and borrows more money than the property is worth, with no intention of paying the money back. Another scheme involves bringing in an unsuspecting party to become the owner of the property and using his or her good credit to borrow money. The best way to ensure no mortgage fraud enters into a trust deed investment is to assess the credibility of all the parties involved in a transaction, and to make sure that all of the pieces of the transaction make sense for each party involved.

This way, in case of a fire, the lender should receive their original investment back even if the borrower defaults. Southern California is very active seismically and there is a possibility that an earthquake severely damages or even destroys a building. In the event that the building is not insured and is destroyed in an earthquake, and the borrower defaults, the trust deed investment will lose a significant portion of its value since the property value would be reduced to land value, minus the cost to demolish and haul away the remains of the building.

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It should be noted that even in a strong earthquake, total destruction of the building beyond repair is quite unlikely. Investing in a portfolio of trust deeds on various properties, or in diversified fund that holds a portfolio of loans, should mitigate the risk of loss due to a severe earthquake.

To be an active trust deed investor, the largest time investment is the up-front investment required to learn how to distinguish between solid investments and risky ones. Once those skills are learned, trust deed investment is not necessarily very time consuming. It takes much more time than buying a bond or mutual fund, but it need not be a full-time job. The tasks involved include sourcing prospective deals, evaluating the deals on their economic merits, and conducting due diligence on the property and borrower.

Most trust deed investors integrate these tasks with other related work such as managing real estate that they own. Experienced trust deed investors might spend ten hours over the course of a week to identify and consummate an individual investment. They also charge a fee to the borrower at the time a loan funds. This is called an origination fee and is expressed in points. Hard money lenders are frequently successful real estate investors who have extra cash. The terms bridge lender and hard money lender are sometimes used interchangeably.

Both types of lenders focus on making short-term real estate loans. Most trust deed investors work through a broker who brings together the borrower and the trust deed investor. In some cases, the broker allows multiple investors to purchase participations in a single trust deed. This is particularly common on larger, commercial real estate trust deeds.

In many cases, the investors rely on the broker to a large extent to perform the key tasks that ensure the trust deed is a safe investment. For example, the broker frequently runs the credit on the borrower; opines on the value of the real estate that is security for the loan; and signs off on the acceptability of the title report and loan documents.

When investors rely on the broker to perform these key tasks, they need to understand that an error by the broker could easily result in a loss of some or all of their investment. The loan servicer collects interest payments from the borrower and disburses them to the lender. The servicer also initiates the foreclosure process at the request of the lender in case of default by the borrower.

For more information, see www. The best technique is to find someone you know and trust who has worked directly with the broker. Web-based professional networks such as LinkedIn can be useful in finding mutual connections. Ask your friends and professional contacts for references to reputable people involved in the trust deed market.

Lawyers and CPAs who deal with real estate matters can often recommend someone. Ask for references from people whom you know and trust, and whom you believe to have good judgment in the area of investing.