Criteria for hard money - Posted by Mike Daly (GA)
Posted by Mike Daly (GA) on April 10, 2002 at 19:51:39:
Interesting article on hard money lenders.
New Criteria for Hard Money
by Bob Beckman
Not a week goes by that I don’t read the following
refrain on some real estate investing web site: “Where
are all of the real hard money lenders?” As an active
hard money lender, and knowing others who do this
around the country, this always amuses me.
It has become apparent over the years that there is an
ongoing debate about the services that a hard money
lender should offer and what criteria is warranted,
and in most instances necessary, for both lender and
In this article, I hope to explain the changes that
have taken place over the years in this important
relationship and what to look for with regard to hard
First I would like to address a prevalent myth. Hard
money does not necessarily imply that the loan is based
solely on the equity of the property in question. This
is a very common misunderstanding.
Many years ago, private lenders (hard money lenders),
used the actual property as its own collateral. If the
borrower paid them back, that was great, but if there
was ever a default situation, that would be fine too.
The lender always loaned far less on the property than
the fair market value so in the long run a lender stood
to make an even greater profit by foreclosing on the
property and selling it.
You may wonder how this has changed. After all, no
hard money lender will lend more than 65%-70% of the
after repair value on a property, and the high fees
and interest rate should more than compensate them
for any inconveniences. So what’s the problem? Why
is it so hard to find private lenders who don’t ask
for credit information? Why won’t they all do "no-doc"
loans? Where are the “real” hard money lenders?
Well investors, here’s something you may have not
considered. Years ago, most states were “non-judicial
states”, meaning that the foreclosure process was simple,
fast, inexpensive, and didn’t involve an involved court
fight. The burden of proof, in many cases, was on the
defaulter. Under these laws, it made sense for the lender
to bypass the credit and pay history of the borrower.
Either way, their investment was sound.
What happened? Consumer protection laws and other factors
have slowly changed most states into “judicial states”.
The burden of proof for the foreclosure process has changed.
To further complicate matters, if the borrower (the real
estate investor) rented out the property, the lender would
be screwed because of current squatter’s laws. In these
instances, the lender has to go through an expensive and
time-consuming court procedure. Even though the lender
will get the house in the end, the expense and effort
has killed the investment.
If this happened often, it would drive them out of business.
In many cases, this is what happened over the years to most
of the equity-only based hard money lenders. This is why
most of today’s hard money lenders will check credit scores
and, in most instances, ask for further documentation such
as tax returns, bank statements, etc.
I find that Rehab Funding, as well as most private lenders,
are much easier to deal with, much more streamlined, and
have far less red tape than a bank or lending institution.
The only difference from those “good old days” is that
today we are more careful about dealing with “anyone who
can fog a mirror”.
Speaking for myself, when I work with a real estate investor,
I want the legal option to foreclose, but I want to know that
the history of the borrower indicates that this is highly
So, if hard money lenders insist on checking credit, what
good are they? Let me start with the obvious: most banks
and lending institutions don’t want to touch rehab projects.
In stark contrast, this is our specialty (acquisition and
repair money for rehab projects).
Consider this: if you find a bank willing to do a deal with
you, will they require a down payment? If you are buying a
property for $50,000, and they require a 20% down payment,
that’s $10,000 out of pocket at the settlement table, and
this does not include standard closing fees, which are extra.
A hard money lender like Rehab Funding requires no down
payment. Also, no bank or lending institution that WOULD
do this type of loan would fund 100% of the acquisition
cost AND 100% of the repair costs. If you buy the property
for the right price (using Cameron Dunlap’s or Rehab F
unding’s formula for buying properties) that’s exactly
what we CAN do.
Another huge advantage of hard money is quick loan
turn-around. If you are bidding on a foreclosure property,
an estate sale, or any property from a motivated seller,
your ability to move fast will often determine your
ability to “steal” a property. Banks will normally take
thirty to sixty days to close. This will rob you of your
competitive edge. Rehab Funding and most private money
sources can close within two weeks. That’s a BIG advantage
to have when bidding on a property!
Beware of pre-payment penalties! As a real estate investor,
you should never deal with a loan that includes such a penalty.
The faster you work, the more your investment will pay off.
Always remember that each day you will be paying interest,
taxes, insurance, utilities, and contractors. This comes
right off your bottom line, so all of your energy should
go into flipping the property or finishing and refinancing
it as soon as possible.
Why would you ever want a loan that penalizes you for
finishing quickly? Rehab Funding has never charged pre-payment
penalties and we WILL never do so. We also have no "seasoning"
Finally, you should know the other advantages come with a hard
money loan that are not available elsewhere. For instance, Rehab
Funding has a Six Month-No Pay Plan for investors with strong
credit. Those of you who have worked on properties know how
difficult cash flow can be to manage. This plan alleviates
this problem, and only a hard money lender who deals with
real estate investors day-in and day-out will provide such a
The bottom line is this: don’t use hard money because “they
don’t care about your credit”. Use hard money because our
programs are designed to maximize your profits as a real
Bob Beckman is the president of Rehab Funding
To learn more go to http://www.rehabfunding.com