Jeff Dunne – Note Sales in Lieu of Foreclosure

As banks and special servicers continue to take charge of distressed assets ($200 billion at the end of 2009 reported by Real Capital Analytics), they have three primary options to recapture at least some of the value:  Foreclose on the asset, complete a short sale or sell the non-performing note. The first two options can be both very time consuming and expensive or require the non performing borrower’s cooperation, neither which may be appealing or possible. As a result, we expect Note Sales will be an emerging trend in 2010 and into 2011.

For states like Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, where “foreclosure proceedings” are driven by the court process, the process can take 12-24 months. A Note Sale, meanwhile, can be accomplished within 60 days, alleviating the special servicer of a non-performing asset and placing it in the entrepreneurial hands of note holders which are not restricted by regulations that govern special servicers. With approximately $618 billion (based on CBRE-EA’s  analysis of Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual survey) of commercial and multifamily  loans coming due between 2nd half of 2009 and 2011, there likely will be ample opportunity for investors to purchase these notes.

By way of example, our recent marketing of a note sale secured approximately 40 offers, proving there is ample capital looking for loans. This is especially true when the Broker can show the lull in the real estate market is only temporary and not due to long term structural weaknesses.