Among law firms, there is a qualitative difference in the way we assist clients who are in the business of making and administering loans. Please read our web pages to see what we mean. If there is any chance that we can assist you, please call us.
Our Lender Services Team. We have an extraordinary team of lawyers and paralegals who, every day, help lenders document and close loans, modify terms, solve problems, and develop and fine-tune their documents and procedures in order to work smarter. We work for all kinds of lenders - federal and state regulated banks, savings and loans, lending subsidiaries of big corporations, and private investment funds.
The Perfect Set of Loan Documents. We specialize in loan document design. We have been hired by a number of lenders to do a bottom-up analysis and overhaul (see case study) of their standard-form loan documents. We have made their documents easier to read and understand, simpler to prepare and administer, more borrower-friendly, and more manageable to negotiate. For others, only some fine-tuning was necessary to make them run hotter and faster (see case study). Because of the breadth of our experience, we also have a huge resource of forms for loan transactions that are unusual or challenging.
First One Loan, Then Another. For some of our lender clients, we document, negotiate (when necessary), and help them close every loan they make. For others, we merely analyze, negotiate, and draft the tricky stuff, or operate under a retainer or subscription arrangement for a fairly predictable level of services each month. Our clients operate in all of the Western states, as well as a few others. So we design loan documents that will comply with each state's laws, relying on our Meritas affiliates in other states when we need local expertise. And we document and close all kinds of loans -- residential or commercial construction loans, borrowing base credit lines, commercial and retail permanent loans, commercial credit lines, and special FNMA and Freddie Mac programs.
There ARE Regulations, You Know. We also offer a variety of compliance services to lenders. You may need help figuring out licensing requirements in different states. We also regularly advise clients on a variety of federal and state regulations governing real estate financing and other forms of lending.
Spread the Risk, Share the Reward. Some of our lender clients offer participation to other investors in virtually every loan they make. There is more to loan participation than is commonly realized. We have prepared hundreds of loan participation agreements for a variety of lenders and under many different arrangements, including "club loan" or syndicated formats. Also, some of our non-regulated lender clients operate as private investment funds, with outside investment from financial institutions, pension plans, overseas companies, or private investors. Many of these funds involve multiple tiers of ownership. We have helped form over $200 million of investment funds in the past three years for the purpose of making loans and have documented virtually every loan in which those funds were placed.
Those Inevitable Bumps in the Road. No matter how good the underwriting, every now and then a lender must deal with problem loans. Sometimes you need to strategize a deliberate and careful course to get the project completed and sold, to rehabilitate an under-performing asset, to recover your investment from your collateral, or to pursue a guarantor. We have been through enough workouts to give you good advice when you are considering alternatives, attempting to document a forbearance or restructuring, contemplating a possible receivership, heading for foreclosure and collection, or working through a bankruptcy. We initially got into this business by providing foreclosure and bankruptcy services, and our team of lawyers and paralegals have performed thousands of foreclosures and worked through hundreds of bankruptcies.
It's All About Relationships.
Beyond our knowledge and experience in lending, we have witnessed firsthand the trend towards full-service lending, and we know the importance of the relationship between you and your borrowers. Your borrowers are your customers -- they need to be satisfied both with the terms you offer and the treatment they receive from you and your agents.
We operate as an extension of your organization. We recognize that we can help support and develop the relationship between you and your borrower. It is pure craftmanship to document loans that protect you as lender with an intelligent array of rights and remedies, but are still concise, easy to review and negotiate, and respectful of the borrower's legitimate concerns. When faced with a borrower who wants to rewrite those documents, it is an art form to respond to the borrower and draw the line in a way that will preserve and protect your rights but still make the borrower feel that its concerns have been adequately addressed. There is nothing more satisfying to us than hearing from our lender-clients that their borrowers have called our loan documents "the best they have worked with," or that closing loans with us was "as easy and efficient as it could be." And we have received those kinds of compliments.
Who Says There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch?
Sometimes issues that need to be addressed up front are overlooked in underwriting and documentation. Sometimes the paper trail leading into a default situation is troublesome. Sometimes manageable situations become big problems because they weren't dealt with appropriately at the right time.
We want to help you work smarter and avoid these problems. We also know that lawyers are expensive and that you would like to be able to address as many issues as you can on your own, without running to your lawyers for every little thing. Therefore, in appreciation of your business, we offer our regular lender clients no-charge training in the form of our WorkSmart Seminars™. This free training is designed to give your employees more knowledge and experience, and to help them become more self-reliant about the legal environment in which you operate. Contact Michael Schumacher for more information about our WorkSmart Seminars™ and the topics that we could cover.
So There Really is a Difference.
We think we are different, and a number of our clients have told us so. We think you will be pleased if you give us a chance to work with you. We are happy to discuss how we might help you improve your standard form documents, assist in loan documentation and closings, provide assistance on particular modifications or restructurings, provide guidance in working through your problem loans, or help your employees work smarter.