I know that the subject of flood insurance has little "glitz" and that the narrow focus here is on co-lender deals (my other postings on this topic), but if –

  • you’re in a multi-lender loan (participation, syndication, etc.)
  • with federally regulated lending institutions
  • where any portion of the real estate collateral is in

As I’ve noted previously [link to due diligence topics], one big difference between the current commercial real estate melt down and the last big one (in the late 80s) is the amount or level of “structure” in the deals. Like the last time, the debtorborrower side is “structured” (with a multi-tier borrower and perhaps even a “single purpose” entity); however, unlike the last time, the creditorlender side also is structured.

A multi-creditor structure greatly complicates decisions covering a possible workout, the remedies to be invoked, and the management, leasing and eventual sale of the collateral (after foreclosure).

Indeed, co-lender disagreements are the most difficult part of this process.  (And one lesson learned is to NOT do co-lender deals in the future; or do them only with similar lenders having similar balance sheets, ownership, investment objectives and criteria, etc.)

Part of the difficulty flows from some confusion, or misunderstanding, on the part of all of us on the technical terms and attributes of the co-lender structure. Since the typical co-lender structure either is a syndication or a participation, I’ve identified some of the basic terms for those two structures:

  • Nature of the creditor’s interest
  • Recover of taxes & funding losses; gross up for reserves
  • Common law rights
  • Insolvency of originator/agent
  • Legal opinions
  • Assignments
  • Enforcement actions
  • Amendment (workout) rights
  • Waiver rights
  • REO decisions (management, leasing & sales)

To help you better understand the difference between (i) a loan that has been syndicated (typically where each lender has its own note and all lenders share the collateral) and (ii) a loan that has been participated (where there is a single, lead lender, and the other lenders only participate without their own notes), here is list of some of the major topics of interest.

(For postings on other co-lender topics, such as AB Note structures and lender v lender litigation, search the site using the term "co-lender.") 

 (Click on "continue reading" for a table detailing differences on these terms)


Continue Reading Understanding Differences Between a Syndicated Loan & Participated Loan is Crucial When It Turns Bad

This is the second of a two-part series (PART ONE) covering initial due diligence topics for workouts involving co-lender structures, with a focus solely on the participated or syndicated co-lender structure. The series is not a comprehensive listing of possible issues on this topic, but merely a basis template to assist you as

1st in a series of 2 postings

Much of the focus in the media on troubled real estate debt focuses on sophisticated debt structures, or on investors holding bonds in pools of loans. This focus, however, misses an important, intermediate player between these two ends of the barbell: the real estate lender.

In several real estate workouts that I’m handling now, the most difficult discussions are not with the borrower or its lawyer. Instead, the difficulty is within the mortgage lender group itself. Indeed, one distinctive in the current workout environment from the late 80’s is the large number of real estate loans involving multiple lenders holding a portion of the same mortgage loan or lien position.

Now, I’m not describing the situation where one lender has the mortgage lien, a second lender has a lien on the ownership interests in the borrower, and perhaps a third lender has an unsecured loan with the entity owning an interest in the entity owning the borrower.

Instead, I’m describing a single mortgage loan or facility that has been syndicated or participated among multiple real estate lenders. While the multiple or “co-lender” mortgage structure is not new to life insurance company lenders (nor to balance sheet lenders), in the last 15+ years the co-lender mortgage structure became widely used by the broader creditor market; and banks, Wall Street (the investment banks) and mortgage funds joined life companies in “structuring” the first-lien position.

This posting is Part One of a two-part series covering initial due diligence topics for workouts involving co-lender structures, with a focus solely on the participated or syndicated co-lender structure. The series is not a comprehensive listing of possible issues on this topic, but merely a basic template for your use as you read the co-lender agreements and related loan documents.


Continue Reading Co-Lender Mortgage Loan Structures: Understanding the Lender Structure is Critical (First of Two-Part Series)