No. We will review and analyze the borrower’s loan request at our expense and then seek to find an appropriate lender to provide the requested funding. Only after this process and ONLY if we are able to provide a specific proposal based on the representations made by the borrower will we present the borrower with a proposal and fee agreement wherein the borrower will decide if they want to retain us.
The retainer fee is typically from $2,500 to $3,500 and is REFUNDABLE if we fail to perform as agreed. On transactions over $25 million or certain types of transactions using bond financing, the retainer is generally $5,000.
The retainer is credited against the closing fee, which typically will be between 1 and 5 points. A small transaction of $100,000 would generally warrant a 5-point fee, while a large transaction of $100,000,000 would typically call for a 1-point fee.
A $3,000,000 loan amount might require a 2-point fee. However, if the loan were for an acquisition, our fee might be increased to 3-points. Each transaction is slightly different and, therefore, will be dealt with accordingly.
We will provide you with a recent copy of our Better Business Bureau report and our current D & B report. After 26 years in business, we are very proud of our record and will also send you selected tombstones of over $200,000,000 in loans we have arranged financing for. We review and work on hundreds of loans each year.
We are also Accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which, among other things, means that we have not had even ONE unresolved complaint in all of our years in business, having serviced thousands of clients.
The borrower can also investigate us through Dun & Bradstreet, a national credit-reporting agency. If the finance professional to whom we are looking for possible referrals wants references, we can provide general non-client references, including our accountant, bank, attorney, and a few lenders we routinely work with.
Only to the extent that we arrange commercial loans for individuals who seek to acquire a business or commercial property or for commercial acquisition and development loans.
Without collateral to secure a loan, one alternative would be to use the historical profitability of the company to provide an unsecured cash flow loan. Cash flow loans typically start at around $1,000,000 up to $10,000,000. Generally, the borrowing company must be in business for a minimum of 3 years with good revenue and net income numbers confirmed by audited or reviewed financial statements. Another possibility might be a company seeking financing to acquire equipment or real estate where we could provide an SBA guaranteed loan of up to 90% of the purchase price, subject to the creditworthiness of the company and/or the principal of the company.
We do represent hundreds of equity or venture groups that can provide equity funding to start-up or developmental stage companies. This type of funding is very subjective, and we typically will offer to present the funding request to these groups if the prospective client wishes to retain our services.
We represent a group here in New York that can provide loans against publicly traded stock held by the principal(s) of a company provided that the stock has sufficient daily trading volume and the price of the stock is high enough in a relationship to that trading volume.
Yes. We represent several lenders who provide construction financing on projects both domestically as well as internationally in some cases. Sometimes, this will be straight debt (a loan), or sometimes, it may need to involve a combination of debt and equity.
The most important question to be asked with respect to acquisitions is: 1] the purchase price and 2] how much capital the buyer can contribute to the transaction. In many cases, buyers come to us with no money expecting the lender to buy a company for them. It is possible to obtain 100% financing through a capital raise, but even in such cases, the client would need to pay for that capital raise which might require anywhere from 1/10th of 1% of the amount raised up to 1 to 2% of the amount raised on small transaction of $1,000,000 up to $5,000,000. Generally, if we are going to a lender, the buyer will need a minimum of 10% into the purchase price and often more.
There is one exception with one specific lender that we represent that will lend against the “higher” purchase price or appraised value, and IF a borrower is able to buy a property for $1,000,000 that appraises at $2,000,000 (which is generally not the case unless the buyer has an option to buy this particular property) then potentially, they could also get 100% financing.
The Small Business Administration will guarantee small loans principally for acquisitions or renovation or improvement of an existing business on transactions up to approximately $5,000,000 (will vary depending on industry and employee size). This type of financing is provided through several of our lenders and is suitable for deals where the buyer has good to excellent credit and the company to be acquired has good historical cash flows to show the ability to cover debt service on the new loan. Again, the buyer will need cash equity to complete the transaction, typically in the 10 to 20% range.
We are not, nor are our lenders looking for specific industries. We can provide financing (subject to collateral and cash flow considerations) to any industry. Because banks are regulated, they will generally not lend to a topless bar, for example. However, we have private lenders who will.
Yes. We have lenders who can close loans in as little as 7 days under certain circumstances.
Bridge loans must be secured by collateral. Bridge loans to be taken out by pending equity or debt transaction do not work simply because the pending transaction may not ultimately happen, in which case the bridge lender loses.
Generally, there are 4 main types: 1] accounts receivable due from commercial accounts, 2] equipment, 3] inventory, and 4] real estate. In some cases, intangible assets like proprietary technology, trademarks, patents, trade names, etc., can be used but typically only if the lender can get comfortable that the asset can be sold by them in the event of loan default.
There are several hundred funding sources that we represent, including large asset-based lending companies like CIT and Textron, as well as many smaller national and regional asset-based lenders, specialty lenders in real estate, equipment, accounts receivable and inventory, hard money bridge lenders, cash flow (also known as mezzanine or sub-debt lenders) lenders, equity sources of various kinds, groups that provide combinations of debt and equity, some regional banks that are aggressive with certain industries, construction lenders for both domestic and international projects, healthcare lenders, aircraft and ship lenders, providers of import-export financing as well as a letter of credit financing, purchase order finance companies, golf course lenders, and groups who will discount notes or business mortgages. Often we will need to combine 2 or more lenders on a project to provide the necessary funding. The underlying similarity of all of these sources is that they will fund transactions that traditional lenders such as banks will not fund.
We are providing the client with a specific lender who can offer financing to them based on the lender’s review of the representations made by the borrower with respect to loan size, geography, credit profile type and mix of collateral, etc. The retainer paid to us by the borrower is not a deposit to be used for due diligence but rather an engagement fee to arrange for the specific financing.
We require this retainer to protect ourselves against situations where our borrower has inadvertently misrepresented the value of collateral or the cash flows to cover debt service. It would also protect us in a case where the lender finds they cannot perfect a security interest in the collateral being offered or the borrower cannot provide the necessary documentation that the lender requires.
Because we do not require any exclusivity with respect to our fee agreement, the retainer also protects us in the event that the borrower obtains financing elsewhere, secures an equity infusion, or simply decides that they do not require the financing at this time. If the loan does not close for any reason, other than our inability to produce a capable lender, then the retainer covers our time, effort, and expense regarding the work done by us.
We represent hundreds of lenders across the country, and all generally require the borrower to cover their costs of due diligence prior to loan closing. The only exception to this rule is a local bank (if the business is bankable) who typically will not need such a deposit. If lenders were to pay the due diligence costs, they would often waste their money traveling to the borrowers’ company or property and performing appraisals and audits on situations where the results of that due diligence were such that the loan could not be closed.
If the lender were willing to pay for the examination and investigation necessary to close the loan, borrowers who have problems might not disclose them in hopes that the lender would not discover these issues that may have previously caused the loan to be rejected.
The lender will not require their due diligence deposit until they have issued their formal proposal outlining the specific terms and conditions that will apply based on the representations made to them by the borrower. The purpose of the due diligence is to allow the lender to confirm that the representations made by the borrower are true and correct so that they can close the loan.
Lenders’ due diligence may include a site inspection at your company focusing on your back office operations relative to the performance of your accounts receivable. Particularly they will want to examine the exact service or product provided, how you bill, to whom you are billing, the net collectible amount paid to you after allowances and deductions, any potential offsets due to other parties or issues that could lead to offsets, and the historical performance of your AR’s collect ability.
Clearly, as the lender is typically an expert in such matters, you can benefit from such expertise as it relates to the efficient billing of your accounts and the ability to diminish underpayments, etc. Real estate, equipment, and inventory appraisals that are more than 6 months old will likely need to be updated or, in some cases, may need to be redone.
The lender will also be concerned with the character of the borrower (both from a company perspective as well as from the principal’s perspective) as it relates to previous issues of fraud or bankruptcy etc. They will also need to clearly confirm the viability of the company going forward and any legal issues that might cause them to suffer a loss with respect to the loan to be consummated.
This could include the possible inability of the lender to obtain a first lien against the collateral or the borrower’s inability to cover debt service etc. The lender will be available to explain in detail what could cause them not to close the loan so that there are no surprises once you have agreed to their terms and conditions and before you pay for the due diligence.
Most lenders make the deposit refundable minus specific expenses in the unlikely event that they are unable to conclude the loan. Due diligence deposits vary widely from lender to lender but are generally in the $2,500 to $25,000 range. A loan transaction of $10,000,000 or more might require a due diligence deposit of greater than $25,000.
Once the due diligence is complete, some lenders will issue a commitment to fund, at which time the borrower will be required to post a commitment fee which will be around 1 point on the loan amount. If the borrower walks away from the transaction prior to closing, they will forfeit this fee. Some lenders will go straight to closing after the completion of due diligence and will not require a commitment fee. Normally, once the commitment fee is paid, the only steps to be taken prior to funding would be the negotiation and execution of closing documents.