For a U.S.-based borrower, securing a loan outside the United States is no easy feat. Bring raw land into the mix, and many borrowers simply assume that the odds are impossible. Not so for Kennedy Funding, an Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based direct private lender with extensive experience closing loans around the world. The firm’s principals today announced the closing of a $1.4 million loan to P&L Holding Ltd. Loan proceeds will be used to acquire 2,486.31 acres of raw land with waterfront views, located in Milk River, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica.
“Over years that we have spent working closely with experts and authorities in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Canada, and many other countries, we have honed the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the real estate and money lending laws in many countries outside the U.S.,” said Kevin Wolfer, CEO, Kennedy Funding. “Without that knowledge and experience, lenders don’t have a chance at successfully closing loans. We are proud to say that we have put our expertise to work once again, to get P&L Holding the funding they need to complete this acquisition.”
According to Wolfer, international loans face unique challenges and scrutiny not experienced by borrowers working domestically. Differences in rules and regulations, physical distance between borrower and property, varying economic conditions, and differing political climates all play a role in whether a lender can successfully close a loan for a borrower.
“Just like the U.S. and Canada have different laws, Jamaica and Bermuda have different laws,” Wolfer said. “It’s not just about being willing to lend outside the U.S. – it’s about having the firsthand knowledge, experience, and capabilities to close the deal. Lending on raw land is an additional obstacle to securing funding abroad, for the same reasons that land loans can be difficult to secure in the United States. Most borrowers anywhere in the world regard raw land as a risky proposition because there are so many unknowns, and in the event of non-payment and if the property itself is collateral, is it much harder for a lender to sell the property.”
Kennedy Funding has closed a number of loans outside U.S. borders in 2020, including a $2.633 million loan for a residential development in Brazil, $3 million for a residential resort in Belize, and a $3 million loan for a residential community in the Bahamas. Even with the COVID-19 global pandemic dampening tourism and other industries that fuel economies abroad, Kennedy Funding still worked closely with each borrower to find a way to secure funding.
“This was a year of economic uncertainty across the globe, but with thoughtful and careful planning, we are still able to provide the funding our clients need to participate in lucrative commercial real estate pursuits around the world,” Wolfer said. “No matter the challenges, our experience – and subsequent results – demonstrate that we have the skills necessary to close the deal.”