Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Find quit-claim deeds to find hard-money lenders

June 28, 2011

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Image by Flickr user Patrick Hoesly.

We’ve all had interviews where we wished the source would stop blowing smoke and answer the questions.

Seattle Times reporter Christine Willmsen got those frank responses from Emiel Kandi, a lender of last resort. I mean, have you ever had a source refer to himself as a wolf?

He also told Christine that “his requirement for a borrower is merely ‘a pulse and a legal ability to sign'” and admitted “he charges borrowers as much as he can get away with – 45 percent interest in one case.”

Kandi is a hard-money lender. Christine’s story notes how the industry is expanding from businesses with cash-flow problems to desperate homeowners, who have few protections when borrowing from hard-money lenders. She explains how the industry works:

“It provides short-term commercial loans to people with businesses or real-estate investments who can’t get conventional bank loans or have poor credit. Lenders charge high interest rates, typically 10 to 14 percent, and require real estate as collateral.”

Today’s Tip: Check county court records for quit-claim deeds to find hard-money lenders in your area.

Christine Willmsen, reporter, The Seattle Times
Christine Willmsen

“If you see a quit-claim deed, be highly suspicious,” Christine says. “It means that if you don’t pay in the way I want to be paid, I take immediate possession of the entire property.” [Here’s more on the difference between warranty and quit-claim deeds from Bankrate.com.]

She says she heard about Kandi through sources who said he’d taken advantage of homeowners. She also found lawsuits filed by borrowers who’d lost their houses.

The story was a winner in the National Association of Real Estate Editors awards.

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