Non-Resource Loans for Self-Directed Accounts Offer Advantages According to Real Estate Expert

In a recent interview, Todd Tretsky of CRE Finance explains the importance of why many individuals may really need a commercial loan that is non-recourse.

When it comes to commerical loans, many individuals may really need a commercial loan that is non-recourse.

“Finding a non-recourse commercial real estate loan is far more legally sophisticated than merely finding a commercial loan to a borrower who wants to reserve the right to simply walk away from his obligation”, according to Todd Tretsky of CRE-Finance LLC  .  "Sometimes there are important legal reasons why a commercial loan simply must be a non-recourse loan.  We'll discuss some of these important legal reasons further below".

First of all, however, what is a non-recourse commercial loan?  A non-recourse commercial real estate loan is a loan that is NOT personally guaranteed by the borrower.  If the real estate investment goes bad, the borrower can usually simply walk away from the property.

According to Tretsky, there are around seven to ten common exceptions, known as carve-outs, to this basic rule.  If the borrower commits certain Bad Boy Acts - fraud, intentional waste (taking a sledgehammer to the walls), toxic contamination, placing a second mortgage on the property without permission, failure to maintain fire insurance on the property, failure to pay the real estate taxes, misappropriation of a condemnation award or any fire insurance proceeds, or certain criminal acts by the borrower - then many non-recourse commercial loans becomes a full-recourse loans.  The borrower becomes personally liable.

However, absent the commission of some Bad Boy Act by the borrower, a commercial lender cannot come back after the borrower for a deficiency suffered as a result of making a non-recourse commercial real estate loan.  A deficiency is a loan loss left over after the property is sold in foreclosure.

“Obviously commercial lenders are not crazy about the idea of making non-recourse commercial loans.  In fact, since the Great Recession the vast majority of all commercial banks making portfolio commercial loans today absolutely insist on a personal guarantee by the borrower” continued Todd Tretsky.

"A portfolio commercial loan is a commercial loan that the lender intends to keep in its own portfolio, as opposed to a commercial loan that the lender intends to later sell off in the secondary market.  CMBS lenders and correspondents are examples of commercial lenders who are not portfolio lenders."continues Todd Tretsky

Bottom line according to CRE-Finance is since the vast majority of all commercial loans made today are made by commercial banks and credit unions, non-recourse commercial lenders are fairly rare.  "If you happen to meet a commercial lender – CRE-Finance - who is willing to make a non-recourse commercial loan, be sure to make a note of it," he said.

When asked when is it legally necessary for a commercial loan to be non-recourse, Todd Tretsky highlighted:

1. Let's suppose a person owns a commercial property in your IRA.  They may not legally personally guarantee the commercial loan from the bank without running afoul of the IRS.  Personally guaranteeing your IRA's commercial loan, in the opinion of the IRS, lowers the interest rate to your IRA and is a form of disallowed contribution. (Code Section 4975(c)(1)(B))

2. Commercial loans to Tenant-in-Common (TIC) investments must be non-recourse; otherwise the investments lose their tax-deferred qualification.

3. Certain irrevocable trusts have a trustee who is separate from the beneficiary, such as a family attorney serving as the trustee for the minor child of a deceased client.  If a balloon payment comes due on a commercial property owned by the irrevocable trust, the trustee certainly isn't going to be willing to guarantee some $800,000 new commercial loan.

For more information regarding non-recourse loans please call CRE-Finance LLC for All your Real Estate needs at 855-515-5585 and ask for Rich Tretsky or Todd Tretsky or visit the website at