In order to invest in trust deeds, it is important to understand how they work. The agreements involve three different roles. An investor lends money which is backed by collateral, usually in the form of property including land and, or buildings. The investor may buy an existing agreement or create a new one.
A borrower needs the cash. He or she may require the money to continue work on a project while awaiting a conventional loan from a financial institution. The borrower may not qualify for a traditional bank loan or may need money faster than the banks approval process allows. In other cases, these agreements may be the standard form of real estate lending in their jurisdiction.
These agreements are the most common method of financing real estate transactions in many states. In others, a mortgage is more common.
A trustee is the third person involved in the transaction who acts as a middle man. The trustee holds the title to the property on the lenders behalf until the loan is paid in full. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the property will belong to the lender. The trustee may also act as a negotiator if loan payments go into arrears.
The agreement essentially functions as a lien on the property. It is a legal document which must be registered with the courts and must include a legal description of the property being used as security, the amount of the loan, the principles involved, the maturity date of the loan and a description of penalties for late payments or failure to make payments.
Interest rates on the loans are set at market value, which is usually higher than the standard bank rate and generate more income. The investor receives regular interest payments and the loan principle is repaid when the loan matures.
The agreements are flexible so they can be traded or sold. Trust deeds are also a good form of monthly income. There may be more than one trust deed on a property. The first takes precedence over any others in settling claims.
Trust deeds are one of the safest forms of investment, but like all investments they are not totally risk free. Investors should carefully inspect the property being used as collateral to ensure the value is equal to or greater than the amount of the money being borrowed.
It is also important to know the laws and regulations governing foreclosures in the state in which the deed trust was drawn. There is a large discrepancy in the time allowed between the default of the loan and the ability to begin foreclosure proceeds. The time may range from two weeks up to six months. When a borrower declares bankruptcy the process may be delayed even further.
Taking the time to invest in trust deeds may be a profitable long term investment. It simply requires some planning and research.