Friday, August 9, 2013

Mortgage Discharge Penalties - Cost of Early Payout (Attention: Sellers)

One of the more controversial aspects relating to commercial mortgages, are the discharge costs to pay off a mortgage prior to its maturity date. There is realistically no common method of determining an early payout cost, as most typical commercial mortgages are deemed “closed” – meaning they run until maturity, without allowing for an early payout provision.

If a lender is to agree to an early payout of an existing mortgage, some of the more common discharge penalties may include:

·        Three months interest cost (based on the current balance)
·        Interest rate differential (actual interest rate vs. the re-lending/current rate)
·        Greater of either of the above 2 methods
·        100% interest recovery for the balance of the term (ouch!)
·        Any variation of the above (AKA – negotiating a better discharge fee)

It is important to note, that the lending institution has an obligation to outline the penalty that they could charge within the actual mortgage document. But this assumes, that you review (read) this detail within the mortgage terms, and that you understand what the financial consequences may be at some point within the mortgage term. This is a clear planning matter at the time of closing a deal and advancing a mortgage – your plans should account for such contingencies, so that there are no major financial surprises later on.

Other suggestions may include – negotiating with the Buyer to return to your lender for financing, paying down the rate for a prospective buyer to remain with the lender, or perhaps financing other properties with the lender. Lender’s are often more negotiable, if they can gain new business as an offset to the loss of the mortgage being discharged.

As always, SELLERS seek out the advice of experienced commercial realtors within your market, ensuring you account for discharge penalties on all existing financing prior to marketing the property. There may be more negotiating to do, than just with the Buyer!   

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