Under certain select scenarios, and at the behest of financial institutions, servicers, or stakeholders, Atlas Capital Advisors has agreed to assume the duties of Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) of a real estate development or investment company. In many cases, the borrower has been referred to us by the institution to assist the borrower in the formulation of a cohesive and well thought out workout proposal.
Borrowers understand that our strong lender relationships can assist them in achieving a far quicker resolution of their troubled debt than can be achieved on their own. We eliminate much of the emotion that causes a breakdown in negotiations. Due to our involvement, litigation is almost always avoided except in instances where borrower cannot really propose a viable workout plan, or where either side has completely unrealistic expectations. Even then, our goal is to ensure a quick and cost effective transfer of the asset to the lender with the goal of allowing the borrower to eliminate much of the cost and delay of protracted litigation.
Lenders understand that our goal is a successful resolution with a motivated borrower. We work with the lender to mitigate loan and property issues and with borrowers to understand the motivations of the lender. Atlas Capital Advisors uses a non-confrontational and open approach, ensuring that both sides achieve a positive outcome without the need of litigation.
Atlas Capital Advisors has longstanding relationships with most Master and Special Servicers, many financial institutions, private equity firms, and high net worth investors. We approach lenders and servicers in a non-threatening manner and ensure that both sides work together to obtain an outcome that benefits both parties. Our goal is to avoid costly and time consuming litigation that detracts both sides from achieving a favorable outcome. In many cases we are well known to Lender’s counsel and have excellent relationships with them.
Over four years after the collapse of the financial markets, many tenants in commercial properties are still struggling to pay rents at levels agreed to during periods of rapid job creation and unprecedented economic growth. Although in many parts of the country office and industrial leasing activity is up, it is still at levels short of what is necessary to service much of the debt placed on properties between 2005-2007.
Although retail sales appear to be up, many retail tenants have continued the trend of closing locations, shrinking store size and reinventing themselves to counteract what has become known as “showroom” retailers. In many cases, consumers use brick and mortar stores to assess their purchases, ask questions to educate themselves, then turn around and order the products at discounted prices through internet sources. This trend will likely continue thus causing additional strain on retail centers, with the corresponding pressure on jobs, back office space, local businesses and ultimately housing. With tenants either requesting lease restructures or in some cases closing doors, there is tremendous downward pressure on property income. In many cases, loan underwriting did not factor in such steep drops in vacancy and the corresponding drop in market rent. This is causing many properties to be cash flow negative. In many cases, the adaptive re-use is at lower overall economic terms than was underwritten.
At Atlas Capital Advisors, we are finding that many banks are anxious to work with motivated borrowers who are solution oriented. We are adept at ensuring that banks and borrowers do not let personal differences keep the parties from an outcome that is economically and legally advantageous to both sides. In many cases, lenders and their attorneys have recommended us to borrowers who they felt were either not equipped to handle their negotiations, or to ensure that with our help both sides would attain a relatively quick and favorable outcome.
Atlas Capital Advisors will work with you to provide a comprehensive evaluation of your needs and situation, and then walk through all your options. Our goal is to help you renegotiate the terms of your mortgage to either prevent default, or reinstate your loan. In many cases we can negotiate a discounted pay-off, a modification or forbearance, and if there is little economic incentive to keep the property, assist in ensuring the lender takes control with minimum financial impact.
In many cases, the lender will have their own estimate of value and they will need to be convinced that working with the borrower is economically advantageous. This gets easier if the borrower has a proven track record of being open and honest with the lender, and is seen by the lender as an entity that adds value to the process and works with a respected firm. We work with lenders in a non-threatening manner that ensures we are seen as adding value to the negotiations.
The larger the loan, the more complicated the negotiations become. There may be multiple lenders who participated in the loan. Some may have more say in the outcome than others. In many cases the loans were sold to other institutions thereby eliminating the individuals who had a personal connection to the loan. In the case of loans sold to, or originated into a CMBS, many times the borrower will need to work through Master Servicers and Special Servicers who have limited patience with borrowers who do not understand the realities of the pooling and servicing agreement and who are either unrealistic or uncooperative. Atlas Capital Advisor’s involvement ensures a much more open and fruitful negotiation.