We arrange loans ranging in size from $1M to $500M+, on commercial properties (office, retail, multi-family, and self storage) that generate positive cash flow. For each deal, we determine the appropriate capital source: life companies, CMBS, agencies, FHA, debt funds and local banks. Our success comes from the wide range of lenders we utilize.
The investment objective of Life Insurance Companies is to balance an investment portfolio amongst stocks, bonds and real estate. With regards to real estate, Insurance companies can invest equity in real estate or in real estate mortgages. Typically an Insurance Company will want approximately 15% to 20% of their portfolio invested in real estate and real estate mortgage investments. By lending money on commercial real estate the insurance company is looking for current yield on its investments. BFG has developed long-term, exclusive correspondent relationships with multiple Life Insurance Companies. It is important to have the right mix of Life Insurance Companies in that each has its own lending preferences; BFG has the right mix.
The investment objective of CMBS lenders is to fund a loan (usually off a line of credit) with the specific intent of selling the loan after it has closed. CMBS lenders are both very rate and loan dollar competitive and are willing to lend on a non-recourse basis to more types of income-producing commercial properties than traditional lending sources.
The CMBS historical drawback is that loan servicing, post-closing, is done by non-caring third party partners. BFG solved this issue by creating a platform to by Primary Service all our originated CMBS loans, Bernard Financial Servicing Group (“BFSG”). BFSG handles approval of disbursements, offer above market rates on reserve funds, transfer funds, handle assumptions and manage other servicing duties, all in-house at BFSG.
Bernard Financial Group will in many circumstances work directly with banks to fund loans. In instances where a project isn’t necessarily ready for a permanent fixed-rate loan, we will work with banks to get construction or redevelopment loans funded. A bank’s process differs from a life insurance company or CMBS lender in that they focus their underwriting more on the credit of the borrower than the quality of the asset. Due to our long history and high volume, our relationships many times are at the highest level.
Some of the largest agency loans in Michigan have been originated by Bernard Financial Group. After billions of dollars in loans, Dennis Bernard and his team are well-known among the nation’s largest agency lenders. For Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and HUD loans, Bernard Financial Group has a deep roster of lenders to work with and our unusual approach. Borowers are able to have all of BFG services with no added fee.
The Bernard Financial Team brings a deep network of bridge lenders and debt funds to bear for clients. We have worked with the largest debt funds in the world to originate loans in metro Detroit. We know the difference between the lenders that are for real and those who won’t produce.