Always obtain loan agreements in writing and read the fine print. One of the biggest mistakes borrowers make is entering into verbal agreements. If things go wrong there is no evidence to prove the case. Debtors should know the number of deferred payments, payment schedule, fees or penalties, and how the lender reports suspended payments to credit bureaus.
"Investment banks" create loan agreements that cater to the needs of the investors whose funds they attempt to attract; "investors" are always sophisticated and accredited organizations not subject to bank regulatory supervision and the need to cater to the public trust. Investment banking activities are supervised by the SEC and their main focus is on whether the correct or proper disclosures are made to the parties who provide the funds.
For commercial banks and large finance companies, "loan agreements" are usually not categorized although "loan portfolios" are often broadly characterized into "personal" and "commercial" loans while the "commercial" category is then subdivided into "industrial" and "commercial real estate" loans. "Industrial" loans are those that depend on the cashflow and creditworthiness of the company and the widgets or service that it sells. "Commercial real estate" loans are those that repay loans but that depend on the rental revenues paid by tenants who lease space, usually for extended times. More granular categorizations of loan portfolios exist but these are always variations around the larger themes.
Lenders may require borrowers to submit a financial letter of hardship which explains the circumstances causing them to require a loan deferment. Hardship letters are usually required with federal student loans and real estate transactions such as loan modifications.
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