Borrowers should create a folder to store loan document records, along with a record of phone and email correspondence. Always keep track of phone conversations by writing down a summary of the call, date, time, and name of the bank representative spoken with. When important documents are mailed, invest in the extra protection of tracking receipts. Certified letters should be sent with a return receipt request in case it is necessary to provide evidence the documents were received.
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.
Loan agreements, like any contract, reflect an "offer," the "acceptance of the offer," "consideration," and can only involve situations that are "legal" (a term loan agreement involving heroin drug sales is not "legal"). Loan agreements are documented via their commitment letters, agreements that reflect the understandings reached between the involved parties, a promissory note, and a collateral agreement (such as a mortgage or a personal guarantee). Loan agreements offered by regulated banks are different from those that are offered by finance companies in that banks receive a "banking charter" granted as a privilege and involving the "public trust."
This helps individuals from squandering much of the loan or spending more of it then they need to. If a business is seeking a construction loan agreement, most banks require personal guarantees for the loan to move forward. The maximum term on a construction loan agreement is only 12 months, which puts pressure on the borrower to repay the loan as quickly as possible.
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