Law

PREDATORY LENDING THAT CAN KILL HOTEL BUSINESS

 

The characters you refer to as predatory and unsavoury are useful. They are the one who make a novel into thriller. They‘re active, and most of the common virtues, the sign of the good person, are not.

…Thomas Perry

          The outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic has threatened the economy of every business across the globe. One such business that has been vigorously affected by the prevailing pandemic is the hospitality business. The functioning of hotels has been slowed down due to the precautionary measures taken by hotels in response to COVID-19 in order to ensure the safety of every individual. But, who is actually struggling, owners of hotels or the lenders? Obviously, it is the owners who have been actually suffering due to the lower revenues in this tough time which makes them unable to repay the lenders. Therefore, the legitimate lenders, who have provided loans to the hotel owners, must come forward to support struggling businesses by giving them sufficient time to repay their loans so that such owners are at least able to survive and tackle this grave crisis. 

         On the flip side, there are predatory lenders gripped with greed and arrogance. One focus of the predatory loans is commercial mortgage back securities loans, commonly referred to as CMBS loans, involving lenders that are continually pushing the hotel owners to the economic brink by collecting exorbitant fees which are not imposed for facilitating real services but rather create wrongful gains thereby causing wrongful losses to such hotel owners. Such lenders are frequently unwilling to work with hotel owners in times of financial distress, imposing substantial fees for actions that are not monetary defaults by the borrower such as when the hotel’s balance sheet or cash-flow drops but debt service payments are not missed.  That may be considered as an unethical practice of predatory lending on the part of such lenders. Today, we have found one more example of such unscrupulous practices adopted by the lender Trez Foreman Capital Funding (hereinafter referred to as ‘Trez’), a corporation based in Florida whose Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Morley Greene. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit hotels hard, Trez entered into an agreement called ‘Forbearance Agreement’ with one of its borrowers — HIE Developers – requiring the hotel to pay ALL of its available net cash-flow to Trez on a very quick basis. It is to be noted  that HIE is liable to pay $1,050,000 to another creditor MB Atlantic due to a contractual agreement between MB Atlantic and HIE Developers, as outlined in a lawsuit filed by MB Atlantic that lays out how Trez took money that otherwise would have paid MB Atlantic.  Thus, Trez is hurting not only hotels but also the other creditors of those hotels through its abusive CMBS practices.  Trez claims through its website that “Our team prides itself on deep real estate industry expertise and on-the-ground perspective”. If it truly had “on the ground perspective” it would not harm those whose investments facilitate the hotel development.  

There are so many questions that arise as to why is Trez pursuing such predatory lending? Is it greed or arrogance? What will they get by destroying assets and jobs? The lawsuit filed by MB Atlantic is a wake-up call to all owners of the hospitality industry to spread the word about the predatory lending of Trez. If you share our concerns, then alert your local business reporters, elected officials, and if required then complain directly to Trez by E-mail at morley@trezcapital.com. It is high time for the hospitality industry to come together and Congress to pass legislation that protects vulnerable hospitality industry veterans and honest hotel owners.

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