By Joshua Burd
An Englewood Cliffs-based lender has added to its international portfolio with the closing of a $2.75 million loan for a land acquisition in Colombia
The direct private lender, Kennedy Funding, announced that it was providing the loan to Bienes y Servicios International SAS for the purchase of 16.864 acres in Sincelejo, Colombia. The vacant land is slotted for residential development.
“We are one of the only direct private lenders in the United States to offer loans abroad, especially loans on raw land,” said Kevin Wolfer, CEO of Kennedy Funding. “We understand the local laws and know how to navigate through any legal challenges in order to get the loan closed. That is what differentiates Kennedy Funding from other lenders.”
Sincelejo is the capital city of the Sucre state in Colombia and is a transport hub among North Caribbean Coast harbors and the Andean region logistic and industrial centers, Kennedy said in a news release. The city’s economy is mostly made up of farming, cattle and other commerce.
The development site is just over two miles from the city center, the news release said. The borrowers plan to use the property to develop much-needed middle-income housing, which will benefit from its location along a major thoroughfare connecting it to the nearby city of Tolu.
“A development like the one we just closed in Sincelejo will provide housing for hard-working people who conduct business in this major city, who need access to major thoroughfares and other areas of commerce,” Wolfer said.
It is the latest transaction abroad for Kennedy Funding, which has also closed loans for residential properties, commercial properties and raw land in Jamaica, the West Indies, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Belize and several other countries. Wolfer said the challenges of dealing overseas are worthwhile and that there are many lucrative opportunities abroad, many of which are passed over simply because of their address.
“Many brokers and borrowers abroad want to work with an American-based lender, but most lenders are unwilling or unable to work outside the United States,” Wolfer said. “Even worse, some lenders have experienced their money simply disappearing. Many aren’t willing to take the risk, preferring to fund low-risk development located right here at home.”
“What matters to us are the merits of the deal, and if they are strong, we can get behind the loan.”