By Joshua Burd
Kennedy Funding has closed a $1.4 million loan to the buyer of a vast stretch of waterfront land in southern Jamaica, the Englewood Cliffs-based lender announced this week.
The firm said the borrower, P&L Holding Ltd., will use the proceeds to acquire more than 2,486 acres of raw land in Milk River, a community in the country’s Clarendon parish. The deal marks Kennedy Funding’s latest overseas transaction.
“Over years that we have spent working closely with experts and authorities in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Canada and many other countries, we have honed the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the real estate and money lending laws in many countries outside the U.S.,” said Kevin Wolfer, CEO of the direct private lender. “Without that knowledge and experience, lenders don’t have a chance at successfully closing loans. We are proud to say that we have put our expertise to work once again, to get P&L Holding the funding they need to complete this acquisition.”
According to Wolfer, international loans face unique challenges and scrutiny not experienced by borrowers working domestically. Differences in rules and regulations, physical distance between borrower and property, varying economic conditions and differing political climates all play a role in whether a lender can successfully close a loan for a borrower.
He added that lending on raw land is an additional obstacle to securing funding abroad, for the same reasons that land loans can be difficult to secure in the U.S.
“Most borrowers anywhere in the world regard raw land as a risky proposition because there are so many unknowns, and in the event of non-payment and if the property itself is collateral, is it much harder for a lender to sell the property,” Wolfer said.
The deal follows Kennedy Funding’s other overseas transactions this year, including a $2.633 million loan for a residential development in Brazil, $3 million for a residential resort in Belize and a $3 million loan for a residential community in the Bahamas.