This is part two of Las Vegas Voodoo real estate market 2011
What are Zombie loans in Las Vegas real estate? Zombie loans are non-performing real estate loans that the borrower has stopped payment on a long time ago (in some cases for two years) but banks refuse to foreclose on the loan. These are dead mortgages that the owner (Borrower) wants to get rid of and the banks don’t want to foreclose on.
Why are banks refusing to foreclose of non-performing loans?
1: All of the sudden banks have found God and started to love their customers? Wrong
2: Banks can’t afford to foreclose on these loans? Probably right
I have heard this from two people that I highly respect and would appreciate input from those who know more than I do about this.
When the US government went over the banks books they learned that if all their assets were depreciated to present value, most banks would go out of business. So they let the bank keep the original value of their assets until it changes hands. For example if they foreclose on the property.
I am NOT an economist, however what they said matches reality, and this is the reason that it takes about two years to foreclose on residential properties in Las Vegas. Additionally, there are many commercial properties in Las Vegas where the owner (borrower) quit paying their mortgage 2 years ago while the building is sitting empty doing nothing. When I try to contact the bank, asset managers will not talk to me to sell the note (mortgage, loan) while they refuse to foreclose on the non-performing loan themselves.
Additionally, if they have to foreclose on the property they put the full loan amount as the minimum bid which assures that no other investor would bid on the property at the Las Vegas Trustee Sale auction.
This way they do not have to depreciate the loan on their books and this is exactly what happens at the trustee sale auction a majority of times. A good example of banks refusal to foreclose would be a 178,000 square foot industrial on Wynn Road which has been sitting empty for a couple of years and when I had a viable owner user with proof of funds and contacted the trustee in the matter, the bank refused to talk to me. Why, because they had to depreciate their books by $6,000,000 if I was successful in doing the transaction.
Now those who are making a living as a Las Vegas real estate analyst by predicting a tsunami of foreclosures obviously are ignorant of the above and it is their job to know.
The astronomical bank profits that news channels report will eventually give the banks the ability to get rid of more bad assets and it is happening in real time in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas commercial real estate note auction
The best opportunity to invest in Las Vegas commercial real estate is coming up next month in the form of a non-performing note auction for tens of millions of dollars in commercial real estate notes. These are non-performing loans for multimillion dollar office, retail and industrial properties. In this auction investors can purchase non-performing loans which they can foreclose on later and get the property at deep discounts from other buying opportunities in greater Las Vegas including bank owned commercial properties. I will explain this process in a future blog.
Anyway, now you know why I titled the last blog post Las Vegas Voodoo real estate market, because we got Zombie loans all over the Las Vegas area and no one can see them.
If you want more info about the Las Vegas commercial real estate note auction, call me at 702-478-7800, Masoud.