Lessons Learned

It’s no secret that Michigan banks have strictly reduced lending on commercial real estate and are focusing on workout activities. Lessons learned by bank commercial lenders are valuable for those credit unions that are just starting commercial lending using real estate as collateral. The environmental aspects of commercial lending are especially relevant. During the heyday.. read more →

01 Jan 2010
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The Ever-Present Asbestos Hazard

Few hazards exist within interior of office and retail structures. However, one exists that is becoming a growing problem in older buildings, particularly larger commercial properties as their fixtures deteriorate. This hazard is asbestos exposure. Many people believe asbestos to be a problem of the past. And while they may be correct that most (but.. read more →

19 Nov 2008
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Structuring a Lending Environmental Risk Management Policy

Regulators require that a lending institution have an environmental risk management policy and that they then follow it. Regulators do not prescribe the nature of the policy. Each institution must then consider the policy carefully in that it affects both the quality of the bank’s assets as well as its marketing plan. The policy is.. read more →

17 Sep 2008
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The Case Against the Baseline Environmental Assessment

Following the creation of the Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) for the State of Michigan in 1995, purchasers of commercial property have been quick to use the BEA to protect themselves against liability for cleanup of pre-existing contamination. The darker side of the BEA has only been revealed with time. In particular, a BEA locks in.. read more →

29 May 2007
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Risk Perceptions Lenders and Borrowers

A just released national study compared risk perceptions of lenders versus borrowers and found: 60% of investors would not purchase a contaminated property before a remediation plan is approved by state authorities, but 90% of investors would purchase, with appropriate price adjustments, after the cleanup begins. Risk perception on the market declines significantly after a.. read more →

29 May 2007
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Dry Cleaners Put Property Owners at Risk

Real world experience of Yeoman Group has shown that 9 out of 10 dry cleaners that have operated for three years or more have contaminated soil and in some instances, groundwater. The dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene (commonly known as perc) does not generally dissipate or biodegrade as do oils and gasoline. For this reason, remediation.. read more →

20 Mar 2007
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Making Gas Station Loans in Michigan

Even in the current economy, gas station properties continue to turn over. Lenders have an option to make a loan on a gas station property, but what of the inherent environmental concerns? Some lenders choose to simply not enter this arena. Others do so but with caution. A gas station loan applicant often approaches the.. read more →

26 Jan 2007
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