We are pleased to bring you this Note Buyer interview with Mark Donoghue of Americus Financial Group, a national note buying company located in Spokane, WA.
What is the current focus of Americus Financial Group?
To maintain our reputation as the recognized leader in the purchasing of real estate notes nationwide. In addition, with our knowledge and experience we strive to assure that each transaction is fast, satisfying, and stress-free.
How did you get your start in the note business?
Buying and selling real estate in the mid 80’s. I was introduced to seller-financed real estate early in my real estate career and in 1988 was hired to purchase real estate receivables, structured settlements and lotteries for a multi-billion dollar financial services corporation until my departure in 2003 to start Americus Financial Group.
What unique benefits does your note buying company provide?
We do ALL our own underwriting, pay for ALL appraisals and we are the only investor to my knowledge that does not require the servicing to be released.
What type of notes or transactions will your company consider funding?
Each transaction (as long as it is secured by real estate) is reviewed based on the following criteria in order:
- Collateral Type (SFR, Commercial, Land)
What type of note deals would just waste your time?
Simultaneous closings and “flips”
How do you handle commissions to note brokers or consultants?
They are paid at funding (when we close the transaction). Most fees are wired to our brokers.
What advice would you give to new professionals just starting out in the note industry?
This is a vocation/profession so treat as such – educate yourself and understand that you will ultimately be rewarded with the amount of time and effort you truly put into it.
What is the most common business mistake you see people make?
Requiring and gathering too much information from the note holder before they have the transaction even under contract.
Given the current economy, have you made any changes in the way you buy mortgage notes?
Yes we have –
- As noted above, we no longer purchase simultaneous closings or flips
- We require a minimum of 20% cash equity on most note purchases.
Where can someone contact you to obtain more information?
Editor’s Note: You can also view the Americus Financial Group listing in the current edition of the Note Buyers Directory for more details! This updated directory is available for download in the Member’s area of the Finding Cash Flow Notes Training or can be found in the bookstore.