The worldwide trend of traditional banks tightening their lending criteria has given rise to a number of innovative financial solutions – one of which is asset-based lending. LAMNA Financial has firmly positioned itself in this sphere, coming to the aid of numerous cash-strapped individuals who received short-term loans by offering their assets as collateral.
Two years in existence, LAMNA has established itself nationally as an alternative lender in the South African asset-rich market, providing temporary finance solutions in the absence of banks, which have not relaxed their stringent credit criteria since the onset of the global recession.
“We are very pleased about the amount of repeat business we get,” says LAMNA co-founder and CEO, Charles Meyerowitz. “It shows that our clients find the process transparent, trustworthy and fair and they return.”
To meet the increasing demand for asset-based finance, LAMNA has extended its range of services to include bridge loans to homeowners looking for an advance on their property sale and even estate agents who rely on commission. Two new offices in Durban and Bloemfontein have recently been opened complimenting the existing offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
LAMNA offers a solution for someone who needs access to cash immediately. Besides entrepreneurs, who often have irregular income due to a delay in payment from existing customers, property sellers may also find themselves in need of cash during the waiting period of property transfers and/or registrations.
“We advance money to property owners who have sold their properties and are waiting for the transfer to take place before they receive the proceeds,” says Meyerowitz. “In such a case, we will advance the seller money to bridge the time gap which can be quite erratic and difficult to plan around.” LAMNA also provides bridge loans to recipients of Road Accident Fund payouts who often have to wait months for the money to be paid.
South Africans who own valuable assets, such as luxury watches, jewellery, artwork, cars, yachts and fine wine collections have approached LAMNA in the past two years to collateralise their possessions in exchange for a short-term loan. The only conditions are that the borrower is the rightful owner of the asset with no outstanding debt on the item.
LAMNA offers a discreet and swift service and the initial value assessment is done online, which means clients can enquire about the company’s services in the comfort of their own homes.
“Once the application is approved, we get an industry expert to value the asset,” says Meyerowitz. Added advantages are that borrowers do not have to undergo credit checks or provide any income or employment verification. “Potential borrowers will quickly know if their application for an asset-based loan has been successful or not, eliminating unnecessary waiting periods,” says Meyerowitz. “The process is quick.”
The asset offered as collateral is stored securely at a location with 24-hour security and surveillance cameras. Interest on the loan is charged monthly within the stipulations of the National Credit Act. Once the loan is repaid in full the asset is safely returned.