Eastern Union Launches New 'Distressed Notes Initiative'

Real Estate In-Depth | May 2020

Abe Bergman, co-founder and managing partner of Eastern Union.

BROOKLYN—To help commercial lenders minimize the future damage that the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably inflict upon their balance sheets, Eastern Union has launched a Distressed Notes Initiative that will identify investors interested in purchasing lenders’ troubled mortgages.

The company will leverage its extensive database of investors to help community banks and private debt funds find buyers for their distressed debt.

Abe Bergman, co-founder and managing partner of Eastern Union, will lead the company’s new Distressed Notes Initiative.

“We understand what lenders need and we will serve their best interests,” said Bergman. “At the same time, we have strong and well-established business relationships with vast numbers of investors. Many will be willing to take troubled loans off of lenders’ hands.”

Bergman said that a number of lenders had recently reached out to Eastern Union indicating that they expected to face liquidity issues in the coming weeks or months, especially as regulatory circumstances evolve. These lenders said they expected to need brokerage assistance in selling off troubled loans, and asked if Eastern Union could assist. These lender queries were part of the reason Eastern Union inaugurated its Distressed Notes Initiative, he said.

He also noted that Eastern Union had considerable experience in the disposition of distressed debt based upon its brokerage work during the 2008-2009 recession.

Day-to-day management of the new unit will be handled by Eastern Union vice presidents Mark Rosenzweig and Boruch Mandel, both senior real estate finance executives at the firm. They have extensive experience in placing both equity and debt, and have collectively closed transactions valued at a total of more than $300 million.