Industry News

Keeping real estate loans in the family

Company provides private loan services for home buyers

When Amy Semerjian bought her home in Northampton, Mass., this year, she borrowed money from a traditional source – her parents – using a nontraditional company, private loan facilitation firm CircleLending.com. As housing prices soar and affordability diminishes, wannabe home buyers are using new alternative approaches such as interest-only loans and adjustable-rate mortgages to help them achieve home ownership. CircleLending doesn't provide a new option so much as improve an existing one. The Internet-based company provides loan documentation, payment processing and document recording services for borrowing and lending between friends or family members. About half of its loans are for mortgages, the rest are for small business or other loans. Since the Cambridge, Mass.-based company went live in 2000, about 1,000 people have used its services. And its mortgage-loan-related usage is increasing, according to Asheesh Advani, the company's president and chief executive offi...

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