Investing in Mortgage Notes with a Self-Directed IRA

A mortgage note, or a promissory note, is a vehicle that is used to extend credit from one or more individuals or entities to another individual or entity.  In other words, it is a way to make/receive a loan.

There are two types of notes:

  • Secured notes are backed by collateral, providing the lender with additional assurance that the loan will be returned, and guaranteeing them some type of property in the case of a default.
  • Unsecured notes are not backed by collateral. You might consider an unsecured note for a trusted opportunity, but it is a higher risk than a secured note.

Promissory notes can be either in first or subordinate positions, and can be purchased from brokers or private parties. Usually, the documentation is recorded at a county recorder’s office, and title to the collateral property is insured as instructed. You can arrange the terms of the note, and the payments will go back into your retirement account.

You can hold mortgage notes or trust deeds in your self-directed IRA, which are ways to invest in real estate without worrying about maintenance costs and vacancies. In these instances, the trust deed investor is lending money to the borrower using real estate property as collateral. If the borrower is unable to keep up with the loan, the IRA can foreclose on the property then the property title will then be transferred to the IRA’s name.

Your IRA can also purchase or sell portions of mortgages. Your retirement account holds an undivided interest in a portion of the note, and receives the proportionate amount of income due under its terms.

Disclaimer: The Entrust Group does not offer investment, tax, financial or legal advice to clients. Individuals who believe they need advice should consult with the appropriate professional(s) licensed in that area.