Investing with Trine comes with the risk of capital loss due to non-performing loans. This can mean that repayments are delayed, the loan needs to be restructured or that the loan defaults. Trine manages the process of debt recovery and the default process on behalf of our investors. While our aim is to always find solutions that enable the borrower to fulfil their obligations of repaying the loan, there is always an element of risk.
If you invest through Trine you might encounter a loan where everything is not going according to plan and in this article we want to explain the efforts taken by Trine so you know what to expect and how our debt recovery process looks like.
As a part of our work Trine is keeping a close dialogue with the borrowers from the moment they submit a loan application to when a loan has been fully repaid. The monitoring consists of the following:
- Monitoring of the borrower’s back-end data, meaning that we look at performance in terms of sales, installations and customer payments received. This is conducted by our Finance and Risk team.
- Regular calls with the borrowers where we get the latest business updates. This allows our Investment Managers to assess their needs and challenges on a continuous basis.
- Monthly portfolio meeting where selected borrowers are analysed further. Based on data and insights from our monitoring we can respond quickly, as well as ensuring that the performance of the borrower stays on track.
- Quarterly reporting by the borrowers based on their contractual obligations. This provides additional information on the progress of the company and enables the Finance and Risk team to evaluate certain key financial metrics, their financial and operational health as well as their ability to repay. These are also required for future loan tranches to be issued to the borrower.
There could be developments unfolding that causes major problems for the borrower and leads to them having issues with fulfilling their obligation to repay on their loan. Our aim is to find a solution that benefits both our investors and borrowers. It is important to note that in the end a loan agreement means that the outstanding debt is expected to be repaid, and while Trine is committed to support the borrowers in succeeding, we will always take the measures needed to ensure that loans are being repaid or recovered.
Solar companies (the borrower) enter into an agreement with investors as soon as a loan is issued to them, when the loan is issued a repayment schedule is created according to the terms of the agreement. The borrower can repay early without any penalty, however late payments are subject to late fees.
Delayed less than 7 business days
Trine will always inform investors if we know there will be a delay to repayments. However the dates in an expected repayment schedule should be treated as preliminary and a few days delay in a repayment is not unusual. Often the repayments are coming from around the world and this can mean bank transfers take longer than expected. Investors can check their emails or their repayment schedule for the most up to date information, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delayed less than 90 days
After any delay to a repayment Trine will contact the solar company to find out more information. This will lead to:
- An update to investors via email and in the repayment schedule;
- New invoices sent out including late fees (interest rate + 2% p.a.);
- Continued communication and monitoring of the company to decide whether we need to escalate it to the next level.
- Contacting the borrower’s shareholders and other lenders to find appropriate solutions.
Delayed more than 90 days
At this point Trine will escalate the situation and the most likely outcomes are:
- Restructuring the loan;
- Hiring a debt collector;
- If applicable, calling on the investment protection and paying this out to investors.
Serious issue / default
By now we have exhausted all other possibilities and the loan/solar company has defaulted. Trine will trigger the following steps:
- File for bankruptcy;
- 3rd party assessment;
- Legal proceedings.
Here are some explanations for you to understand terms related to our debt recovery process.
If the borrower is consistently delaying payments or foresees problems repaying the loan, investors can choose to restructure the repayment terms. The idea behind this is to give the solar company the chance to repay instead of going straight to legal proceedings.
Trine facilitates the loan restructure and will come up with a proposal to investors. Investors will then be asked to vote to approve these changes, this is called a Special Resolution.
A Special Resolution is the legal phrase used when the loan terms are changed. Under our current loan agreements Trine is able to give our borrowers extensions up to 6 months without requiring a special resolution. All other terms can only be changed by Special Resolution and this can only be passed if a majority of investors vote to approve the changes. That means that more than 50% of investors need to agree to the change, or those holding more than 50% of the loan notes in the loan.
All investors in the loan will be contacted by email and asked to vote by written voting procedure. Written voting procedure simply means that investors can vote online and do not have to physically meet to vote.
For full details on your voting rights regarding a special resolution, take a look at our terms and conditions section 17.1 - 17.10.
A default occurs when the borrower fails to pay according to the terms of their loan. There can be different events that lead to a default such as payments delayed more than 90 days, failure to pay, or breaching clauses in the contract.
Actions such as restructuring the loan are aiming to give the borrower the best chance to repay the loan and avoid a default.
The default rate is the percentage of the total sum funded through Trine that is defaulted. A loan is classed as defaulted when the borrower is unable to repay the loan and investors have lost some or all of their investment. You can check our current default rate.