Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Co., shares helpful steps when financing aircraft. see more
NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, shares helpful steps when financing your aircraft.
AOPA Aviation Finance and our experienced and trusted specialists can assist you in making your purchase by offering a wide array of financing options that are tailored to your specific needs.
Here are eight steps to help you start flying:
Gather Supporting Documents
Gather your tax returns, financial statements, and personal net worth information for submission with your application to speed up the process. The fastest approvals are applications where W-2's are submitted with no business ownership, usually within 1-2 days. Additional approval time may be required for applicants with business entities.
Complete an Application
Fill out the application as completely as possible to avoid a delay in processing and remember to provide an original signature on the application before submitting it through the online portal.
Get Approved or Pre-Approved Quickly
Once your application package is complete, your account executive and analyst will identify and select the best lender based on your aircraft selection, usage, loan structure, and financial history.
A pre-approval ensures that:
- You don’t lose the aircraft of your dreams due to lack of financing.
- Your loan closes quickly.
- You have 90 days to decide on your aircraft with the rate locked for 30 days.
Negotiate a Balanced Purchase and Sales Agreement
Don’t just sign anything given to you by the seller, have someone familiar with the process review to ensure it’s balanced. The purchase and sales agreement is a binding legal document that sets the sales price and all conditions to close, including time to complete pre-buy, time to complete transaction, how and where escrow and deposit are held, and who pays to move the aircraft, etc.
Schedule a Pre-Purchase Inspection
We highly recommend a pre-buy inspection by an independent 3rd party to avoid any surprises and conflict of interest once you take ownership of the aircraft.
Typically, the prospective buyer pays to re-position the aircraft for the pre-buy, and the seller pays for correcting any maintenance issues relating to airworthiness.
Set Up Escrow and Review Fees
AOPA members pay no broker fees! Members will, however, need to open escrow with a lender approved title and escrow company to ensure proper closing and will include a title search. Normally, fees are based on the aircraft’s sales price and are split by the buyer and seller.
Lender closing costs are based on the aircraft and purchase price and are used to cover hard costs such as background checks, credit bureaus, overnight fees, loan documentation, and legal review.
Hull and liability insurance coverage is required by lenders, AOPA members can get discounted rates through AOPA Insurance. Your account executive will gladly refer you to an agent for a quote.
Prepare for Closing
Once you have selected a closing date, be prepared to find a notary to notarize documents and leave time for overnight packages to be sent back and forth as some documents require a “wet signature”.
This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on August 5, 2019.
Airplane Acquisition Checklist Series: Part Two: Purchase and Delivery see more
NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, follows up with part two of the Airplane Acquisition Checklist covering Purchase and Delivery.
In Part 1 of this series on airplane acquisition, we discussed the most efficient way to approach buying an aircraft by using three checklists—Pre-purchase, Purchase and Aircraft Delivery. We also detailed the Pre-purchase Checklist.
You're now staring at your ideal airplane on your screen. Time to run the Purchase Checklist:
- Escrow, Letter of Intent and Purchase Agreement
- Notify Lender
- Pre-purchase Inspection
- International Registry (if applicable)
- Title Search and Background Checks
Escrow, Letter of Intent and Purchase Agreement. Escrow appears in all three checklists. Before it was a reminder to get your down payment together. Now it triggers you to move money into an escrow account that you set up through your escrow agent. If you're unfamiliar, AOPA has a strategic partnership with Aerospace Reports and as a member you’ll get discounted pricing and we can help get things set up. Likewise, if you’re working with another escrow company AOPA Finance can help coordinate that too. Plan on a deposit of 5%-10% of the aircraft's asking price.
The letter of intent puts a clock on the deal, enables you to withdraw from it without penalty under certain conditions you and the seller negotiate, and establishes the parameters for the final price.
This is also time to have your aviation attorney to draw up a detailed purchase agreement. If you don't have one, AOPA has a sample purchase agreement you can view here. You may want to consider signing up for Pilot Protection Services which includes consultation with an attorney regarding your purchase of an aircraft specific to your state and the legal requirements there. What it covers includes, but is not limited to, purchase amount, refund terms, deadlines for the process, representations and warranties, even the location of aircraft delivery.
Notify Lender. The sooner you notify the lender, the sooner the lender can convert the pre-approval into an approval. Your lender will conduct background checks, damage history queries, etc. If the aircraft is missing logbooks, that may affect the stipulations of the pre-approval with the lender. Each has a set of tolerances for missing logbooks. Ask before you commit to a particular lender. AOPA Finance may be able to help.
Pre-purchase Inspection. Even before you go to the airplane, have the logbooks sent to you. Nowadays, most sellers have their airframe and engine logbooks scanned into PDF format for ease of emailing. Get your mechanic started perusing those logs. You and your lender will want to know whether the logbooks are complete as soon as possible. An incomplete set can frequently impact the final price, and it may also affect the plane's insurability.
In most instances, it's best that a mechanic other than the regular mechanic for that airplane perform the pre-purchase inspection. That may mean flying your assigned A&P to the airplane's location, with a hotel stay.
International Registry. If your plane is subject to the Cape Town Treaty (see here for more info), you should begin the International Registry process simultaneously with contacting your escrow agent. It's complex and time-consuming and may affect the timing of your closing date. Subject to some exceptions, an aircraft must be registered with an appropriate aviation authority before it can be legally operated in any country. Suffice it to say, better to have your team of experts handle this checklist item.
Insurance. As far as your lender is concerned, typically, they’ll require you to maintain full ground and flight insurance, as well as "Breach of Warranty Coverage" for the amount of the loan with a carrier acceptable to the lender.
The lender must be named as "loss payee" and be protected by a "lien holder's endorsement." Once you have been placed with the appropriate lender, we will send you the specific insurance requirements for that lender.
Title Search and Background Checks. Usually, this will be a straightforward process. If a plane has been in an incident, involved in an estate dispute or part of a bankruptcy, though, then things could get complicated. Your prospective insurer, your lender and your escrow agent may all play a part in these searches and checks. We've heard too many stories of airplane deals falling through at the last minute because of lack of due diligence by the buyer, so be thorough.
All that complete, what's left is to take delivery. There's one last checklist to run—the Aircraft Delivery Checklist:
- Punch List
- Technical Acceptance
- Closing and Delivery
Punch List. Here's where the due diligence of your title, escrow or insurance representatives pays off. They'll work with you to clear up any liens or estate claims. Similarly, the list of deficiencies and discrepancies your mechanic delivered will have been either rectified or negotiated into a lower price.
Technical Acceptance. Once the Punch List is complete, the buyer then executes and delivers a Technical Acceptance Certificate to the seller. This says the buyer accepts the condition of the aircraft, subject to "no material damage and/or total loss affecting the aircraft upon or prior to arrival of the aircraft at the delivery location." The deposit usually becomes non-refundable at this stage.
Escrow. The remaining purchase price is deposited into the escrow account, and the seller is paid.
Closing and Delivery. The title is transferred and the aircraft is registered to the new owner, once the new owner insures it. Finally, the aircraft is turned over or delivered to you. Congratulations.
Considering aircraft ownership? AOPA Aviation Finance will make your purchase experience as smooth as possible. For information about aircraft financing, please visit the website (www.aopafinance.com) or call 1-800-62-PLANE (75263).
This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on March 5, 2019.
Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Finance, shares prebuy tips when financing a turboprop. see more
NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, shares prebuy tips when financing a turboprop.
We highly recommend getting a pre-buy inspection. It could save you thousands of dollars over time. Here we’ve summarized some important points to consider as you move through the purchasing process.
- ALWAYS have a prebuy done. No bank should let you finance a plane without it.
- The shop doing the prebuy should specialize in the type of airplane you are buying. We also recommend selecting a shop that has no ties to the airplane.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get the prebuy done. Typically, they take 1-2 days, however you might want to add a buffer so you don’t end up getting rushed as a closing date approaches.
- Typically, the buyer pays to reposition the airplane and the seller will pay for correcting any maintenance issues relating to airworthiness.
- Use the Purchase & Sales agreement to define the sales price plus conditions such as the amount of time to complete the prebuy, who pays for what, and who pays to move the airplane.
- Don’t forget to ask for a fresh annual during the prebuy. This is oftentimes required by banks unless one has been completed recently.
- If you end up with a reduced purchase amount after the prebuy, that doesn’t mean you can reduce your down payment by that amount. Most lenders require the lesser of loan to value OR loan to purchase amount.
Competitive rates and terms. Custom financing options. Helpful and responsive reps. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Finance when you are buying a turboprop or turbine airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (75263) or click here to request a quote.
This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on February 4, 2019.