Features

Joshua Marcus – LendingOne  

Revolutionizing loan processes for national lender 

Sure, an in-house attorney for a lending company needs to know the ins and outs of finance law. But that’s not what excites Joshua Marcus the most about going to work every day as the general counsel for LendingOne 

“It’s the problem solving and balancing the borrower’s desires with protecting the company’s interests,” Marcus tells Vanguard during an interview in late February. 

Joshua Marcus | General Counsel | LendingOne  

Joshua Marcus | General Counsel | LendingOne

Boca Raton, Florida-based LendingOne is a direct private lender for real estate investors offering various mortgage financing options, including long-term SFR and portfolio rental loans as well as short-term bridge fix and flip and new construction loans. The company’s expertise lies in originating business-purpose mortgage loans for investors nationwide, whether for holding and renting as income-producing properties or fixing and flipping them.  

As general counsel, Marcus is an integral part of the senior executive team. He leans on his business and legal background to provide sound advice at the highest levels of LendingOne’s operations.  

Marcus says the company’s proprietary technology, strong leadership, flexibility, and adaptability differentiate it from the private mortgage lending industry. LendingOne caters to many investors, from mom-and-pop property owners to institutional groups managing thousands of units nationwide.  

“Having such a wide range of borrowers certainly keeps the work interesting,” Marcus says.  

Automation and innovation 

Marcus says that the technology he and his team deploy keeps the work from stacking up and allows the company to get deals done quicker and more efficiently. Most of the closings are handled in-house for loans up to $2 million, and the documents are generated internally by a tech-forward and tech-enabled team.  

Joshua Marcus | General Counsel | LendingOne  

In his department, Marcus is the only lawyer, and he’s supported by five others, including a closing manager and four closing coordinators who handle most of the closing process for LendingOne loans. The team relies on the company’s proprietary loan origination software to do that efficiently. It has been especially helpful with repeat borrowers, as it streamlines the process for those who have multiple deals every month.  

“The platform allows us to generate loan packages at the click of a button,” Marcus says. “Without this, we would need a much larger team and multiple lawyers to handle the workload.” 

To stay ahead of the curve, Marcus always looks for ways to improve and innovate the closing process. He has even experimented with a hybrid closing method using DocuSign for electronic signatures while requiring other documents to be wet-signed and notarized. Marcus believes the future of closings is moving toward online processes but acknowledges that the transition is happening slowly. 

A lot of the changes in the industry were necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the use of remote, online notaries. While most states did not allow online remote notaries before the pandemic, a COVID relief act changed this, allowing remote online notaries in all 50 states. Since then, most states have codified such practices. 

“I think this is the future of notarization, offering an added layer of legitimacy and convenience for remote transactions,” he explains.  

Growing the business 

Besides focusing on technology to improve efficiency, Marcus recently spearheaded an interdepartmental project that focused on increasing communication and transparency throughout the company and third parties. 

“This initiative has focused on Improving the client experience throughout the life of the loan,” Marcus says.  

Joshua Marcus | General Counsel | LendingOne  

Marcus worked on improving the different handoffs between members of the LendingOne deal team and the communication between different members of the organization as a whole. He improved communication process workflows, document collection responsibilities and handoff checklists, and he also updated and standardized emails to borrowers and other important third parties. 

Marcus’s role as the only lawyer at LendingOne has made him highly efficient in managing the company’s legal affairs. However, he recognizes the need to expand his legal team and plans to hire a deputy general counsel. In the meantime, he maximizes his efficiency by using an escalations protocol for in-house closings. For larger closings and other complex legal and compliance matters, Marcus leverages the expertise of outside counsel.  

They also use a contract management software called Evisort, which allows for custom workflows and enables them to review, redline and track contracts efficiently.  

For efficiency, Marcus has created outbound workflows for partnership agreements, nondisclosure agreements, referrals and partner/broker agreements. 

“The Evisort system captures all relevant information, generates reports, and ensures easy access to important documents,” he says.  

The law was the goal 

Marcus’s passion for law and business was evident in high school, where he captained the debate team and placed in several national tournaments. He also had a knack for public speaking—something he still does now—and in college, he sought to combine a solid financial business education with a legal career focusing on business law.  

Joshua Marcus | General Counsel | LendingOne  

The journey began after earning finance and business law degrees from Emory University in Atlanta and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. During the financial crisis in 2010, Marcus interned in the Miami office of Holland & Knight and then spent nearly five years as an associate for Meland Russin & Budwick.  

In 2015, Marcus joined the Crestar Group of Companies, the family office that spawned LendingOne that same year. Now 100 percent of his focus is dedicated to LendingOne. A lot has changed in the last nine years, going from a small start-up to a national company with over 100 employees.  

“We are an organization that handles loans from $100,000 to $100 million, so there is never a dull day in the office,” Marcus says. “I love the people on my team and the people in the organization. I’m excited to continue to grow the company. The future is bright!” 

View this feature in the Vanguard Spring II 2024 Edition here.

 

Published on: April 10, 2024

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