Why Must Silent (Non-Flying) Partners Also Submit Financial Documentation?

Why would a partner in an airplane-buying partnership have to submit financial documents if that person is a silent (i.e., non-flying) partner?

AOPA Finance

Just as business partners will draft a mutually beneficial partnership agreement, which all parties agree to, lenders require all parties to agree to the terms of the loan contract.  In most cases, agreeing to the loan contract means that you qualify to obtain the loan and service the debt according to the lender’s terms.  Aircraft lenders use the aircraft as collateral for the loan, and any individual or entity in the chain of aircraft ownership is required to provide a guaranty on the loan.  The best way to ensure the loan remains in good standing is to verify that all parties qualify for the loan.

Qualifying for an aircraft loan requires verification of your financial condition and complete underwriting by the lender.  Financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, and any associated business financials are required for the lender to complete underwriting.  Most lenders require that each individual partner qualifies on their own for the full loan amount.  With each partner capable of handling the loan individually, a financial or other personal hardship for one partner is unlikely to put the loan in jeopardy.  Additionally, having each partner’s information on file makes it easier for the lender to communicate with each partner when necessary.

In some cases, a business might be purchasing the airplane, but one partner has no interest in using the aircraft.  There may be other situations where one of the partners owns such a small percentage of the entity that will own the aircraft that they are unwilling to provide a full personal guarantee.  In these examples, there may be an option for some lenders to accept a subordination agreement with the silent partner as part of the loan package. Signing a subordination agreement allows the silent partner to be helpful to the active partner in acquiring the loan without having to submit financial documents or provide a personal guarantee on the loan

A subordination agreement establishes that the lender’s claim to the aircraft supersedes that of the silent partner. The priority of debts can become extremely important when a debtor defaults on payments or declares bankruptcy.  In the event that the aircraft must be repossessed, or the borrower's assets must be liquidated to repay outstanding debts, the lender will have signed documentation from all partners confirming the lender’s priority to the aircraft.

While alternatives to all partners guaranteeing an aircraft loan are sometimes available, having all parties on the loan is the most preferred option. 

Great advice. Great rates. Helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when you are buying or refinancing an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.

Adam Meredith

Adam Meredith

President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Adam Meredith, the longtime president of AOPA Aviation Finance Co., died after a long battle with cancer in December 2023. He is remembered for his passion for helping fellow pilots, leading a team devoted to putting flight training and aircraft ownership within everyone’s reach.
Topics: AOPA Aviation Finance Co, Financial

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