What is Patch of Land?

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: this info was posted before anyone knew we would be facing a global pandemic in the spring of 2020. So it may be missing crucial information necessary to making an effective investment today. Some of the information in it may be dated, no longer accurate and/or irrelevant. For information on analyzing investments in this new era, see: "How will Covid-19 / Coronavirus Affect my Alternative Investment Portfolio?"

Patch of Land focuses on short-term debt on residential (and occasionally commercial) properties.

2 years ago, it was the most praised site by investors and ranked #1 on the site.
Since then it has become one of the more heavily criticized for their alleged default rate and for alleged customer service issues.

Investors are alleging that the default rates on the site they are experiencing are significantly higher than competitors. Some  examples:
 

  • "I've made a total of 20 investments since December 2015. in 2017, 3 (15%) are in foreclosure. An additional 2 are now late paying interest." In comparison, Peerstreet has less than 1% in foreclosure.

  • Another investor claimed a 16% uncured default rate on a 30+ loan portfolio (with all of those loans in foreclosure). In comparison, other hard money loan funds and underwriters are currently experiencing a 1-2% uncured default rate

  • Claim on 2017-07-31 "I am a long time user of POL. Currently I have more than 15 loans, about 30% are in foreclosure. Counting other problems, 45% have issues".
  • Claim on 2017-08-31: investor reports 30% uncured default rate on 13 loan portfolio = 30%.


Unlike competitors (including both of the top-ranked hard money loan sites), Patch of land does not disclose the performance of its loans. I am calling on them to do so now, to show investors what risks they may or may not be taking.
 

Other investors reported dissatisfaction with getting prompt information when investments went sour. One investor alleged: "In the Spring of 2016, everything was great.  Then, it started to deteriorate - call, leave a voice message, and no return call.  Same with emails. Incredulous in this technical age." 

Additionally, in comparison with previous years,a significant number of the loans appear to be higher risk high LTV/ARV loans.​ (See the article series on "hard money loan roulette" for more on the possible risks).

Last year, Patch of Land suffered a mass layoff.

Finally, a person listed on the Patch of Land advisory board, has allegedly been visiting real estate bulletin boards and groups, and (in semi or full disguise) verbally attacking people who report anything negative about the company (and without disclosing his conflict of interest in advance).

 

  • Advantages: Pre-funding,  $23.6 million in venture capital funding, superior bankruptcy protection.
     

  • Disadvantages: Increasing LTVs, alleged reports of much higher than industry level defaults, decreasing yields, alleged customer service reporting issues, perhaps  inappropriate behavior by advisory board member, and turmoil last year with mass layoffs.
     

  • Accolades: None
     

  • Alleged problematic investments (as reported by investors)

    • November 2018: SFR Fix and Flip in northwest Chicago resulted in 47% loss to investor. The loan was for $186k on a property that was pitched as an after repair value (ARV) of $280k. If the ARV had been accurate, that would have been a conservative 66% loan-to-value (LTV) and plenty of equity cushion ($94k) to absorb default without loss (arguably even in a recession). However, when the default occurred, the property only sold for $160k, or 57% of its claimed value. Then on top of that, this was in a judicial only state where foreclosure is extremely expensive. Legal fees cost $48k, or 30% of the proceeds of the sale. The result was a 47% loss to the investors ($88k).

    • 2018: Berwyn, IL Fix and Flip 1429 Cuyler Ave: Investor claims they released final funds when the project was only halfway completed (which the investor claims was blamed on bad information from inspector)

    • Atlanta Luxury Property Rehab - Final Tranche: uncured default.​

    • Atlanta Luxury Property Rehab - Tranche I: uncured default.

    • Berwyn, IL Fix and Flip: uncured default

    • SFR Fix and Flip in Northwest Chicago: uncured default

    • April 2016 loan - "Columbus Suburb Refinance" 458 W Orange Rd, Delaware, OH: foreclosure

For more raw data on the site (including investor and sponsor fees, legal structure etc.), or to easily compare it with the data of competitors, see the feature by feature comparison matrix.

Where can I discuss Patch of Land deals further?


You can do this with thousands of other investors in the private investor club. While the club is free, membership is restricted to investors who have no business connections to sponsors or platforms. Also, all members must agree to keep all club info confidential by signing a nondisclosure agreement. Click here to join or get more info.


Who are Patch of Land Competitors?

 

Here are the reviews and rankings for other residential debt sites:
 

OR...if you're looking for more volume and/or more conservative LTV's than most crowdfunding sites provide, then a fund might be a better choice for you. If so, here is our Guide to the Top 15 Hard Money Loan Funds (and honors)
Debt Investing Tutorials:
 

Looking to learn more about debt (hard money loan) investing? Here's our 4-part step-by-step series.


Related:
 

How to pick? Check out our step-by-step guide.
 

None (out of 100+) Last year ranking:#8.

Tier:

Awards:

Patch of Land:

Review and Ranking

Challenged (1 out of 10 stars)

None.

Site ranking:

    • Code of Ethics: To maintain objectivity, I do not accept any money from any sponsor or platform for anything (including affiliate ads, advertising etc.). See code of ethics for more.
       

    • Personal opinion only: All info is my personal opinion only as an investor. I am not a registered financial advisor, attorney or accountant. Always do your own due diligence and consult with your own licensed professionals before making any investment decision. Information is believed to be correct but may have errors, so use at your own risk. If you find an error, please let me know.
       

    • Rankings/rating are general: In my opinion, every investor comes from a different risk tolerance and financial situation, so there's no such thing as a single investment or platform that's great for everyone. There are many deals that aggressive investors love, which I won't touch, and vice versa. And every investor has their own way of doing due diligence. I believe there's no one right way to do it. 

      So, the site rankings/ratings are based on criteria which I feel are important to the broadest range of investors (transparency, volume, bankruptcy protection, etc). And even though I have my own personal, conservative, due diligence method (and talk about how the site's deals measure up in the "deep dive section"), I don't use my personal criteria as a factor in the rankings. So for example, a high ranking/rating doesn't mean that I would personally invest in a site (and vice versa). Click here to see what's in my own portfolio.

About Ian Ippolito

Ian Ippolito is an investor and serial entrepreneur. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, TIME, Fast Company, TechCrunch, CBS News, FOX News, USA Today, Bloomberg News, Realtor.com, CoStar News, Curbed and more.

 

Ian was impressed by the potential of real estate crowdfunding, but frustrated by the lack of quality site reviews and investment analysis. He created The Real Estate Crowdfunding Review to fill that gap.

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This site has been ranked and reviewed as part of our in-depth, 100+ site industry review. All data is believed to be correct, but may have mistakes. Please contact us if you notice one. All non-data (including rankings, investor comment summaries, etc.) are my opinion only. I'm just an investor and not an attorney, accountant, or certified financial advisor. To maintain neutrality: I do not own a portion of any of the companies reviewed. 

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