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Read That Commitment Letter Before You Sign

February 9, 2017

If you've ever borrowed money from a bank for your business, you're probably familiar with commitment letters and their importance. Commitment letters are the documents that spell out the terms on which a bank or other financial institution will extend credit to you. It's important to read them carefully because commitment letters, which are often several pages long, may contain conditions and other lending requirements you may not have contemplated when you applied for the loan. While the some or all of the terms of the commitment letter may be repeated in closing documents, if you have questions about the terms of your loan, it's important to get them answered before executing the commitment letter and sending it back to the lender. After that your financial institution might consider you bound to those terms and could have less incentive to change them. Thus, it's a good practice to speak with an attorney and get an understanding of what your legal rights and obligations might be. And if there's something you'd like changed in the commitment letter, or just want further clarification from the lender, an attorney can assist you with that as well. Indeed, it may be wise to speak with an attorney about the lending process even before you apply for a loan. Your lawyer may be able to help identify other issues that could affect whether your loan application is approved.

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