What is a Tri-Party Agreement
A tri-party agreement is a business deal between three separate parties. In the mortgage industry, a tri-party or tripartite agreement often takes place during the construction phase of a new home or condominium complex, to secure so-called bridge loans for the construction itself. In such cases, the loan contract involves the buyer, the lender and the builder.
BREAKING DOWN Tri-Party Agreement
Tri-party agreements spell out the various securities and contingencies between the three parties in the event of default.
In particular, tri-party mortgage agreements become necessary when money is being loaned for a property that has not yet been built or improved. The agreements resolve potentially conflicting claims on the property should the borrower, generally the future homeowner, default or perhaps even die during construction.
For example, to ensure timely scheduling of the work as well as quality workmanship, the borrower would not want to pay the builder until work has been completed. But the builder thus risks not getting paid after completing the work, while themselves owing money to subcontractors, such as plumbers and electricians. In this event, a builder can claim claim what’s known as a construction lien on the property; that is, the right to forfeiture in the event they are not paid. But meanwhile, the bank also maintains a claim on the property if the borrower defaults on the loan.
Legal Rights and Remedies in a Tri-Party Agreement
A tri-party construction loan agreement typically lists the rights and remedies of all three parties, from the perspective of the borrower, the lender and the builder. It details the stages or phases of construction, the final sales price, the date of possession and the interest rate and payment schedule for the loan. It also specifies the legal process known as subrogation, which determines who, how and when various securities in the property are transferred between the parties. For example, in the event of the death of the borrower, the builder may retain the first right to claim what the builder is owed for time and materials; the bank would then retain the lien on the remaining assets, typically the land itself.
Other Uses of TriParty Agreements
In some cases tri-party agreements can cover the property owner, the architect or designer, and the building contractor. Such agreements are essentially “no-fault” arrangements in which all parties agree to remedy their own mistakes or negligence, and not to hold other parties liable for any good-faith omissions or errors. To avoid errors and delays, they often include a detailed quality plan and spell out when and where regular meetings between the parties will take place.