A non-recourse loan is a mortgage or deed of trust securing a note without recourse allows the lender to look only to the security (property) for repayment in the event of default, and not personally to the borrower. This type of loan does not allow for a deficiency judgment.
Non-recourse debt is typically used to finance commercial real estate and similar projects with high capital expenditures, long loan periods, and uncertain revenue streams. Because most commercial real estate is owned in a partnership structure (or similar tax pass-through), non-recourse borrowing gives the real estate owner the tax benefits of a tax-pass-through partnership structure (that is, loss pass-through and no double taxation), and simultaneously limits personal liability to the value of the investment.
Non-recourse debt is usually carried on a company’s balance sheet as a liability, and the collateral is carried as an asset.
A lender of non-recourse debt depends crucially on an accurate assessment of the credit of the borrower, and a sound knowledge of the underlying technical domain as well as financial modeling skills.