Liquidating My LendingClub Loans Using Folio Investing

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I recently finished liquidating the remaining loans in my $5,000 LendingClub P2P portfolio, but due to a unfortunate crash I lost many of my notes and screenshots. I can still share the most important parts like my final results and selling recommendations.

lctradeing5

As when liquidating my $5k Prosper P2P portfolio,
I used the “Trading Account” option – run by outside brokerage firm Folio Investing – which allows me to sell my notes to other individuals which . For residents of many states, the only way to buy LendingClub P2P loans is on this secondary market as they are not allowed buy them directly. In my opinion, this makes the pricing of the notes more competitive than with Prosper.

Prospers allows an auction format for selling notes, but LendingClub does not. Instead, you must set a price and either someone volunteers to buy it or not. Folio Investing charges a 1% transaction fee to the seller of the note after a completed transaction. If the note does not sell, then you simply keep your note and pay no fees. It’s hard to know the market value of each note, as there is no real-time data based on past sales of similar notes available.

lctradeing

Due to the constraints of this setup, if you want to optimize your selling price and don’t care about your time spent, you should initially list all of your loans at a significant premium of say 5% above principal. If they sell, they sell. Usually there is a large enough group of bidders that if they don’t sell within a day, they probably won’t ever sell. If they don’t sell, then you lose nothing but time. Next, reprice your notes after 24 hours and lower the markup to say 4%. Rinse and repeat at 3% premium, 2% premium, 1% premium, par, 1% discount, 2% discount, and so on until nearly all your notes should be sold within a week.

After that, you’ll probably be left with loans that have a previous late payment or two somewhere in there, which note buyers seem to avoid like the plague even if the loans revert to current. If you really want to sell those last few loans, you may have to put them up at significant discount of 10% or more.

(LendingClub does not allow the sale of loans that are currently late or in default. This can be annoying when a loan become late after you list it for sale, and thus gets pulled. So close!)

However, I was impatient and I just wanted to sell my notes with minimal time spent. I basically put up all of my notes at par (no markup or discount) and the vast majority of them sold within a few hours. In retrospect, I could have definitely listed them at a higher price. Then I started discounting the remaining loans heavily so they would also sell quickly. I reasoned that missing out of 1% of my entire $1,400 portfolio was just $14. In then end, I got back 98.8% of my principal before the 1% fee, or 97.8% of my principal after the 1% fee.

Once the trade clears, transfers from LendingClub to my bank account were very, very quick. I initiated the transfer during a weekday during work hours and at midnight my bank alerted me that an electronic deposit had been made.

So now the only thing left in my portfolio is a single 30+ days late loan that I can’t sell, with a remaining principal of $6.09. I doubt I’ll ever see that money anyway, so I consider my account completely liquidated. The good news is that it should be fully charged-off by the end of 2015, so I won’t have any more tax concerns past the 2015 tax year.

Recap. In my experience, you should be able to liquidate your current LendingClub loans within a week while still roughly maximizing your the market value of your notes. You should have the money in your bank account by the end of the second week. For current notes, you should be able to average a gross sale price very close to or even higher than the current face value (principal + accrued interest) of your loans. Keep in mind the 1% transaction fee paid by seller. You may have some “leftover” late loans that will take a few more months to fully charge-off and realize losses.

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Comments

  1. Maybe I missed the post where you explained what tax reporting complications you’re trying to avoid by liquidating all your P2P accounts…it seems like LendingClub (no experience with Prosper) has made the process pretty clear and easy, especially when compared to a little hairier stuff like K partnership forms? Would love to know what I’m missing!! Thanks.

  2. Jonathan,

    Why did you liquidate your Lending Club account?

    Thanks

  3. LC claims they are working on a folio/after market api that should be available in 2015. That would make selling loans much easier.

  4. I’m finding more and more, there are no notes that meat my criteria. Not sure if they are all being snapped up for institutional investors. Automatic investing barely makes any purchases on my behalf anymore. And when I try to do it manually, I get a message saying there are no notes that meet my criteria.

    This started a couple months ago, then got better for a few weeks, and then came back the past month. I keep withdrawling chunks of cash once or twice a week, as it is building up. FWIW I have also notice the same thing in my dads account, which I manage.

  5. Thanks Jonathan for this info. Recently I have been feeling that institutional investors are snapping out the best loans out there and loans no longer meet MY lending criteria.

  6. I dont understand why when one is put into a quick invest order, that they then dont just list the note at 5% above. Seems like an arb. Or are those the notes that no one wants?

  7. My reasons for liquidating both my Prosper and LendingClub portfolios are shared at the bottom of this post:

    https://www.mymoneyblog.com/prosper-lendingclub-investor-results-2.html

  8. clocks/Daniel,

    That’s exactly what happened. It really took off in early 2014. Being I’m a dev and hate losing, I wrote a bot to compete. Consequently, I get pretty much every loan I want.

    I originally wrote it for myself but have scaled it for some friends/family. I’m debating making it open src or just opening it up for anyone w/ a small service fee to cover any expenses (server/etc). If you are interested, let me know. May be able to add you both for no cost.

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