Questions and Answers on Equity Sharing
What is Equity Sharing?
Equity sharing, also known as shared equity financing, is typically a transaction between two parties, an occupier and an investor. The occupier can be someone buying a home, or someone who already owns a home. At the start of the equity share, the investor makes a cash payment to the occupier. Sometimes this initial amount is used for all or part of the down payment on the equity sharing property; other times, the initial payment is used for property improvements, or for purposes unrelated to the property such as covering medical costs or school tuition, buying a second home, starting a new business, or even paying off credit card debt.
The occupier usually pays all of the ongoing costs for the equity sharing property, including mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, repairs and improvements. But sometimes the investor agrees to contribute to some or all of these costs.
At the end of the equity sharing transaction, the investor receives a payment that is calculated based on the value of the property. The occupier pays the investor from savings, refinancing, or selling the property. Shared equity finance plans usually have a pre-set length so that the investor knows when he/she can expect to receive his/her proceeds.
Shared equity financing transactions can be documented using several different types of contracts, but the most common are equity sharing agreements and equity sharing option contracts.
Can you give examples of how the equity sharing investor’s proceeds are calculated?
To discuss and understand the economics of shared equity financing arrangements, it is useful to create some terminology for ease of reference. In this article, I will use the term “Investor Contribution” to mean the amount that the investor provides to the occupier, either as a down payment contribution or as a cash payment. I will use the term “Equity Share Percentage” to mean the percentage used to determine the amount that the occupier needs to pay the investor at the end of the equity share. The Equity Share Percentage is determined at the start of the equity sharing transaction, before the investor provides the Investor Contribution, and is stated clearly in the equity sharing agreement or or shared equity financing option contract.
If the value of the equity share property increases during the term of the shared equity finance arrangement, the investor receives the Investor Contribution plus the Equity Share Percentage of the appreciation. To illustrate, if the Investor Contribution was $50,000, the Equity Share Percentage was 30%, and the value of the equity share property increased by $200,000 during the term of the shared equity financing arrangement, the investor would receive $50,000 plus $60,000, or a total of $110,000.
If the value of the equity share property stayed the same during the term of the equity sharing, the investor would receive only his/her Investor Contribution. There would be no appreciation to share.
If the value of the equity share property decreased during the term of the shared equity financing, the investor would suffer a loss. The amount of the loss would depend on how much the property value had dropped. For example, if the property value dropped by $100,000, the investor would lose the Equity Share Percentage of that value drop, or $30,000. The loss would be subtracted from the $50,000 Investor Contribution, and the investor would receive $20,000 at the end of the equity share term. If the property value dropped $150,000, the investor loss would be 30% of that amount, or $50,000, meaning that the investor would lose his/her entire investment.
The above examples are simplified in that they assume the entire increase or decrease in the value of the equity share property is due to market forces. In practice, other factors such as occupier improvements and maintenance impact market value, and adjustments based on these factors are made when the investor proceeds are calculated.
You can find additional and more detailed sample equity sharing transactions here.
In shared equity finance transactions, what is a fair way to calculate the Equity Share Percentage? What is an Equity Share Multiplier?
The most common and fair way to determine the Equity Share Percentage is to base it on three factors: (i) the estimated annual rate of appreciation of the property; (ii) the desired annual rate of return on investment for the shared equity financing investor; and (iii) the length of the equity share term.
To illustrate how these three factors are used to calculate the Equity Share Percentage, it is useful to define a few more terms. I will use the term “Investor Contribution Percentage” to mean the relationship between the Investor Contribution and the value of the equity share property at the time the contribution is made. For example, if the Investor Contribution is $50,000, and the value of the property is $500,000 when the investor provides this amount, the Investor Contribution Percentage would be 10%.
I will use the term “Equity Share Multiplier” to mean the relationship between the Investor Contribution Percentage and the Equity Share Percentage. For example, if the Investor Contribution Percentage is 10% and the Equity Share Percentage is 30%, the Equity Share Multiplier would be three. If both the Investor Contribution Percentage and the Equity Share Percentage were 10%, the Equity Share Multiplier would be one.
The starting point for calculating a fair Equity Share Multiplier for shared equity financing is dividing the desired rate of investor return into the estimated rate of property appreciation. For example, if the equity sharing parties believe that 10% per year would be a fair rate of annual return for the investor, and that the property is likely to appreciate an average of 3% per year during the equity share term, the starting point for calculating a fair Equity Share Multiplier would be 3.33.
The reason we refer to this result as a starting point for discussion of the final Equity Share Multiplier is that, as noted above, the length of the equity share term is a third factor often taken into consideration when determining the multiplier. If the duration of the shared equity financing arrangement will be short, there is more risk that the appreciation estimate will be proven wrong due to short-term market fluctuations and, consequently, the multiplier should be adjusted upward.
Once the Equity Share Multiplier is determined, calculating the Equity Share Percentage becomes simple math. For example, if the Investor Contribution is $50,000, and the value of the equity share property is $500,000 when the investor provides this amount (making Investor Contribution Percentage 10%), using a 3.33 Equity Share Multiplier would yield an Equity Share Percentage of 33%. If the property appreciates the expected 3% per year over a five-year term, or $75,000, the investor would receive $25,000 of this appreciation, or a 10% annual return on his/her original investment.
What happens if the equity sharing occupier wants or needs to terminate the shared equity financing early?
It is not unusual for an occupier to want or need to terminate the equity sharing partnership early. This can occur because the occupier wants or needs to move to a new home, can no longer afford to live in the home, has unexpected resources available and would prefer to use these to end the equity sharing, or for an infinite number of other reasons. But early termination of a shared equity financing transaction can harm the investor. This happens when the equity share is terminated by the occupier before the equity share property has had an opportunity to appreciate or, worse, at a time when the economy is bad and home values are low.
To accommodate an equity sharing occupier’s changed needs and circumstances, most shared equity financing agreements and options allow the occupier to get out of the equity sharing early, but include provisions designed to protect the investor from the potential negative impact of early termination. These investor protections should ensure that the investor receives full return of his/her investment along with a reasonable return if the occupier opts for an early termination.
In shared equity financing, who pays for repairs and improvements to the equity share property? How do payments for repairs and improvements affect the allocation of appreciation?
In most shared equity finance deals, the occupier pays for all repairs, major and minor, and contributions to improvement costs are left open to negotiation. But parties are free to make their own arrangement. Payments for major repairs or improvements may or may not be taken into consideration when property appreciation is calculated and allocated, depending on what is stated in the equity sharing contract and/or what is decided by the parties when contributions to the cost of a particular improvement are discussed. Major alterations generally require the approval of the investor even if the occupier will be paying for the entire cost.
In shared equity finance transactions, how does lack of proper maintenance affect the calculation and allocation of appreciation?
As noted above, sometimes the increase or decrease in the value of the equity share property is not entirely due to market forces. Other factors, such as occupier improvements and maintenance, or lack of maintenance, impact property value. For this reason, most equity sharing agreements and equity sharing option contracts include provisions under which the ending value of the equity share property used to calculate appreciation will be adjusted upward in cases where the occupier has failed to fulfill his/her maintenance obligations or has taken other actions that have diminished the property value.
In shared equity financing transactions, must both parties to the equity share be owners of the property? Is it possible to have shared equity financing where the occupier is on title but the investor is not on title? Is it possible to have equity sharing where the investor is on title but the occupier is not on title?
The classic and most common legal structure for equity sharing is for both the occupier and the investor to be owners named on the legal title to the equity share property. However, it is possible to equity share where only one of the equity sharing partners is on title, and the titleholder can be either the occupier or the investor. It is even possible to have an equity sharing agreement or option under which the property is owned by a company or other entity, and neither party is on title. There are three principal factors to consider when choosing the best legal structure for equity sharing: (i) income tax consequences; (ii) mortgage lender requirements; and (iii) risk management.
What are the income tax considerations in structuring the equity share contract and deciding how title to the equity share property will be held?
There are three phases of a shared equity finance transaction that have potential income tax consequences: the first is when the equity sharing investor provides the Investor Contribution to the occupier, the second is when the occupier pays expenses such as mortgage interest, property tax and insurance during the shared equity financing term, and the third is when the investor receives a payout at the end of the equity share. In an income tax audit, each of these events could be characterized in ways that create adverse tax consequences for one or both of the equity sharing parties. Avoiding tax problems requires, at a minimum, a clear equity sharing agreement, equity sharing option contract, or equivalent documentation.
Even with a good shared equity financing contract or option agreement, there are varying levels of income tax risk associated with the different equity sharing legal structures. In general, having both the investor and the occupier on title is the least risky shared equity financing structure from an income tax perspective, and also offers the maximum possible income tax treatment flexibility and advantages for the parties. The next best option is having only the occupier on title, and styling the investor’s position as an option or similar financial instrument. The least desirable equity sharing structures from an income tax standpoint are those where only the investor holds title (meaning the occupier is not an owner named on title), or where title is held by an LLC or other legal entity. These structures deprive the occupier of homeownership tax benefits and create significant risks of adverse tax characterization, especially at the conclusion of the equity share.
How do mortgage lender requirements influence equity sharing legal structure and the decision of how to take title?
When the Investor Contribution will be used for down payment on a home purchase, the occupier is often seeking a mortgage loan. Most (but not all) lenders require that each person to be named on title as an owner jointly apply for the loan and sign as co-borrowers. In cases where the mortgage lender is imposing this requirement, it is not possible for the shared equity financing investor to be named on title as an owner but not named as a co-borrower on the mortgage. Investors who prefer not to go through the process of applying for the loan, and/or do not want the potential liability and credit-rating risk created by being a co-borrower, must therefor opt for an equity share legal structure where the investor will not be an owner of the property.
Some equity sharing partners seek to circumvent this problem by initially taking title in the occupier’s name, and adding the investor as an owner later. But this approach creates its own set of problems. Adding a new owner with a mortgage loan in place violates the terms of most mortgage loan documents, and creates a risk of default and foreclosure. In addition, a title change that does not coincide with the date of the Investor Contribution can create income tax problems. Finally, in many jurisdictions, a change to title can trigger a transfer tax, a property tax reassessment, or both.
Not having the investor on title in an equity share home purchase can also create a down payment verification problem. Most mortgage lenders ask to see 3-6 months of borrower bank statements to confirm that the down payment is not borrowed or gifted. When a portion of the down payment is provided by an equity sharing investor, many lenders insist on characterizing the Investor Contribution as a either a gift or a loan. Since home mortgage lenders typically do not allow any portion of a down payment to be borrowed, the best way to deal with this problem is to have the shared equity finance investor satisfy the lender’s gift letter requirements, and explain away the gift letter in the equity share agreement or equity share option contract.
When the occupier is already the owner of the home, there is often a mortgage in place when the Investor Contribution is made. As noted above, adding an owner to title with a loan in place violates the terms of most loans, and can cause the bank to demand immediate repayment. Refinancing the property with the equity sharing investor as a named owner and co-borrower can be expensive and burdensome. If the parties do not want to risk violating the loan documents and do not want to refinance, the only solution is an equity sharing legal structure where the investor will not be a titled owner. This type of arrangement is typically handled using and shared equity financing option contract.
How do risk management considerations influence equity sharing legal structure and the decision of how to take title?
Equity sharing involves a variety of risks for the investor, but perhaps the most serious is the possibility of occupier behavior that diminishes the equity in the property on which the investor is relying for his/her security or, worse, causes loss of the property through foreclosure. Occupier activities that could diminish or eliminate the investor’s security include default on the mortgage payments or property tax, refinancing or additional borrowing, or creditor liens. Having the equity sharing investor named as an owner on title makes each of these events either impossible or considerably less likely. When the parties opt for a shared equity finance structure under which the investor will be off title, the risk of these events can be diminished by recording documentation of the investor’s position (such as a trust deed, memorandum of agreement, or memorandum of option) in the public records, but this approach provides less protection than having the investor listed as an owner on title. All of these are supplements to a good shared equity financing contract or option agreement.
What is the difference between equity sharing and shared equity financing?
There is no difference between equity sharing and shared equity financing. Shared equity finance is just another name for an equity share.
What is the difference between equity sharing and borrowing?
Most mortgage loans require monthly payments, and the loan principal must be repaid. By contrast, shared equity financing does not require monthly payments, and the funds provided by the investor to the occupier need not be paid back. Instead, the occupier’s obligation to the investor is based solely on the value of the equity share property when the shared equity financing terminates. If the home value increases, the occupier and the investor share the benefits; if the value drops, the occupier’s obligation to the investor is reduced or extinguished.
What is the difference between shared equity financing and shared appreciation mortgages?
Equity sharing is often confused with a related but different form of financing called a shared appreciation mortgage or shared appreciation loan. With a shared appreciation mortgage, the borrower is obligated to repay the full loan amount at the end of the loan term. The borrower also pays interest, but only if the home value increases. By contrast, with shared equity financing, the occupier/funds-recipient only fully repays the investor if the home value increases or stays the same; if the value drops, the occupier’s obligation to the investor is reduced or extinguished.
Another difference between shared appreciation mortgages and an equity share is the tax treatment. When a shared appreciation mortgage lender receives his/her portion of property appreciation, it is taxed at higher, ordinary-income tax rates. An equity sharing investor’s appreciation share is taxed at lower, long-term capital gains tax rates, and may also qualify for postponement through a tax-deferred exchange.
Does the equity sharing investor usually contribute to monthly payments?
In most shared equity financing arrangements, the occupier pays all ongoing expenses for the equity sharing property, including mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, homeowners association dues, repairs and utilities. But this typical practice is not etched in stone; shared equity financing partners can decide the specifics of their transaction. If the investor is obligated to contribute to ownership expenses, that obligation should affect the calculation of what the occupier pays investor at the conclusion of the equity share. All of this must be clearly spelled out in the equity share agreement or option contract.
Is there usually a mortgage when people equity share? Why would someone get a mortgage if they are equity sharing?
A conventional bank mortgage is present in the vast majority of shared equity financing transactions. Where equity sharing is being used as a way to buy a home, the combined cash resources of the occupier and the investor are often insufficient to acquire the equity share property without a loan. Where shared equity financing is being used by a homeowner to raise cash, the Investor Contribution is generally not enough to meet the cash needs of the homeowner and also pay off the full balance of the mortgage.
But even where no mortgage is necessary to meet the cash needs of the equity sharing parties, many homebuyers and homeowners find that the economic benefits of having a mortgage outweigh the risks and burdens. To understand why having a loan can make economic sense even when the banks funds are not needed by the equity share partners, it is necessary to understand the concept of “leverage” in real estate transactions.
What is “leverage” in a real estate transaction, and how does it affect a homeowner’s return on investment?
Having a mortgage loan on a property means that the amount of cash invested in the property (also sometimes referred to as “equity”) is less than the property value. Imagine a home that is worth $300,000. If there is no mortgage, the amount of cash “tied up” in the property is $300,000. But if there is a $225,000 mortgage, then the amount of cash “tied up” in the property is only $75,000. In the second example, with the $225,000 mortgage, leverage is present. The home, and its potential for value appreciation, is controlled using only $75,000. By contrast, in the first example where there is no mortgage, controlling the home, and benefitting from its appreciation potential, requires four times more money.
To understand how leverage affects return on investment, assume the value of the $300,000 home increases to $500,000 over five years. If there is no mortgage, a $300,000 cash investment has generated a $200,000 profit, representing a 13.33% annual rate of return. If there is a $225,000 mortgage, a much smaller $75,000 cash investment has generated the same $200,000 profit, representing a 53.33% annual return on investment.
How is the concept of leverage important relevant to equity sharing?
In a shared equity finance arrangement, the homeowner agrees to give up a share of the property appreciation, effectively reducing the homeowner’s return on investment. As described above, adding leverage by having a mortgage increases the homeowner’s rate of return, and this partially offsets the financial effect of the equity share.
To illustrate the interplay between leverage and shared equity financing, imagine the homebuyer in the example above obtained a $30,000 Investor Contribution in exchange for a 20% Equity Share Percentage. After five years, when the property was worth $500,000, the investor would receive $40,000 in appreciation, leaving the occupier with $160,000 of appreciation. With no mortgage, the occupier’s rate of return is 12.8%. But with a $225,000 mortgage, the occupier’s rate of return is 128%. (The equity sharing investor’s rate of return is 16% with and without the mortgage.)
Of course, if there is a mortgage on the equity share property, the occupier must make the monthly mortgage payments and, ultimately, repay the mortgage regardless of whether the property value goes up or down. The occupier must weigh the costs and risks of having a mortgage against the benefits of the potential increase in rate of investment return.
When an equity share involves a mortgage, are the occupier and the investor both borrowers?
As noted above, most (but not all) lenders require that each person to be named on title as an owner jointly apply for the mortgage loan and sign as co-borrowers. Consequently, if the equity sharing investor wants to be named on title as an owner for income tax or risk management reasons (as discussed elsewhere in this article), he/she must be a co-borrower on the mortgage.
If the investor wants to avoid the potential liability and credit-rating risk created by being a co-borrower, there are several options. The simplest route is to choose a shared equity finance legal structure where the investor is not an owner named on title to the property. A second option is to try to find a lender that does not require each owner to be a co-borrower, or will give permission to add an owner with the loan in place. A third (and must less desirable) possibility is to add the investor as an owner without the lender’s permission, and take the resulting risk of default and foreclosure.
How can I find a lender who will make a loan for an equity sharing deal?
There is no such thing as a lender that specializes in providing loans for shared equity financing transactions, or a loan that is designed for equity sharing. In the author’s experience, it is generally not helpful to mention that the homebuyer or borrower is using shared equity financing or that the transaction is an equity share. This can cause a bank loan officer or mortgage broker to view the loan as non-standard and, in general, that will cause the bank or broker to say they cannot provide financing. In fact, there is nothing about equity sharing that requires a special mortgage; loan documentation for an equity share is exactly the same as the loan documentation that would be used for a home mortgage not involving shared equity financing.
As discussed above, in equity shares where the investor will not be on title as an owner, there can be a problem with mortgage lender underwriting requirements relating to verification of down payment funds. Since home lenders typically do not allow any portion of a down payment to be borrowed, the best way to deal with this problem is to characterize the Investor Contribution as a gift and have the investor satisfy the lender’s gift letter requirements, then explain away the gift letter in the equity sharing agreement or equity share option contract.
What are the benefits of equity sharing for a real estate investor?
Many real estate professionals believe that shared equity financing offers one of the most favorable risk-return ratios of any real estate investment. Single-family residence values tend to appreciate strongly when economic factors are favorable, and are less sensitive than commercial properties to economic downturns. Equity sharing investors have no ongoing expense obligations and so are not exposed to the risks of rent non-payment or other income interruptions. Homeowners are highly motivated to maintain and improve the equity share property, and statistically unlikely to default on their obligations. And, depending on how the equity sharing is structured, equity sharing can generate tax deductions for investors even though they have no expense-sharing obligations.
What are the benefits of equity sharing for a homebuyer?
For homebuyers, shared equity financing add down payment resources, reduce the size of the necessary mortgage, and add strength to a mortgage application that can compensate for lower income and/or bad credit histories.
What are the benefits of equity sharing for someone who already owns a home?
For homeowners, shared equity financing offers a way to unlock and access home equity without incurring debt. Homeowners can use the Investor Contribution to repair or improve their homes, reduce or eliminate debt, pay bills, or make investments to generate income and increase wealth, all without creating a new monthly payment obligation or a new debt.
What are the most common uses of equity sharing?
The most common use of equity sharing is when a parent or grandparent provides down payment funds to a child or grandchild. But the popularity of shared equity financing is increasing in many other contexts. For example, equity sharing is often used to assist older people who own valuable homes but do not have enough income or cash to meet day-to-day needs. Equity sharing is used by universities, secondary schools and churches to help their teachers and clergy buy homes in high-cost localities. Equity sharing is used by cities and towns to help their teachers, first responders, and other key employees buy homes in the communities they serve. Equity sharing is used by businesses to lure and retain employees to areas in hyper-inflated home markets. Several startups, such as Sum of The Whole, Unison, Point, and Patch Homes, now offer various types of shared equity financing commercially.
How do parents and other family members use equity sharing to help young people buy their first home?
Current economic conditions are especially difficult for first-time homebuyers. In most regions, home costs are at or near all-time highs. Following the great recession and related banking crisis, home mortgage lenders have become more conservative, requiring larger down payments, higher credit scores, and more robust earnings histories. At the same time, more and more young people are self-employed in the “gig economy”, or work on a short-term or contract basis, making it difficult or impossible to qualify for a mortgage. Taken together, these factors can put home ownership out of reach for young couples and families.
But while their adult children face unprecedented home-buying challenges, many people over 50 find themselves with substantial savings, vested retirement funds, accumulated home equity, and other resources that can enable these adult children to realize the stability, tax deductions, and wealth-building benefits of home ownership.
For many reasons, equity sharing provides the ideal way for resource-rich parents and grandparents to help their struggling adult children and grandchildren. To understand why equity sharing makes sense, consider the alternatives. When parents buy a home for their adult children, the children do not receive the tax deductions and wealth-building benefits of home ownership. When parents gift a home down payment to their adult children, there can be adverse gift-tax and estate planning consequences, and lenders will often decline to approve a mortgage. When parents lend money for a down payment, lenders uniformly decline to provide a mortgage. And, none of these equity sharing alternatives provides parents with tax savings or a potential return on investment that can be used later to support retirement or assist other children or grandchildren when they want to buy their first home.
How can shared equity financing be used to assist retirees who own their home but need cash to make repairs or meet day-to-day needs?
Many homeowners, especially retired people, are unable or unwilling to borrow through a conventional mortgage or home equity loan because they are unable to qualify and/or unwilling to make monthly payments. A “reverse mortgage” (where the lender makes fixed monthly payments to the borrower for a pre-set number of years) can be a solution, but the terms of most reverse mortgages are unattractive, and reverse mortgages are often unavailable for homes that already have conventional mortgages. With equity sharing, “house rich” retirees can access funds to pay their day-to-day expenses or make needed home repairs without assuming new debt. Equity sharing can also be used to generate funds to pay off the balance of an existing loan and eliminate the need to make monthly mortgage payments.
How are universities, secondary schools and churches using equity sharing to help their teachers and clergy buy homes in high-cost localities?
Educational and religious institutions located in areas with high housing costs are creating shared equity finance programs to help their professors, teachers, administrators and clergy buy homes near their universities, schools and churches. These equity sharing programs also provide a sound financial investment for the institutions who share the rewards of rising home values. The equity share agreements or option contracts generally include a “buyback” option so that all parties benefit even if the occupier moves to a new institution: the professor, teacher, administrator or clergy realizes a profit from the home appreciation, while the university, school or church can offer the home for equity sharing by another staff member or official.
How are cities and towns using equity sharing to help their teachers, first responders, and other key employees buy homes in the communities they serve?
Most local governments believe it is good public policy to have their teachers, first responders, and other key employees living within the local community. But in many places, high home prices make it very difficult or impossible for middle-income workers to buy (or even rent) in or near the towns and cities they serve. Shared equity financing programs, funded exclusively through tax revenue or bonds, or through a partnership with public-service equity sharing funding source such as Landed, can be a partial solution to the housing crunch facing these critical public servants. Funding equity sharing programs is much less expensive than building and operating subsidized housing. And, unlike programs based on down payment grants or monthly stipends, equity sharing programs pay for themselves over time by providing governments and taxpayers a return on investment derived from real estate appreciation.
How are businesses using equity sharing to lure and retain employees to areas with a high cost of home ownership?
Businesses located in areas with high housing costs can find themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage when trying to lure the most qualified employees. Higher salaries and signing bonuses are one solution, but equity sharing programs can be a better approach for both employer and employee. Shared equity financing provides the employer with a return on its investment as the value of the equity share property rises, and can be structured to boost retention by strongly incentivizing employees to remain with the company through the end of the equity sharing term.
What if the equity sharing investor does not care about getting a fair return on investment?
In many of the equity sharing situations described in this article, the investor is not motivated primarily by the desire to receive a fair return on his/her investment. In this situation, the Equity Share Percentage can be reduced. There are no legal requirements that set a minimum or a maximum Equity Share Percentage or Equity Share Multiplier.
Is shared equity financing only for homeowners? Or, can equity sharing be used for investment properties?
Equity sharing is most commonly used for homes, but can also be used for investment properties of all kinds.
How can I find a source for equity share funding?
Most homebuyers and homeowners seeking an equity sharing investor or equity sharing partner find their counterparty from among family and friends. But there are now a variety of institutional sources for shared equity fiancing, including Sum of The Whole, Unison, Point, and Patch Homes.
About the author
Andy Sirkin has helped structure equity sharing transactions since 1985. In addition to advising homeowners, homebuyers, and private investors on shared equity financing, and preparing documentation for more than 500 equity share arrangements, he has counseled and prepared webpage copy, contracts and agreements for six equity sharing startups, and worked with businesses, local governments, churches, and educational institutions to structure equity sharing programs. He has also advised government prosecutors in two prosecutions involving fraudulent and illegal equity sharing businesses. He is the author of The Equity Sharing Manual, first published by John Wiley and Sons in November 1994 (order the book).