The description of phantom commercial loans was inspired by earlier terminology related to phantom software or similar phrases which generally referred to high tech companies announcing that they were planning to issue new products at some vague point in the future. The usual motivation was to discourage consumers from buying a competitive product because the manufacturer would usually suggest that their yet to be released product would surpass an existing item in one or more ways. Because such a large percentage of these announcements were often not followed by the actual sale of software, the product which was announced with such fanfare but never ultimately made available for sale became known in many circles as phantom software because the intended use of the definition suggests something that only appears to be real.
Sadly a similar event is now occurring more frequently with respect to business financing and working capital finance. Lenders which either do not have sufficient funds for routine lending purposes or which do not really have a serious interest in actively providing commercial loans are nevertheless making announcements about the availability of their financial services for small businesses.
While it is hoped that this trend will not continue, it is simply too early to provide a confident prediction as to how this will unfold over the next year or so. Because borrowers should always have the most accurate information for any potential loan transactions, it is suggested that they take some extra precautions to ensure that any banking representations are fully examined and confirmed for accuracy before proceeding in attempts to secure working capital.