A Guide to Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts

Prompted by the current residential real estate crash, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve banking system issued and adopted a policy statement last October on Prudent Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts. The Federal Reserve and the other financial regulators issued this policy statement to update longstanding guidance regarding the workout of Commercial Real Estate loans. Government regulators have found that prudent CRE loan workouts are often in the best interests of the financial institution and the borrowers.According to the experts in the field, there is roughly 3.5 trillion dollars worth of commercial real estate debt in the US and about half is in the hands of community and regional lending institutions. Almost all of this debt is in jeopardy because the refinance markets are currently non-existent. Add to that the plummeting value of these properties and you have a commercial debt crisis like we have never experienced before in this country.The only practical answer on the horizon is a commercial loan modification which is what the Federal Reserve is hoping for. The Obama administration is already planning incentives for commercial lenders to avoid the multi-trillion dollar crises that looms. Many lenders look favorably upon commercial mortgage modifications, and are more willing to work with qualified businesses on problem loan workouts. A commercial mortgage modification is an alteration to your existing loan that would make the terms easier for a business to afford. A commercial mortgage can be secured by hotels, golf courses, shopping malls, apartment complexes, office buildings, shipping warehouses, or any other type of commercial property that does not fall into the 1-4 unit residential property definition.A Commercial Loan modification is not an easy thing to secure and must be negotiated by an attorney familiar with the industry and one who has the supporting documents necessary to be able to approach your lender with a feasible workout solution. A workout solution can take the form of a rate reduction, term extension, principal forgiveness, temporary forbearance, short refi option or any combination of these.If your business has struggled and / or has a note coming due, contact a reputable and seasoned commercial mortgage modification specialist. It can be the difference between bankruptcy and financial health moving forward.

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