Mortgage Observer

Much Ado About Mezzanine Lending

Joshua Stein

Mezzanine lending offers lots of opportunities for nonrecourse carveout guarantors to get into trouble. This month’s column tells the story of how one of those opportunities played out, in a litigation where I acted as an expert witness called by the guarantor.

The story began when a lender closed a nonrecourse mezzanine loan using a set of “boilerplate” documents. After the loan defaulted, an investor bought it; the investor connected a complex series of dots in a creative way that no one ever intended or imagined, and—bingo—the investor claimed the guarantor had become personally liable for the entire loan. Read More

Mortgage Observer

So They Say: Winthrop’s Michael Ashner Talks Liquidation

Michael Ashner.

Michael Ashner, the chairman and chief executive of the Boston-based distressed real estate investor Winthrop Realty Trust, announced this May that his company plans to liquidate its assets over the next two years. That includes an $869 million portfolio containing 5.3 million square feet of rentable space and loan assets worth $58 million, according to data from the CoStar Group. Mortgage Observer takes a look at some standout quotes from the veteran real estate executive.  Read More

Mixed News For Commercial Mortgages

Commercial Real Estate Default Rates Rise

The default rate for commercial real estate mortgages held by the nation’s banks increased from 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010. This is the highest default rate reported since 1992, the first year for which Read More