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Secondary Market

Comptroller Warns of Over-Regulating Secondary Market

A key Treasury official is publicly speaking out against new rules that would require lenders to retain some of the risk on mortgages and other assets sold to investors. At the American Securitization Forum's annual convention this week, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan urged policymakers to focus reform efforts on improving loan underwriting standards, rather than risk retention proposals that could hamper an already-tenuous securities industry and further diminish credit availability.

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Commercial Real Estate Woes Continue

Amid possible signs of stabilization within the commercial real estate market, many real estate executives say the road to recovery won't be easy. Concerns regarding the future of the commercial real estate market were reported by many industry insiders in the 1st quarter Sentiment Survey completed by the Real Estate Roundtable, which brings together leaders in the real estate industry to address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.

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New President, CEO to Join Cushman & Wakefield

Following the completion of his tenure as CEO of Centro Properties Group, Glenn Rufrano will join Cushman & Wakefield as president and CEO, according to an announcement Tuesday by the company. As Cushman & Wakefield President and CEO, Rufrano replaces Bruce Mosler, who became co-chairman of the board on January 1, 2010. He will be based in New York and will also be appointed to the company's board of directors on his March 22, 2010 start date.

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FICS Rewrites LoanStat Service

As the commercial real estate market continues to struggle, it is essential for both investors and borrowers to have tools to easily manage their loans. In response to this need, Dallas-based Financial Industry Computer Systems, Inc. (FICS), a commercial mortgage technology specialist that provides in-house commercial loan servicing software to the mortgage industry, said it has rewritten its LoanStat service to enhance investors' and borrowers' experiences when viewing real-time commercial loan information online.

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No New Loan Products or Interest Rate Initiatives for GSEs: FHFA

The federal supervisor charged with overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac says the two mortgage financiers will not be allowed to introduce new loan products into the market or take on additional responsibilities to lower interest rates once the Federal Reserve's mortgage purchase program expires next month. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has also told lawmakers that it plans to reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's mortgage portfolios, and the companies will not be ""substantial buyers or sellers of mortgages.""

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Mesa West Capital Expands Geographic Footprint to New York

In an effort to broaden its geographic diversity on a selective basis, Los Angeles-based Mesa West Capital has opened a new office in New York. The privately-held commercial real estate portfolio lender provides first-mortgage loans on office, industrial, retail, flagged hotels, and multifamily assets primarily in the Western United States, and says it has over $1 billion to deploy in 2010.

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Lawmakers Advise Administration to Tackle Commercial Foreclosures

Problems in the commercial real estate sector have put Congress on the offensive. House members are particularly concerned with guidance issued be federal banking regulators, advising lenders to extend or restructure loans backed by income-producing or development properties. Lawmakers say there are indications these loans are not being serviced properly, and evidence that regulators themselves are triggering defaults by encouraging lenders to write down the value of performing loans when payments are current.

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CMBS Delinquencies Hit All-Time High: Trepp

Overdue loans in pools of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) climbed to 6.49 percent in January, according to a report issued this week by Trepp LLC, a New York-based company that tracks the commercial real estate market. That figure is up 42 basis points from the 6.07 percent delinquency rate in December, and Trepp says it's the highest delinquency level in the history of the CMBS industry.

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Corvus Group Forms Troubled Asset Advisory Group

The Corvus Group, a Washington, D.C.-area firm with nearly $10 billion of real estate assets under management from failed banks, has formed a Troubled Asset Advisory Group (Corvus TAAG). The group, based in Chicago, says it provides specialized staffing and advisory services to companies involved with troubled and distressed commercial real estate and homebuilder/residential development debt.

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Associate VP of Multifamily Appointed at MBA

The appointment of Douglas Moritz as associate VP of multifamily at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) was announced Monday by John A. Courson, president and CEO of the company. ""Doug is a seasoned real estate finance professional whose experience spans more than twenty years in the commercial/multifamily industry,"" Courson said.

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