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Meet the Money® Online: CMBS Special Servicing FAQs

It's estimated that 20 percent of hotels in the U.S. have debt held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). Among these hospitality industry borrowers are hotel owners needing financial relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom are unfamiliar with working with master servicers and special servicers in the complex world of CMBS.

Unfortunately, there is much misinformation circulating in the business media about how special servicers work with borrowers needing debt relief.

On July 8, 2020, we addressed the myths and realities of working with CNBS special servicers in our Meet the Money® Online virtual roundtable, "CMBS Special Servicing FAQs." The panel, moderated by JMBM's Global Hospitality Group® Chair Jim Butler, featured CMBS experts including:

  • Andrew Hundertmark, CEO, Argentic Services Company
  • Curt Spaugh, Director, SitusAMC, Special Servicing Division
  • Lindsey Wright, Senior Managing Director, Greystone Special Servicing
  • Thomas J. Biafore, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend
  • Robert B. Kaplan, Partner, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell

Frequently Asked Questions about CMBS Special Servicing for distressed hotel and retail projects

Roundtable Topics discussed include:

  • Why things that are easy to work through with a lender, are not so easy with special servicers.
  • Is 90 days of forbearance enough? What if you need a longer, more complex workout?
  • What if you want to turn in the keys and walk away?
  • The importance of tax considerations.
  • Urban myths about PPE and "loan to own" tactics.
  • Avoiding pitfalls that rack up borrowers' costs.
  • Why borrowers need to understand controlling documents.
  • Why communication is key.
  • Can a hotel be considered a "single asset real estate" (SARE) for streamlined bankruptcy purposes?

How to access the CMBS special servicing roundtable - recording and highlights

The full one-hour program recording of our July 8th CMBS FAQs Special Servicing Roundtable is now available by clicking CMBS Special Servicing FAQs.

The roundtable presentation was also featured in a Hotel News Now article which provides a nice summary of a few highlights of the program.

Troubled hotel and retail - forbearances, loan modifications, recapitalizations, receiverships, workouts, turnarounds, restructurings, and bankruptcies.

Our distressed assets team. We've been recognized internationally for the business and legal advice we provide to creditors dealing with distressed hotel, retail, retail chain and complex real estate assets. See our distressed loan credentials for more information.

Who we help. We assist banks, special servicers, and other financial institutions with all aspects of distressed projects, including forbearances, loan modifications, recapitalizations, receiverships, workouts, turnarounds, restructurings, and bankruptcies.

Wide-ranging experience. The size of the troubled loans we have worked on ranges from a few million dollars to billion-dollar properties and portfolios; as of April 21, 2020, we have been engaged on new distressed hotel and retail loans for two major lender/special servicers in excess of $1.2 billion.

Originally published 13 July 2020.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.