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Why European CMBS Was Rubbish: This Lender Can’t Enforce A Loan Because The Borrower Doesn’t Own The Stairs In Its Buildings


Real estate downturns expose bad practice when it comes to lending, but one situation in Europe takes the cake.

The lender to two Belgian office buildings has been hindered in its effort to take control of the assets because the stairs, elevators and fixtures have been pledged to someone else, Bloomberg reports.

The €73M loan in question was part of a commercial mortgage-backed securitisation organised by Credit Suisse in 2006, and is now managed by servicer Mount Street.

Mount Street last month told investors that had bought the CMBS bonds but that it was taking legal advice over whether it could enforce the loan and take control of the properties.

While Mount Street has security over the buildings themselves, which were owned by companies that had borrowed from Credit Suisse, the stairs, elevators and fixtures have been pledged as security to a different company over which it has no control.

It is this kind of complicated and unorthodox situation that has prevented European CMBS from taking off as the real estate market in the region has recovered and debt markets more generally become highly liquid.

CBRE said in its European Commercial Real Estate Finance 2017 Update that while €116B of new debt was underwritten in Europe in 2016, the CMBS market was virtually nonexistent.

Many of the investors that would buy CMBS bonds suffered large losses when investing in the sector during the last boom.

Related Topics: Credit Suisse, CMBS, Mount Street