"First and foremost, owners of troubled assets are seekingoperating partners, advisors and receivers who really know the realestate, and can move quickly," said Jerry Hunt, managing partner ofQuattro Realty Advisors. Panelists agreed that there are manyqualified firms, and bankers are turning to people they feel theycan trust.

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And where are all the asset-sales that were predicted? "Banksdon't want to sell in bulk portfolios because of the tremendousdiscount, whereas individual note-sales attain higher values," saidCurtis Chinn, formerly of Central Pacific Bank and now SVP ofspecial assets for East West Bank, who characterized his commentsas industry-perspective and not that of a particular bank. He saidthat while sales are increasing, banks have commitments to theirown shareholders and are maximizing their position, following anFDIC road-map in October that enables more patient loanworkouts.

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But the rising tide of defaulting assets may speed the process,noted Steve Duffy, managing director of Moss Adams Capital.Unwilling owners of troubled real estate can only handle so much,and will face capital-structure issues and staff-capacity issues,he said.

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"At the end of the day, lenders have to make an assessment: Arewe better off if we take control of this asset or not?" he said."To the extent that stakeholders can see a meaningful gap betweenthe borrower's restructuring plan and forced liquidation, it willpoint toward a restructuring alternative with the borrower. To theextent that there is not a meaningful gap, it will point torecycling of the asset," he added, which is often a sale to abest-offer in reasonable time.

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"It is all about the real estate, the go-forward plan and theasset's potential in its competitive market," he said.

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The panel also shared a few other lessons, tips and tactics."Fairness and respect are absolutely critical in this restructuringperiod. That has not changed from down cycle to down cycle," saidDuffy.

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"Every significant real estate recession has followed with agreat period of opportunity, and many believe the current recessionwill lead to one of the greatest wealth building opportunities ofthe current generation," said real estate receiver Tony Theophilos,a partner at Starr Finley attorneys.

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"This real estate cycle is different than prior ones for threereasons: the speed of information, the complexity of the lendergroups, and the large number of qualified investors today given therise of opportunistic-investing of the early 90s," said Duffy."There is a tremendous amount of money present and waiting that wasnot in the last two commercial real estate cycles."

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According to Matt Anderson, a partner at Foresight Analytics,"There is more optimism at present that prices are rebounding, butit is really too early to say since increases of recent months arebased on thin trading volume."

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.