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General Growth Properties is asking its lenders for until the end of the year to refinance debt, so it can avoid filing for bankruptcy.The mall owner has $1.18 billion in past-due debt and $4.09 billion that can be accelerated by lenders. It is giving lenders until March 16 to respond.The good news (we think) is that General Growth is getting offers for at least a few of its 200 malls. A Bloomberg report says bidders have offered $400 million for Faneuil Hall in Boston, Harborplace & the Gallery in Baltimore and South Street Seaport in New York City. Apparently, a “private buyer” is interested.If they can knock out that deal and maybe sell another major property, or 10, this whole nasty debt thing won’t be such a problem anymore, huh? Of course, this is probably the WORST time possible for the REIT to try to sell these assets.So do you think the banks will take GGP up on its offer?

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