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NEW YORK CITY-Carlton Group’s advisory services unit has taken its auction business online with a new distressed debt and REO online auction website at www.carltonauctions.com. The company says the online platform provides a “real time” bid process that allows both bidder and seller to see all available bids in the marketplace.

Carlton chairman Howard Michaels tells GlobeSt.com the online auctions will effectively communicate necessary due diligence. He calls this critical to the process, since it helps eliminate bidding price uncertainties and doubts that can often lead to lower prices for the seller.

Michaels calls financial institutions, loaded with toxic assets, the company’s most vigorous current sellers. However, he stresses that “toxic basically means these were originally good assets which the banks originated, but due to the shutdown in the capital markets and the banks’ inability to securitize them, the banks are now forced to sell these loans at discounted prices.”

Of banks’ current crisis in liquidity, Michaels tells GlobeSt.com that if assets trade at market adjusted price, “this is a phenomenal opportunity for private investors to provide an immediate injection of liquidity to financial institutions.”

And closer to home, despite the fact the New York City area has not suffered the level of distress seen in other markets like parts of the Southeast, Southwest and other middle American regions, Michaels says he’s seen more local interest from private developers and financial institutions. He adds that the company expects to announce its first residential auction “shortly.”

Carlton says it’s been one of the most active sealed bid auction firms since the beginnings of the credit dislocation back in 2007. In the commercial, residential and REO auction business since 1991, Carlton says it’s sold over $12 billion in loan and REO assets. The company adds that $2 billion of that traded in the last 18 months.

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