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As we have discussed in several previous StreetWise columns, the distressed asset pipeline, which has been clogged for nearly two years, is beginning to loosen up. Lenders and special servicers are faced with thousands of distressed assets on their balance sheets and in their portfolios, yet until recently, only a small number of these assets have made their way to the market.

Everything that has happened from a regulatory perspective has provided these entities with the ability to avoid having to make decisions relative to these distressed assets. These regulatory changes have included changes in the FASB market-to-market accounting rules, modifications to REMIC guidelines and bank regulators letting banks hold notes on their books at par even though they know the collateral is worth substantially less.

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