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As of April 30, more than $80 billion in CMBS loans backing US commercial real estate assets is in the hands of special servicers for a variety of reasons, according to Trepp data (see chart below)—from maturing loans made at the height of the market in 2007 that are having difficulty finding refinancing to truly distressed assets that are not generating enough income to cover their debt. Approximately 60% of loans maturing in the first quarter of 2012 were not paid off; the result is that situations arise where a special servicer, a controlling debt holder or an opportunistic investor who purchases a controlling debt position can take strategic action to create value.

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