As the volume of maturing commercial mortgages spikes, so has the number of loans transferred to special servicing when they fail to pay off.

This is hardly surprising; most loans coming due this year were taken out 10 years ago, at the peak of the real estate bubble, when property value were high and lending standards lax. Also, commercial mortgages are typically structured with large, balloon payments at maturity, and so amortize very little. As a result, a number of properties that were highly leveraged before the financial crisis have not recovered enough value, or are simply not performing well enough, to be easily refinanced.

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