The recent Commercial Mortgage Securities Association (CMSA) conference in New York was considered successful, not only because of the ample attendance of around 1000, but also for the increased dialogue of hot issues and the inclusion of a borrowers' seminar that gave a new perspective to the industry. The theme was "Navigating Through Uncertain Times," but by the end, the overall impression was that the industry is ship-shape.

A panel that consisted of a representative from each portion of the commercial mortgage market, including an originator, investor, rating agency, servicer, and trustee, gave each participant plenty of opportunity to gripe about service and execution at all levels. Some of what came out of the pointed, yet humorous, talk was about how servicers should be compensated (fee-based or return-based) and also suggested changes to the appraisal methods used by rating agencies to value properties.

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