Modifications of securitized commercial real estate (CRE) loans more than doubled in 2010 from the previous year, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's.

During the first 11 months of 2011, servicers modified $15.6 billion of loans that collateralize CMBS, compared to $7.1 billion for all of 2009.

The retail sector had the highest percentage of modifications, followed by modifications of office, lodging and multifamily loans.

Maturity extensions are the most common form of modification in the sector. "Our view is that extending the maturities for loans with stable cash flows has helped keep expenses down and has prevented higher losses typically associated with property liquidations at distressed prices," S&P credit analyst Larry Kay said.

A total of 345 CRE loans were modified last year, up from 216 loans in 2009.

S&P analysts expect the number of loan modifications will remain high in 2011 and liquidations will increase as market conditions improve.

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