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CMSA to testify before Senate panel on securitization issues
Oct 07, 2009

The Commercial Mortgage Securities Association (CMSA) will testify before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee where it will share its perspectives on issues facing the $3.5 billion commercial real estate finance market. The Senate hearing, titled, “Securitization of Assets: Problems and Solutions,” is scheduled to be held before the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment and convened by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Jim Bunning (R-KY). The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET in Room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. Christopher Hoeffel, immediate past president of Commercial Mortgage Securities Association and a current member of its Executive Committee, will testify on behalf of the association. To view and listen to the hearing live at 2:30 p.m. ET, please visit the Senate Banking Committee Web site by clicking here. In his testimony, Mr. Hoeffel will discuss securitization issues regarding commercial real estate finance, the specific and current challenges facing this market, and the critical importance of tailoring any new regulatory requirements to ensure any new requirements do not inadvertently hinder our nation’s economic recovery. CMSA believes two aspects of the current securitization reform proposal are of utmost concern: A plan to require bond issuers or underwriters to retain at least 5% of the credit risk in any securitized asset they sell and, second, an associated restriction on the ability of issuers to hedge the five percent retained risk. “We suggest that any new reform proposals reflect key differences in the various securitized markets, and particularly the unique nature of CMBS. As such, some aspects of the government’s securitization reform proposal could have the opposite and unintended result of stalling recovery efforts by making lenders less willing or able to extend loans and investors less willing or able to buy CMBS bonds--two critical components that aid in the flow of credit to the commercial real estate market,” Mr. Hoeffel said. While CMSA recognizes there are challenges facing commercial real estate finance and understands regulatory reforms are important and warranted, it is cautioning policymakers and Congress that new proposals should not detract from or undermine efforts to get credit flowing. To these ends, CMSA urges Congress to ensure that reform measures are tailored to account for key differences in the various securitization markets themselves. “We feel any policies that make debt or equity interests in commercial real estate less liquid will have a further negative effect on property values and the cost of capital,” Mr. Hoeffel said. For a full copy of the CMSA testimony, click here. For more information, visit
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