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CMBS Lender Restarts Originations

Bridger announces new program

Dec. 14, 2009

By MortgageDaily.com staff


A California company has jumped back into commercial real estate loan originations funded through commercial mortgage-backed securities. The company claims the program is the first CMBS program launched since the credit crisis hit.

An announcement today indicated Bridger Commercial Funding has restarted commercial mortgage originations.

Loans are available from $2 million to $20 million for multifamily, office and retail properties. Also available under the program are mortgages for manufactured housing communities, industrial-warehouse properties and self-storage facilities.

The San Francisco-based firm said loans under the program will be underwritten to eligibility standards for securitization under the Federal Reserve's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. Investors can purchase new AAA-rated CMBS.

The commercial mortgage originator said individual investors have been locked out of TALF-supported financings because of the pooling requirement for newly originated loans. But the new program overcomes that obstacle by diversifying its loan portfolio with TALF-eligible borrowers accessing attractive, non-recourse securitization funding.

Bridger claims the program is the first CMBS program initiated since early last year.

"Recent activity in the CMBS market is signaling that the credit logjam plaguing commercial real estate lending for the past two years is starting to break," Bridger Executive Vice President Peter Grabell said in the statement. "CMBS bond yields have fallen throughout the year, to the point where newly originated CMBS loans are becoming a viable financing option once again for borrowers."

CMBS originations will be overseen by personnel from New York-based Whitegate Advisors.

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