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Berkshire Unit New No. 3 Commercial Servicer

MBA reports biggest commercial mortgage servicers

Feb. 1, 2010

By staff

A recent investment by billionaire Warren E. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has prominently placed the company among the nation's biggest commercial mortgage servicers. The top servicer held on to its top ranking, and a single firm ranked as both the biggest government servicer and agency servicer.

A Dec. 31, 2009, ranking was released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

At the top of the list -- again -- was Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.-Wachovia Bank, N.A., which serviced 41,834 loans for $473.8 billion as on the end of last year. Wells Fargo ascended to the No. 1 position with its Dec. 31, 2008, acquisition of Wachovia Corp.

PNC Real Estate-Midland Loan Services Inc. grabbed the second spot, with 37,810 loans serviced for $323.0 billion as of the end of December.

No. 3 was Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC, where 30,144 loans were serviced for $217.9 billion as of the end of 2009.

Berkadia is a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corp.
that acquired the North American servicing and mortgage banking businesses of bankrupt Capmark Financial Group Inc. in December. Capmark already ranked as the third biggest U.S. servicer prior to the acquisition.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch came in at No. 4 with a commercial mortgage servicing portfolio of 9,589 loans for $131.7 billion, followed by KeyBank Real Estate Capital's 11,769 loans for $128.5 billion.

The sixth through 10th spots were held by GEMSA Loan Services LP, Prudential Asset Resources, Deutsche Bank, NorthMarq Capital and TriMont Real Estate Advisors Inc.

Wells Fargo was the biggest servicer of loans securing commercial mortgage-backed securities, collateralized-debt obligations and asset-backed securities.

Among servicers of commercial mortgages owned by commercial banks and savings institutions, TriMont Real Estate Advisors Inc. was the biggest, while GEMSA topped the list of servicers for life insurers as well as the list servicers for credit companies, pension funds, real estate investment trusts and investments funds.

On multifamily loans owned or managed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, PNC was the biggest servicer. PNC was also the biggest servicer of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration and issued by Ginnie Mae.

MBA said the three biggest "warehouse" servicers were Wells Fargo, KeyBank and PNC.

In a separate statement, the trade group reported that just 13 percent of the $1.45 trillion in outstanding commercial mortgages is set to mature this year. Next year, just 7 percent of the outstanding is scheduled to mature.

"Commercial and multifamily mortgages tend to be long-term loans, often for ten years or more," MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research Jamie Woodwell said in the statement. "The fact that a disproportionate share of commercial and multifamily mortgages were made in 2005, 2006 and 2007 means that for most investor groups, only a fraction of the balance will be maturing in the next couple of years."

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